3 things I learned in: Italy (Cinque Terre 2014)

pizza Italy1) Never ever show up at an Italian restaurant for dinner before 10 pm! You will disturb the owner’s family playing cards. Then you will witness how the father hurries to the kitchen, tying his apron around, while his daughter lights the candles on the tables and the son moves over behind the bar with his computer to continue playing. And you will feel like an idiot.

2) More eating rules. Just ordering one main dish (which is common in Germany) will also cause unbelieving stares by the staff. Besides, it probably won’t fill you up, because in Italy you eat lots of small portions after another: cold and warm starters (antipasti), two main courses (primo piatto = pasta; secondo piatto = meat or fish) and finally a dessert.

3) Always hold you bag in front of your belly when riding the train between the five villages of Cinque Terre. There are literally whole gangs of thieves. They are mainly young Roma women who play cat and mouse with the police, trying to jump on the train the last second before it takes off.

Read more about my trip to Cinque Terre and see a photo gallery here.

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