There is nowhere that conjures images of romance more than Italy. The country of love, it is the one place on earth that is specifically known for its abundance of romanticism. It is also perhaps the only spot where it is not only okay to be glutenous, to partake in moderation is offensive. What makes Italy so fantastical is that it is expected that you indulge too much, love too much and allow your emotions to take control.
For all the things that you think you know about Italy, there are some things that you probably don’t. We take a look at 6 things you didn’t know about Italy.
Dining is very serious business
It is not uncommon to have an impression of Italy that the plate runneth over all day and all night. However, there is a ritual in Italy that dinner time is strictly between the hours of 7.30 and 9pm. Wanting to taste the most delectable cuisine that your senses can ever be dazzled by, you won’t be able to call and make your reservations for six.
There may be a reason why the average resident consumes over a pound (450g) of bread a day: they have to fill up waiting for the dinner bell to toll. The good news is that you need not worry about tipping, the Coperto is included in the meal. A toll for seating, it takes the place of gratuity.
Although not Spain, Italians too like their “siestas”
If you want to set out for the day, start out early, or leave late. Many shops, restaurants and other merchant establishments will close up shop between the hours of one and four, for their riposo.
Much like the Spanish siesta, Italians like this time block in the middle of the day to go home and enjoy time with their friends and family. Not having the same desire for work ethic, family is highly important, and business always takes a back seat. Called the riposo, it is something that you have to schedule around.
Bouillabaisse for invention
When you think about Italy, the mind instantly conjures images of fine art and mathematics, but it is also the place where many inventions originated. Often considered the art epicentre, the technological contributions made, often get left in the lurch. Some of the innovations that Italy introduced to the world are the electric battery, the barometer, wireless telegraphy, the thermometer, and nitroglycerin.
The inventor of the nuclear reactor, Enrico Fermi, was also a native Italian. Not just famous for technology, Italy also lays claim for inventing automobile ingenuity. It is home to the Fiat, who also owns Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Chrysler luxury lines. It isn’t just food that the Italians like to indulge in, it is fast speeds and luxury rides.
A Hidden Gem
If you are looking for a destination that is off the beaten path, spend some time in Ravello.
Not as touristy, it is one of the most wondrous hilltop towns, without all the touristy fare. The most spectacular countryside and views, the houses are decorated in sherbet colors, and the ocean views are literally to die for.
For Those Who Love the Beach
With so much culture to take in, one’s first impression of Italy may not be as a beachcomber’s destination but Puglia is one of the most breathtakingly stunning natural wonders granted by the sea. Naturally forming houses invite you in, as do the surrounding white sand beaches. A paradise unlike anywhere on earth, it is something out of the ordinary, and different from what you might imagine the Italian countryside has to offer.
Looking for a luxury holiday in Italy? We offer a Rome trip with Vatican night tour and gourmet dining; a driving tour of the glorious Amalfi coast; a sailing adventure on Lake Garda; a Tuscany trip with expert cooking class; a Cinque Terre break with immersive culinary experience and a fashion tour of Milan.