10 Tourist Mistakes when Visiting Italy

A not-completely-obvious list of the top 10 tourist mistakes foreigners (ahem, Americans) make abroad. Points noted:

  1. Don’t tip. But there’s always a “but.”
  2. The Venetian vaporetto is not the T. 
  3. Likewise, American “pepperoni” is not the same as Italian “pepperoni.”
  4. “Siesta” is Spanish. They call it a giorno di riposo–day of rest. Avoid offending out of ignorance.
  5. Eat when you are supposed to eat.
  6. Eat only what you want when you eat.
  7. You aren’t a princess/prince at restaurants.
  8. Curbing coffee urges after 10 a.m. ….but seriously.
  9. Ordering before paying, paying before ordering in a bar.
  10. You bare-hand-squeezed the orange to see if it’s soft? How rude.

Dear Photograph,

You don’t look nearly as colorful as the postcard of you I bought at the dingy souvenir shop but none the less majestic in person. It was lovely to finally meet you after years of looking at photos of you in history textbooks & Mary-Kate and Ashley movies. I hope to see you again soon but until then, you’ll be up on my wall of postcard travels.

Love, Dara


Afternoon tea at Harrod’s is the most elegant casual afternoon affair. A lush three-tiered spread features finger sandwiches and lobster rolls, scones with clotted cream and strawberry that melt in your mouth, and rich desserts. With sore feet from a long day of walking, we spent hours out on the Terrace Bar sipping our teas–Moroccan mint, black currant, hibiscus for me and Mum, jasmine for Dad–long enough to watch the troublesome gray sky break from the clouds to shed a halo of sunlight over the city of London.