Italy Travel Tips

Italy has something for everyone and is a destination that takes many visits to fully appreciate. Travelers have been spellbound by it’s mountains, art, landscapes, people and food for many years. Below I will outline some important Italy travel tips you should know before going.General Tips

Many tourist attractions do not allow photography – particularly museums.
It is considered rude to walk around towns in bikinis, beachwear, short shorts or skimpy outfits.
American and European DVDs use different formats, so what works at home may not work in Italy. This is becoming less of a problem with the rise of Multi Region DVD’s.
Returning or exchanging an item, even if it is flawed not common in Italian stores so make sure you check things thoroughly before you buy.
Some stores will not allow you to try on shirts and blouses.
Wheelchair access to restaurant bathrooms is rare, as are ramps and elevators in old buildings. Buses are also generally not wheelchair-compatible.
Topless sunbathing is common on the northern and central Italian beaches, however it is not advised in the more conservative and traditional south.
Hotels often don’t have pools or video games, while virtually nothing on the radio or television is in English.
Health and Safety

Olive oil and wine are a fundamental ingredient in Italian cooking. They are also natural laxatives and so can cause problems for those with sensitive stomachs.
In an emergency, dial 113.
If you are in trouble and need the help of passers by, yell AIUTO (pronounced ay-you-toe), which is Italian for HELP!
Serious crime is rare, however pickpockets and purse-snatchers are more common in the largeer cities.
Stick to bottled water as Italian tap water is sometimes heavily chlorinated
Eating out

Italians usually take their food as it is listed, seldom making special requests, such as “hold the mayo.”
Don’t wait for the check – ask for it.
Tip with cash. A ‘servizio’ charge is usually included but a small tip is appreciated.
Breakfast is usually served from 7-10:30am, lunch from 12:30-2:30pm, and dinner from 7:30-10pm. Peak lunch and dinner hours are 1 and 9pm.
There are almost no restrictions on alcohol. It can be purchased at any time on any day and there is no minimum drinking age.
Kids menus are almost unheard of so ask upfront for a half portion if required.
Opening Times and Holidays

Banks are open weekdays 8:30am to 1:30pm and sometimes for an hour in the afternoon.
While some major churches are open all day, most are open from early morning until noon and then close for three to four hours, before reopening again, and close at 6pm.
Many museums are closed on Monday.
Most shops are closed between 1pm and 3:30pm for lunch. Due to Italy being a Catholic country, many stores are closed on Sunday.
Try and avoid traveling to Italy in August as most of the locals are on vacation and everything is closed.
Apart from Christmas, New Years, and Easter,  Italy also celebrates: Epiphany (Jan. 6), Liberation Day (Apr. 25), May Day (May 1), Festival of the Republic (June 2), Farragosto (Nov. 1), All Saints Day (Nov. 1), Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), Feast of St. Stephen (Dec. 26).

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Practical Home Buying Guide – A Serious Look at the Affordability Issue

Contrary to popular belief, the issue of affordability is not just the concern of first time home buyers, as even the seasoned ones can make erroneous judgments and ill-advised buying decisions and end up “eating more than they can chew.” In determining how much you can afford when in the hunt for your dream home, you must understand that the process is not entirely about the asking price of home sellers. The critical details about your financial position and affordability are something that you need to discuss thoroughly with your real estate agent before you even consider making your initial offer.Of course, you can get a general assessment of your financial position and your ideal price range with the help of online tools such as the mortgage calculator. Specifically, this online tool can give you the numbers in terms of how much you can really afford to borrow for the purchase of your dream home. However, this simplistic definition of online mortgage calculator does not provide you with the real essence why we need to use them in our home buying decisions.It is true that what it provides are logical computation of relevant figures that can directly guide us in making the right buy. In essence, this online tool chalks up the numbers that we need. However, it does not give us information why we are getting those specific numbers. In short, we need to have clear understanding of the variables that are factored in the entire computation process. We all know that 5 times 2 equals 10 – everyone knows that. What you must understand is why the online mortgage calculator is churning out those numbers.This is the main reason why we have to properly understand the detailed information that you need to have when using this online tool.The “income” used in online mortgage calculator can refer to several types of earnings depending on your overall financial condition or position and the circumstances by which those incomes are generated. Specifically, the income referred to in online mortgage calculators is your GROSS income and not your NET income. If you are a regular wage earner with a fix salary, then your present salary is the one that will be reflected in the “Income” field.On the other hand, if there is a portion of your income which is determined on an hourly basis or a bonus that is dependent on pre-established targets, then you will not be able to use your latest reported income.Except for your fix salary or other types of income that are defined as “promise to pay,” you will have to derive your “Annual Income” by getting the average of your earnings for the last two years. This figure is subject to adjustments based on subjective parameters that may be applied by the loan officer during the actual assessment of your mortgage application.If you just received a raise, say for instance from $80,000 to $90,000 annually, and the entire amount of your adjusted income is based on fixed salary, then the full amount goes into the “Annual Income” field. However, if the $90,000 annual earnings consist of fixed salary and performance or production bonus, then the FULL amount must NOT be reflected in the data field.To illustrate, let us assume that you total earnings for the year is equivalent to $65,000 fixed salary and $25,000 bonus and overtime pay. Let us also assume that your bonus and overtime pay during the preceding year is $15,000. To determine the amount that you will use to reflect this portion of your annual income you simply add the numbers and divide the sum by 2. Thus, your annual income is $65,000 fixed earnings plus $20,000 bonus and overtime pay or a total of $85,000.

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Why West Indies Is a Great Destination For Students to Study Medicines?

Every year, many students appears in different per-medical examinations hoping to clear them, so that they can take their first step towards becoming a medical doctor. Some of them are lucky enough to clear the exam in their first attempt while others either do not get selected or they do not get the medical institute of their choice. Therefore, they decide to take a drop and try their luck next year. While doing so, they are not aware of the possibilities that await them abroad. In this article, we will explore these possibilities and let you know why West Indies can be one of the better options for you to pursue your medical degree.

West Indies is a collection of different islands of the Caribbean region. These thousands of islands are collectively known ad West Indies or the Windies. It is popular for its beaches but what lots of people do not know about it is that it is also an ideal place to pursue your medical degree. Whenever the question of studying abroad arises, most of the students of Asia, Europe and Africa think of for pursuing their medical degree from countries like US, Canada, Australia or UK, but they are not aware that the Caribbean region too offers quality medical education to international students and at a much affordable fees.

There are lots of reputed medical institutes in the Caribbean region from where they can pursue their medical degree. The advantage of studying in the Caribbean is not only limited to the affordable fee of the institutes and low cost of living, but the fact that English is mostly spoken throughout West Indies makes learning easy for foreign students. As they are bought up in English medium schools, it becomes easier for them to grasp the lectures and interact with the facility. The students who pursue their medical degree from countries like China or Russia often face language barrier while studying as well as living in those countries as English is not quite popular there as it is in the West Indies.

All these factors have collectively resulted in generating interest of students throughout the world to travel West Indies and pursue their medical degree in the Caribbean region. There are lots of great medical institutes like IUSOM, which not only offers quality education but also offers negotiable tuition fees to the bright and needy students.

IUSOM is soon going to introduce a DNB style 3 year PG course in India, which will be in collaboration with private hospitals and medical consultants in India. IUSOM is also about to introduce MD course for the undergraduates. The duration of the course will be 5 years, which includes 1 year premedical course in India, 2 years basic medicine in Bonaire (Caribbean Netherlands) and the remaining 2 years clinical course will be conducted in SriLanka.Though normal clinical training could be arranged in SriLanka but scopes for clinical training are also available in Nepal or Guyana. Those students who have USA visa, clinical course can be arranged in USA. Those who need USA visa for clinical training, advisory service is available. Course fees will be $12K/year(food and lodging is extra). For more details, you may please visit their website

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