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ITALY: Travel Tips

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-Not all places allow picture taking. Museums, especially, often retain sole rights to photograph their works. Flash photography is especially frowned upon as being disruptive.

-Italy may be very tourist-friendly and known for fashion, but it is generally considered rude to walk around town in bikinis, beach attire, short shorts, and skimpy outfits.

-Don't expect to easily find a drycleaner in the Tuscan countryside, laundry facilities are hard to find outside large cities.

-Remember that American and European DVDs and VCRs have different formats, so what works at home will not work in Italy, and vice versa.

-Returning or exchanging an item, even if it is flawed is uncommon in Italian stores.

-When shopping for clothes, take note that many stores will not allow one to try on shirts and blouses.

-Italy has only started becoming handicap-accessible. Wheelchair access to restaurant bathrooms is almost nonexistent, ramps are rare, elevators in old buildings are uncommon, and buses in general are not wheelchair-compatible.

-Sunbathing topless is common on beaches in northern and central Italy, however it will most likely lead to stares and catcalls when done in the more conservative and traditional south.

-While Italy is very hospitable, keeping kids entertained can sometimes be tough. Hotels often don't have pools or videogames, while virtually nothing on the radio or television is in English.

-Do get an Italy cell phone rental so you can stay in touch and coveniently get important information during your stay.

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