Your first time abroad can bring about major culture shock. The things we have in America won't always be the same overseas. NOTE: When traveling, know that food and drinks are adjusted to the taste of the culture. Not everything is as it seems!
Americans are prone to ordering a Macchiato in hopes to receive what is most similar to a latte. A common mistake, thanks to Starbucks. In Venice, I watched a lady argue back and forth with an Italian barista about how he made her macchiato wrong. You don't want to be that American.
A lot of people claim they LOVE Italian food and one of their favorite things about Italian food is pizza. Unfortunately for you my pizza lovers, if the only pizza you have had was in America, chances are you have not had genuine Italian pizza. Italian pizza is light on the tomato sauce and light on the cheese. NO you can not customize your pizza like it's Domino's. On another note, crust thickness is subject to region in Italy. For example, pizza in Rome will have a thinner crust, while pizza in Sicily will have thicker crust.
Don't expect it. Pepperoni pizza is not a thing. If you want meat on your pizza go with the Pizza con Salsicce (Sausage Pizza) or the Pizza con Prosciutto (Prosciutto Pizza).
When you look up and see Il Bar plastered onto the side of the building, don't expect beer, music, cocktails, nightlife. Il bar is what we know to be a coffee shop. You can find liquor in these coffee shops and light music but it's probably not the idea you had in your head when you said you wanted to go out.
The one thing that the American food industry got fairly right is the Panino. Panino means "a sandwich". Panini means "sandwiches". The i at the end, represents plural. Therefore, if you are to order panini in a shop, expect them to ask you how many do you want. Ask for un panino if you're only getting one.
You walk into a cafe and see a seemingly delicious and savory croissant calling your name. Depending on how you like your croissants, don't be fooled. A cornetto is a croissant. However, a croissant is savory and a cornetto is sweet. There's a slight sweet glaze on top. Know before you go.
Being a lover of ice cream, gelato and ice cream are not the same. period. Gelato is gelato and ice cream is ice cream. That's just how the cookie crumbles. Gelato is more real - real fruit, real colors, real flavors, REAL GOOD.
A complete switcheroo. Fanta in Italy is not the orange soda we know it to be. Produced by the same company, a bottle or can of Fanta will be aranciata. If you've never had San Pellegrino's aranciata, think: a sparkiling orange juice.
Eccolo, the most common misinterpretations of Italian food, explained. You're ready for your trip. Buon viaggio!