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Experts Share Tips About Italy With Journeywoman



Italians love bottled water...

Italians are the leading consumers of bottled water in the world, drinking more than 40 gallons per person annually. But as their environmental consciousness deepens, officials here are avidly promoting what was previously unthinkable: that Italians should drink tap water. In Venice, officials took a leaf from the advertising playbook that has helped make bottled water a multibillion-dollar global industry. They invented a lofty brand name for Venice’s tap water - Acqua Veritas - created a sleek logo and emblazoned it on stylish carafes that were distributed free to households.
(New York Times 2009)


Visiting the Vatican...

The Vatican Museums can be a daunting and overwhelming experience so it is necessary to prepare both mentally and physically to get the most out of your visit. Here's a few tips to make life a bit easier.

Do your best to avoid Saturdays and Mondays, unless there is a free Sunday. Remember that the Vatican Museums are free the last Sunday of the month which takes some of the pressure off adjacent days that are as a rule pretty busy. My pick of the best days to visit the museums are Tuesday to Friday, with Tuesday and Thursday afternoons being the least crowded days. Generally afternoons after 12:00 will be much less crowded than mornings, except for Saturdays and free Sundays. Crowds in the Vatican Museums are not just about the wait in line, they are also about a lot of confused people in relatively tight hallways taking pictures and constantly bumping into one another. However, lines and crowds have significantly diminished since the Vatican extended the museum hours in 2008. I have even heard that sometimes the line to pick-up reserved tickets is longer than the non-reserved line.

Use the restroom directly when you enter into the museums. After you make the line and arrive in the entrance hall (actually before purchasing tickets) use that restroom. There are a few others throughout the museums but for the most part the one in the main entrance is the best and most convenient.

Pack a snack and water. Food and water are not readily available in the museums so I recommend having some food ready to nibble on to keep your strength up. I am not suggesting that you chow down while taking in the Raphael Rooms or under the Sistine but there are a couple of outdoor venues that would be appropriate. And being discrete about taking a couple of bits won’t hurt anyone.

Chris Carriero is the editor and creator of iKangaroo - Digital Travel Guide. You can also find him at


Buy a Rome Pass...

I started Nancy Aiello Tours to share my passion and expertise on Rome & Italy with all Travelista. Here's a tip I think you will like:

Take advantage of the Rome Pass that can be purchased at Airport Terminals or at Tourist Information Points located downtown. The pass lasts 3 days after stamping it and costs € 23.00. It includes free access to two museums or archaeological sites of your choice, free movement on the entire public transport network and reductions on entrance to other museums, exhibitions and shows but includes also Health Assistance and access to the city’s bike sharing scheme. Tour Rome by bike and move freely through the city while respecting the environment; operates 24 hrs a day, each ½ hour is €0.50 with €5.00 registration fee.

Nancy Aiello's website is You can reach her on Twitter at:


About women in Italy...

It is no accident, writes cross-cultural expert Robert T. Moran, that the two most popular and common expressions in Italy -- Mamma Mia! and Madonna -- refer to female icons. In Italy the woman is the backbone of the family. This, combined with the renowned Italian love of beauty, gives the role of women a special place in the world of relationships.
(Source: Do's and Taboos Around the World for Women in Business, ISBN 0 471 14364 2)

Ed.note: This respect for women doesn't always extend to female tourists. Catcalls and an occasional pinch on the bum are not unheard of in the big cities. You can usually cut down this unnecessary attention by dressing like the locals (sunglasses, lots of black, lots of attitude, shoes not sneakers, etc.) and ignoring the men who try to get you to respond to them.

When a man just doesn't get the message, answer loudly with the word, "Basta," which means "Enough!". I try to do this only when lots of bystanders can hear. This shames the silly man and he usually slinks away. If there is nobody else around I walk purposefully and quickly trying to put as much distance as possible between him and me.


Trips to Italy Women Will Love...

Don't want to travel to Italy on your own? With Journeywoman that is not a problem. We list lots of wonderful tour companies that design trips especially for women. There is something to suit every budget and every taste.

Click here and dream, dream, dream of Italy.

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