Stanley Tucci Reveals The Most Common Mistake Tourists Make While Visiting Italy

When it comes to making the most of your trip to Italy, Stanley Tucci knows a thing or two about immersing yourself in the local culture. An avid foodie and travel enthusiast, the Italian-American actor has spent his time off the big screen diving headfirst into the culture, food, and history of the European destination. From hosting one of the best travel shows on CNN ("Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy," which aired between 2021 and 2022) to writing a memoir ("Taste: My Life Through Food") that's intertwined with the flavors and recipes he's tried and loved throughout his life, Tucci has tips and stories for pretty much everything Italian.

When he's not raving about some of his favorite places to eat and stay in Italy, Tucci's firsthand knowledge is there to help travelers make the most of their experience. That includes everything from teaching people about the correct way to order spaghetti alle vongole (no cheese!) to educating them on the tourist traps to skip in Italy.

Now, he's doubling down on his efforts by shedding light on the one thing most travelers do that can quickly derail their trip: trying to do too much. In conversation with Distractify, when asked about the biggest mistakes people make while traveling to Italy, Tucci said, "I think that people try to do too much in one go." This, in turn, means they end out missing out.

Follow Tucci's advice and avoid doing too much while visiting Italy

So, what's Stanley Tucci's solution to the "go, go, go" problem? Simple: Just do less. In the actor's own words, the best thing to do during your trip is to take things down a notch, turn off your navigation system, and spend more time simply walking around. After all, not only does slowing down help you make the most of your trip without rushing — it also lets you create a deeper connection with the places, people, and cultures you find along the way.

Along with this, Tucci also has some words of advice to help travelers avoid any disappointment when dining out. For starters, Tucci's number one rule is to avoid tourist trap restaurants at all costs and, instead, go where the locals are going. That means staying away from restaurants too close to the tourist hotspots and carefully looking at the restaurant's menu to make sure it's not a trap — among other things.

Nonetheless, if you're still unsure about where those places might be, Tucci also recommends researching a place you really want to eat at, and then looking for reviews. However, this doesn't just mean any review. Per the actor, the key lies in looking up people who actually write reviews for a living — not just someone whose sole opinion is "I just didn't like it."

More tips for exploring Italy, the Tucci way

The travel expert's advice doesn't stop there. In terms of managing expectations, Stanley Tucci tries to highlight the importance of understanding just how much Italy can change from region to region. Whether it's the food, the landscape, or the local customs, the actor mentioned that no two places feel exactly the same. For example, according to Tucci, you shouldn't visit the north of Italy expecting to find the same seafood pasta dishes you fell in love with in the south. Similarly, southbound travelers should also brace themselves for a change in the heartiness of what they eat. While beef and creamy dishes are popular up north, the south typically opts for lighter ingredients and seafood.

As for how to actually explore Italy, Tucci is torn between two options he considers the most convenient: hiring a car or traveling by train. According to him, having a car is great because it lets you stop along the way and make your own adventure out of a spontaneous detour. Nonetheless, cars aren't always that practical when it comes to visiting places like Florence, for example, where you can't really drive anywhere. That's where trains come in. Because while they might be more restrictive in terms of routes, they're generally quick, comfortable, and less of a hassle when a place is best explored by foot.