We are working in order to provide you with aidy information for travellers and cruisers coming to Italy and the major Mediterranean ports
Rome is in the temperate area, more or less the same latitude as Chicago, although the Mediterranean makes our climate milder, winters can be cold and summers are definitely hot! Therefore consider chilly lows in the winter even when it feels comfortable in the early pm.
In the summer you might want to wear shorts, short skirts and sleeveless shirts....fair enough! But, in case you are planning to enter some churches and specially the Vatican (over 400 ancient churches in the City center hold so many pieces of art) you should bring something to cover your shoulders and your legs which must be covered below the knee.
If you are planning to visit archaelogical areas make sure you wear comfortable shoes and preferably sneakers. Flip-flops are not very suitable for uneven dusty ground in sites such as the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, Hadrian's Villa, Villa d'Este, Ostia Antica, Cerveteri, Pompeii, Herculaneum and most of excavation areas. In the summer make also sure you have a hat, sunscreen and water.
In Italy we really love eating out several nights a week. In the major touristic cities, as well as the Tuscan countrysides or the beach towns of the Amalfi Coast, restaurants and bars are often crowded with people from all over the world. Here are some tips not to stick out as a sore thumb while enjoyng the famous Italian cousine:
Remember we eat much later compared with most countries, typically we have lunch between 1:00 and 2:00pm and dinner between 8:00 and 9:00pm, although the further south the later we eat. Especially in a small town you will hardly find some place to eat before 7:30pm. It's okay to go for dinner even at 10:00pm and later!
A full Italian meal, which we only have on special occasions like holidays or celebrations, consists of an antipasto (starter), a primo (pasta or rice course), a secondo (main course), a contorno (side dish), fruit, dessert, coffe and liquor. Very commonly we skip the antipasto or the pasta course, or the main course. Fruit and dessert are commonly skipped while at the end of the meal coffee is a must.
Bread is always on our tables along with olive oil, salt and pepper; it's part of the service no matter whether you ordered it or not, you'll have it. Bread should never be eaten before the main course although it might accompany some antipasto like cold cuts or cheese but it isn't meant to be eaten alone. Very commonly tourists eat many slices of bread with oil and salt before the order is served...that should never happen and is considered inappropriate. As I said bread should be eaten only starting from the main course, hence NEVER WITH PASTA OR RICE! Normally one or two slices per person is enough...not the whole basket. It is considered somewhat inconvenient and mannerless to wipe your dish with bread.
Italians are proud with their coffee and have it multiple times through the day. Cappuccino is only for breakfast and we never have it after mid-morning. Neither coffee nor cappuccino are supposed to be drunk before or during the meals, that is considered very odd and people would be amazed at seeing people enjoying their cappuccino (or coffee) with pizza, seafood and everything other than pastries, donuts and desserts!
In Italy Road Laws and Regulations. are ruled by specific Street Laws pertaining to those driving within National borders.
We advice you to pay attention to possibly-varying signs and indications at the local level. Traffic and local police officers are also available for drivers with problems and questions.
There are no signs advicing the speed limit unless there is a local reduction of the road's speed limit.
On the major Italian highways there is an average speed enforcement system, there's no need to pull the drivers over. Fines are mailed.
The driver is liable in case the passengers miss to use the seat belts and the baby seats.