I’ve now lived in Italy for nearly a year and I have learned many things from my time here, I’ve had some eureka moments, why don’t we do it this way back home? And of course I’ve had some WTF moments were I’ve buckled in laughter.Surely they can’t be serious? The Italians certainly keep my entertained! Italians are extremely kind, lovely, patient people (except when they’re driving, or waiting in a queue or trying to get on/off public transport) With their country, home to some of the most beautiful landmarks and landscapes of the world, there are some things the Italians want us tourists to learn before we visit, and some things I want you to prepare yourself for :
1) There is never a wrong time for pizza, gelato or wine!
And this my friends is why my favourite jeans no longer fit me !
2) Personal space does not exist …
“Permesso” is a phrase you need to learn, it is the only thing that will get you off that busy metro! “Excuse me” in a sweet, polite voice just won’t cut it! Also prepared to be kissed on the cheek every time you meet and greet someone, I don’t mind so much when it’s a hunky Italian (sorry Gary)
3. Never ask for Parmigiana on a fish dish!
So I learned, with every pasta dish, they add cheese, but ohhh nooo, not with fish in your pasta ! The waiter literally just shouted NO! at me with a look of sheer disgust.
4. Learn the Coffee Etiquette
It has to be an espresso, if you ask for a latte you will get a cup of milk as latte is milk in Italian. Cappuccinos are midly acceptable, but only if it’s before 12 noon.
5. Get your stretchy pants on!
Antipasti, Prima, Secondo & Dolce every lunch and dinner ! How do they stay so thin? I hear you cry! Apparantley eating all of the dishes separatley aids digestion and apparantley so does the shot of alcohol at the end! I’m not complaining…
6. Prepare to eat late
Restaurants don’t open till 7:30! Pressing your hungry face up against the window won’t change that! Prepare to get hangry (angry due to hunger)
7. Bread isn’t an appetiser …
… And there is no butter ! Bread is for fare la scarpetta, to mop up the sauce and it shouldn’t be eaten other than as part of a meal.
8. Spaghetti & meatballs – isn’t Italian!
Thanks Disney! No authentic lady and the tramp moments then 😦
9. Temperature change
I cannot deal with being given in to trouble for not wearing a jacket or for wearing sandals when it’s 25 degrees + outside ! The Italians are convinced if you don’t wrap up you’ll catch a cold and oh my goodness don’t even think about going out with wet hair !
10. Hand gestures
If you talk without your hand gestures does what your saying even mean anything ? I remember in my class glancing over to see about 10 of my kids throwing their arms in the air, wagging their fingers and hands in each other’s faces, I stopped the class and questioned what they were arguing about , turns out they were just talking. In Italy you talk with your whole body, not just your mouth!
What surprised you when you visited Italy
Would you add anything to the list ?