Monday, August 30, 2010

Perfectly acceptable (and sometimes encouraged) things Italians say and do..

Thank you to all my Facebook friends who have shared their point of view and contributed to compiling this list!
If you'd like to add to this list, please email me or connect with me on Facebook.

Social interaction.
- (Women) Dressing up to go to the grocery store or taking out the trash in heels.
- (Men) Kissing other men on both cheeks (in public) and calling them with terms of endearment such as "Ciao carissimo" (hello my dear!) and "Ciao bello!" (hello handsome!).
- (Men) Living at home with your parents after you turn 40 makes perfect sense, because "the cost of living is way too high". Since Mamma is so nice to do your laundry, why not go shopping for new Diesel jeans and plan your annual trip to the Maldives?
- Walking arm in arm down the street or in a park as you chat is common among same sex platonic friends, in the US it means you are a same sex couple.
- PDA (public display of affection) is acceptable at any age, at any moment, in any given place.
- Having sex in a car, regardless of its size or where it's parked.
- Wearing a Dolce & Gabbana belt, Luis Vuitton purse, tight Versace pants, and fuscia Converse shoes are typical male fashion items and accessories.

Eating & Drinking.
- Having 2 courses as a prelude to your main course.
- In America a rabbit is usually a pet, in Italy it's a main course.
- Having a glass of wine during the middle of the day.
- Drinking hard liquor such as grappa, amaro, or limoncello, with the justification that it helps with your digestion.
- If you're out of wine or beer, you can send your 12-year old son to grab some.
- Asking for ghiaccio "ice" will get you 1, maybe 2 cubes, if you are lucky.

Business practices.
- Managing to have all attendees show up late for a business meeting.
- Whereas in the US you could be sent to sexual harassment training for saying to a woman at work "Hello, gorgeous!", in Italy "Ciao bellissima!" (and sometimes raunchier remarks) is perfectly acceptable, if not expected.
- Unlike many in the US whose lives revolve around work, Italians' lives revolve around leisure. Therefore, closing your business down for the month of August because you're going on vacation is perfectly acceptable, even if you're a Gelato maker.
- Getting a good position at the bank because of your connection to uncle Franco.

- In some areas of Italy a red light is, let's say, a suggestion.
- Jay-walking is just normal. And it's perfectly acceptable to honk, insult, make jerky hand gestures, not to mention tailgating while driving 90miles an hour on the highway..

Join the discussion about Italy and the U.S. on Facebook and Twitter!!


  1. Che merviglioso tutto quello che ha scritto!

    I've lived with an southern Italian man for several years and have many Italian friends in Italy. I found myself nodding in agreement with everything you've written. Italians really are unique.
    I'm still smiling.....

  2. thank you for sharing this post I really like it so much. I also like the content itself and i really appreciate so much. I hope you can post some latino t-shirts stuff or articles

  3. I found a really nice guy on and we got a long. We went to Spain together and we had so much fun together. We're seeing each other currently and I think this is going somewhere serious 