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if you are considering a trip to Italy, you are not alone. The average number of people who travel to the country is about 48.6 million (as of 2014). That makes Italy the fifth more popular country to visit. If you go, you will not be the only person flying to Italy! Given the difference in how Italians and Americas live their lives, there are some things you should think about and do if you plan to go there that will make your trip much better:

  • Learn some Italian. This advice works whether you are flying to Italy or if you plan on sightseeing in Paris. While most Europeans do speak English, you will start yourself off in a better position if you say: andldquo;Parla landrsquo;Inglese?andrdquo; Rather than, “Do you speak English?” In the first place, Americans have a terrible reputation in this area. In the second place, you will be showing respect to the person you are taking to and the country. Before flying to Italy, learn some basic phrases in Italian.
  • Eat your dinner later. While many Americans eat dinner at 6:00 pm. This is way to early for most Italians. When you are traveling to Rome, you need to adjust your nightly meal time and get your dinner between 7:30 and 9:30 pm. When you dine out, it is also a great idea to dress up for the occasion and to make a dinner reservation ahead of time.
  • Keep yourself covered up! Many Americans have this idea that Italians wear clothes that show off more of their bodies. When you are planning on flying to Italy, you need to pack clothing that covers you up. Unless you are going to spend your entire vacation on the beach, you need to show less skin that you might think. Leave the short skirts at home.
  • Pack comfortable shoes. If you are going to Rome, you will find there are a lot of things to see and it is a great walking town. From the Spanish Steps to the Vatican and Coliseum, you may find the walk between the sites to be truly wonderful. Your feet will hate you and you will be miserable if you do not have decent shoes (you no longer have to sacrifice style for comfort.)
  • Bread has a different role in Italian meals. In the United States, many Italian restaurants will serve bread with meals and give you olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You will not get this in Italian restaurants in Italy. There, the bread is used to accompany your appetizers and to get up the last of your sauce. You would not be misguided if your only reason for flying to Italy was to eat the amazing food. You would be hard pressed to find a place on earth with better food than Italy.
  • Leave yourself time to wander. Rome was not built in a day and it cannot be seen in a day. Rather than pack your schedule will back to back places to see, take your time to get to know and appreciate life in the city. It can be easy to become overwhelmed but take a deeb breath and just go at your own place. Rome is not going anywhere and you can go back. If you overexert yourself, you and your companions will suffer. A trip to Italy should not feel like a voyage through all of the layers of Dante’s “Inferno.”
  • Know going in that most shops close for part of the afternoon. Many Europeans take enjoying life very seriously. This means many give their staff time, usually from 1:00 to 4::00 pm. This means they can go home and indulge in a nice lunch with their family. Money really is not everything.
  • Looking for a taxi? You have to go to a set taxi stand or order one on the phone. Many American travelers are used to flagging down a passing taxi cab but that is not how things are done in Italy. You may be surprised at how efficient the taxis are in Italy.

Whether you are looking fly first class to Rome or hop on a luxury flight, your trip to Italy will be great if you take these tips to heart.

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