Italian hotels

Italian hotels- Italy from the Inside

Photo by Francesca Tosolini

Italy offers a multitude of accommodations: bed and breakfasts, pensions, farmhouses, villas, but the most popular remains the hotel. Italian hotels do have some differences compared to the American ones, especially those that are not part of international chains.
The first thing to expect when reserving hotel rooms in Italy is that they are much smaller than the American ones. Just consider that most of the hotels in the city centers once used to be private residences. Newer constructions outside the historical centers are more likely to offer rooms that are closer to the American standard.
On top of this, note that if the hotel is part of a historical building, chances are that there is no elevator either.

PS:
In case you wonder, the photo above shows the entrance of the Liassidi Palace Hotel in Venice.

{This is an excerpt from chapter 6 “Hotels and accommodations” of the eBook “Italy from the Inside. A native Italian reveals the secrets of traveling in Italy”}

Tipping in Italy

Tipping in Italy- Italy from the Inside

Photo by Francesca Tosolini

If you leave a tip, leave it in cash. If for any reason you leave without leaving a tip, nobody will ever ask you if there was something wrong with your lunch or dinner. In Italy, tips are always well accepted, of course, but they are not a customary rule as in the States.

{This is an excerpt from chapter 3 “Italian cuisine and food establishments” of the eBook “Italy from the Inside. A native Italian reveals the secrets of traveling in Italy”}

The Italian way of doing laundry

Stendino- Italy from the Inside

Every time I think about the first times I did my laundry in the States I feel a stinging wave of shame and foolishness. Why? Because I was coming from a country where at that time (and even now) only a few people owned “the beast”. Yes, this is how the dryer looked to me: as a fierce machine only able to ruin and shrink your “made in Italy” garments. Therefore not only I sticked to the stupid decision of not using it, but I was also doing something even more stupid: I was hanging my clothes inside my small condo, exactly how most Italians do. There’s only one difference: in Italy it rains sporadically, while in Seattle it rains almost every day. I don’t even want to mention the amount of humidity that was forming on our single pane windows. I’m sure people from outside thought we were living in an aquarium…

However last year, during our year-long stay in Italy, I had to go “back to normal”, which means checking the forecast before doing the laundry, as most Italians do. After that, you are usually left with three options:

Option A. It is going to be a sunny day and you can hang everything outside taking into consideration one only caveat: if you share the drying ropes with a neighbor, you better hurry up and be there before them.

Option B. It is going to be a decent day and you can hang everything outside, but you better stick around in case of a sudden shower (been there, done that).

Option C. It is going to rain for the next 5 days and your kids are running out of socks. You have no choice than doing the laundry and having the drying rack tra i piedi (which is a flamboyant way to say “in the way”) for the next two days. Obviously you wish that everything is going to be dry in 24 hours. Yes, sure.

The photo above is clearly the result of option C…