It’s inevitable, while studying abroad you are going to find yourself going out at night! Going out at night can be an awesome time to meet locals and to make fun memories but there are a few things to keep in mind when hitting the bars, clubs, etc. These are my tips to staying safe and having a great time specifically in Italy!
1. Stick together and look out for each other! It is always safer to walk in groups especially late at night. If you are going out with a group of study abroad students, look out for each other, don’t let each other get taken advantage of and make sure that everyone gets home safely. Men, look out for your fellow ladies. Italian men can be very persistent.
2. Alcohol culture is different in Italy. It is highly frowned upon by the whole community to be inebriated in public. When going out at night, drink in moderation. Respect the community when walking home to your apartments or host families. You may have just had a great night and everything seems really funny, but your neighbors that have to get up for work in the morning won’t be happy if you wake them up at 2:00 in the morning because you came into the apartment building being loud. Because of the language barrier, it’s best not to get yourself into a situation that might lead to an altercation.
3. If you are frequenting the same bars every week, take a minute to get to know your local bartenders or bar owners. It never hurts to build a relationship that can make your experience more fun. If you become friends, you will feel more comfortable and safer in the bar. You will really start to feel like a local when you become friends with the workers. Who knows, maybe you will end up becoming a part time bartender!
4. Try new, interesting, and local drinks. Here in southern Italy you will drink lots of wine and limoncello with meals but there are other delicious liquors and many Italian beers. Branch out and try different things. In Italy, drinking is a very social thing. You should be enjoying your drinks.
5. Don’t be ashamed of your American heritage. You may feel like everyone looks down on Americans at times while abroad but share who you are with people and represent your home state or college well.
6. Remember what I said about making memories? MAKE MEMORIES! Drinking too much will cloud those memories.
7. On that note, however, make sure to have fun!!!
– Tristan is a spring 2017 SAI Sorrento student from Point Loma Nazarene University.