Preparing for your first visit to tours in Tuscany and Italy? We’ve compiled a list of essentials that you should keep in mind before you arrive in Italy. I remember some of the things I noticed from my first visit to Italy, and I got used to it, but I understand that there is still something special about Italy that will help you prepare mentally before your trip.
In no particular order (read all the way to the end), here we go!
Forget what you know about Italian food:
Italian cuisine is very regional, so don’t expect to find canola everywhere (these are a specialty of Sicily so be sure to eat plenty when you go there!) Or fetuses alfredo, which many say is an Italian-American invention. You can find pasta with cream sauce in some areas, just don’t call it that.
If you want pepperoni in your pizza, you’ll find sliced bell peppers, sometimes fried, sometimes pickled (it’s called in Italian)! The closest equivalent of American pepperoni in pizza is called “salami picante” and it is spicy and smaller in size than what you use. I like it in my pizza so you go ahead and try it and see what you think about it.As far as salads go, don’t expect a variety of salad dressings, you’ll only get oil and balsamic vinegar (and salt and pepper) to garnish those greens.
You will find Italian staples from Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes (however, it is pronounced with a strong K-sound like brass-ke-tta, not a soft-shudder like church), with the delicious parasite, delicious pancetta and pasta al ragu in your pizza. Creamy spaghetti Alla Carbonara (meat sauce, also called bolognese sauce).
You’ll often find homemade fresh pasta on the menu (go for it!) And pizza has a high or very low crust (high is Naples-style, while in Florence it’s often very thin but you’ll see pizzerias as their pizza and “Neapolitan”). In fact, they make the crust thicker. Here’s more information on local Tuscan cuisine and our favorite pizza place in Florence.
Love wine? Tuscany has many, many options:
The same goes for wine – each region has its own wine region and its own specialties, so wherever you are, take advantage of the local wines and you will discover something new and different that you will never find back home! Tours in Tuscany alone have many wine zones, so when eating out, don’t ask for Chianti Classico wherever you go.
I suggest you ask what is local no matter where you live so you can try other red (and white) from Tours in Tuscany that you have never tried otherwise. Montepulciano Vino Nobile, Montalcino Brunello, Morellino di Scansano in Maremma, San Gimignano to Vernaccia, to name a few more Tuscan wine areas! There are many more!
Cappuccino and espressos are everywhere and cheap:
The average cost of the espresso is less than 1 euro, cappuccino is less than 1.50 euros – but don’t expect extra flavors or fancy drinks like pumpkin spice latte! If you want a latte, you will want a “un caffe con latte” because only one “latte” will get you a glass of milk. You can enjoy everything on the Tours in Tuscany. There are many cafeterias in tuscany.
Public Transportation: Always validate your bus and train tickets!
Buying bus or train tickets is not enough, as they are “open-ended” (they have no date) and not for a specific bus or train (for example, valid for all bus or regional trains). So before boarding the train or boarding the bus, you must “hostile” the ticket by placing it on a small machine that stamps your ticket with the date and time. The tickets above show Florence bus tickets, left without valid, right already verified (ticket price has increased to € 1.50 since this photo was taken).
At the train station, look at the other passengers as they head down the track to see where the machines are. They are usually before you access the train tracks. On the bus, they stay near the front and back doors. If a ticket controller comes, on a bus and train, he wants to see that stamp on your ticket!
Otherwise, there will be no excuse for “not knowing” and you will be dissatisfied with the hefty fines you will receive, often fines are requested to be paid on the spot, especially if you are a tourist. Below is a photo of the ticket verification machines at the train station.
Summer can get HOT, and air conditioning is not widely used… BUT you might not need it!
This is important for you to know – Italy can be quite hot in summer! This is especially important when considering where you will go, where you will be staying, and when you are planning the perfect itinerary for the day. In the summer, always carry water with you and plan to spend the warmest time indoors, such as visiting an art museum or the many great churches you can find throughout Tours in Tuscany. These are incredibly cool without air conditioning!
I think this is definitely the perfect excuse to eat more gelato! Whatever it is, as far as accommodation goes, don’t worry! This is why the farm sits on the hill. Also, thick walls keep the heat away, especially in the evenings when the comfort zone catches any air. The evening is cold when you will be around. So even if your chosen accommodation does not have A / C, you need to be able to sleep well at night in summer and probably warm up in late autumn and winter.