-Expect it to be colder than you expect.
-Bring your absolute essentials in your carry-on bags (plan on luggage delays).
-Bring your student ID for discounts.
-Try not to overpack. Remember you will have to carry your bags on trains that may be very crowded.
-Avoid exchanging money at the airport or at exchange booths. The best exchange we have found is using ATM machines with debit cards.
-Notify your bank that you are leaving the country and ask them about special charges.
-Notify your credit card company of international travel and ask them about international charges.
-My Chase MileagePlus Explorer card has no international fees and offers free minimal travel insurance.
-Ideally bring a card that has a chip in it. They tend to more widely accepted. Europe has a higher level of credit card security than the US.
-Check with your carrier to see if Mobile Roaming will rack up charges, or what settings you should use. I’ve been using Google Hangouts Dialer to make calls while on WIFI. You must dial 011-then the country code (Italy is 0039) before the area code and number.
-There is no 4G here, I believe it is mostly 3G.
-A small USB charger can be very helpful when you don't get a chance to charge your phone.
FOOD AND DRINK:
-Wine is commonly served with meals but it is uncommon for Italians to get drunk.
-Adding lots of cheese (formaggio) or other condiments may insult the chef.
-Take extra time during meals to enjoy your food and converse with your friends.
-Drip coffees is very rare here. Most common is espresso which is simply called Cafe’. If you want a little milk ask for a Cafe’ Macchiato.
-In general, people appreciate your attempts.
-Buonasera - (bone-a-sere-ah) Most common greeting. Good evening, but works most times of day.
-Ciao - (chow) this works as an informal hello and goodbye
-Scuzi - Excuse me. This can get people’s attention and with hand gestures can mean you don’t understand or various other things.
-Permisso (pear-me-soh) - for when you bump into people, need someone to get out of your way
-Benne - (ben-nay) - Good or Malto Benne - Very good - Non Benne - Not good (“non” in front of a work generally inverts is meaning)
-Toilette - You guessed it! You can also say Baño like in Spanish.
-Quanto - How much? (Say it like a question and present a note pad and pen if you don't know numbers).