Benvenuto in Italia! Here are some tips on beating jetlag and making the most of your first day in Italy.
A successful first day in Italy begins on the plane. A toothbrush and some face wipes in your carry on will help you to feel fresh, clean, and awake; make sure to bring them and to use them. It is amazing how much better you feel!
Ideally, everyone’s luggage arrives without incident. However, lost bags do happen. Be prepared; cross pack with your travel partner, several outfits for each person in each bag. Always pack a change of clothes in your carry on, just in case.
Once you arrive and collect your bags, the first thing to do is find your hotel. I recommend a transfer from the airport, which we will gladly arrange for you, or a taxi from the station where a train to the city center will drop you off.
If you arrive at your hotel before check in, ask them if they have somewhere to store your bags. I have yet to see a hotel that does not offer this to its guests.
Here is where many travelers go wrong. They get into their room, are exhausted and think a little nap will get them going again. Beware, that nap is an invitation for jet lag to join you through your entire visit. You will sleep longer than you mean to, miss an entire day of your vacation, and ruin your sleep pattern. Resist.
Instead, freshen up a bit and go explore the city. Italy has excellent espresso, as well as an abundance of fruit stands offering fresh squeezed juices of all varieties, and of course the famous gelato. Grab some refreshment and enjoy the place you came to see.
The first day of a trip is a great day to get acquainted. Try out the phrases you have learned. Sample food that catches your eye. Use your map to navigate to famous sites and piazzas. Most importantly, make it fun.
This is your first evening in Italy, so sit down and treat yourself to a nice dinner and wine. Ask your waiter for a recommendation of something local and seasonal. Relax, and enjoy the company of your travel companions. This is a special time.
After dinner and a full two days, you will be very tired, and since you skipped that tempting nap, buonanotte! Sleep wonderfully and awake rested. Your body will be on a more normal sleep schedule. No jetlag! A morning cappuccino and off you go to explore il bel paese!