Roughly 47 million tourists descend on Italy’s piazzas, fill its museums and snap pictures inside its catholic churches every year. While everyone has a right to experience the Italian countryside, dance in its discotecas or just eat a really-freaking-good pizza, far too often travelers to Italy are doing it wrong – and it’s time that we start doing it right.
We, who take part in the Short Manifesto for Travelers in Italy, solemnly swear that…
We will not try to jam-pack five cities in five days.
We will not touch the priceless art or ancient statues … nor the buildings or monuments for that matter. (No one wants to be that tourist who broke the statue.)
We will not expect all Italians to know English, even if in a big city.
We will not give in to the over-priced tourist–restaurant complex and will instead follow side streets for the best local eatery, no matter how hungry we are.
We will not feed the pigeons. Seriously, don’t feed the freaking pigeons.
We will not force our preconceived ideas about Italian food onto the Italian cuisine served. They know what they’re doing. No, your water won’t come with ice. No, there is no butter with your bread. No, the restaurant doesn’t open before 8:00 p.m.
We will not drink a cappuccino after 11:00 a.m. Because the Italians don’t and you’re in Italy and it’s weird.
We will not walk around in yoga pants or sweat pants or basketball shorts.
We will not drunkenly write our names in the chalk art on the streets at 4 a.m. (ok maybe this one’s just for me)
We will not over-romanticize Italy.
We will enjoy our time here and take a cue from the Italians: relax, slow down and soak in the culture instead of ticking items off a list.
We will order our coffee standing up at the bar.
We will enjoy meeting the locals, drinking negroni during aperitivo or exploring whatever city, countryside or sight we’re lucky enough to see.
We will fully enjoy that I-can’t-believe-it’s-real, really-freaking-good pizza – all of it!