5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Traveling To Italy


This information is based on my recent trip to Rome, Assisi and Florence in the beginning of November 2014.

1.  They have mosquitos.  Not only do they have mosquitos but they don’t have screens on their windows.  When we were in Rome I never thought I would get bit but sure enough I did.  The first night my husband and I were attacked in our hotel room by one measly mosquito.  The following day my husband had welts on his back and it seemed more came out through the day.  I thought I may have a rash so I began researching mosquitos in Italy on the internet and sure enough they have them.

We not only found them in Rome but also in Assisi and Florence.  In Florence they seem to be not only in the room but throughout the hotel.  I asked a receptionist in Assisi if they had them and she said no.  At first most people in our group had a hard time believing us until slowly a few got one or two bites.

2. The hotels may say they have air conditioning but we found that none of them worked.  They were controlled by the hotel and in the beginning of November they were shut off.  Yet, the rooms were stuffy and very hot.  We couldn’t open the windows for fear of the mosquitos and they don’t have ceiling fans.  So you may want to consider bringing a small portable fan of some sort.

3. In the public bathrooms they do not have toilet seats for the ladies.  They have the toilet bowls with the two holes for the toilet seat but for some reason they didn’t put the toilet seat on.  I found this to be cold and challenging.  I wondered if I found it challenging how the older ladies in my group felt.  I never realized what a luxury it is to have toilet seats but after this trip I am truly grateful for them.  I had forgotten this minor detail before getting there.

4. You walk a lot and there are many stairs if you are sightseeing.  The roads that we were walking on seemed to be mostly cobblestone and a lot of people in my group found them challenging.  Not only are there stairs but most of them do not have railings on both sides or at all.  You need a good pair of shoes but also if they could be waterproof that is a plus.  I unfortunately didn’t have waterproof shoes on when we walked through a torrential downpour and my shoes never recovered.

5. There is so much to take in.  One of the people in our group printed out information on the places we were seeing beforehand and I thought that was a genius idea.  I found it very difficult to keep up with all the information that was being given to us.  I then had pictures that I couldn’t remember what they were.  So to be a little prepared beforehand would have been nice.

My pilgrimage to Italy was truly life changing for me (with mosquitos and all).  These minor details above did not affect my trip but could have, so I wanted to share with others this information.  I hope this information will make your future trip to Italy a blessed, unforgettable adventure.  If you have any other great tips I would love to hear them.  Take it all in!!

copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent


I am a mother of three children who is trying to fulfill all the ‘traditional’ ideas of a stay at home mom. I am a cook, maid, shopper, chauffeur and the laundry lady. I am also their protector, mentor, religious educator and guidance counselor. I have chosen to raise them in a Catholic household.

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