Well, I am Italian, so I might be quite side oriented, though since I started living abroad a few years
ago, I keep hearing of people who have been to Italy or who would love to go. Though, surprisingly
at first, I had some complaints about my own country regarding some things that, really annoyed my
So, I decided to gather the four most annoying Italian traits that really bother foreigners and try to
provide perspective and ready-made solutions.
Like in every country and every big city, pick-pockets are everywhere, so be careful! Keep you bag
or purse closed and near your body; pay special attention when you are in crowed places: markets,
metro, buses, busy streets and so on. Remember: your things need to be closed or locked and DO NOT LOOSE SIGHTS OF YOUR OWN PROPERTY, AT ANY TIME!
It might seem very common sense, but you will surprise how many people are subject to this
phenomenon every day, just because they “ left it there for only 5 minutes!”
It is ok to talk to strangers?
In Italy, contrary to many Nordic cultures, people like to talk a lot o each other, even if they have never
met before. So don’t get scared if you are approached on the street, in bars, trains and buses, Italians
are genuinely curious and like to share and speak speak and speak!
This of course does not mean that you should talk to everybody. Use your head and precautions: if it is
a nice old lady on the bus or a guy working in a shop trying to make conversation, it is all right. Though
if it is a creepy man approaching you in a dark alley at night, maybe you should just keep walking!
The “Ciao Bella!” comment
Many foreign girls usually complain how Italian men are too “aggressive”; they “hit” on you etc etc.
Yes, it is annoying, although, after a few years in Scandinavia, where men literally seem to be afraid of
talking to girls unless they are drunk… well, let´s say that you start to miss the attentions.
This is far from thinking that it is right and should be accepted, but if a guy makes a comment, that is
most of the time as far as that goes. Maybe consider what if what you are wearing is appropriate for
the situation and any way, don’t take it seriously!
This goes along with the grubbiness or inappropriate physical contact; just be strong and tell them to
back off and walk away. I meet so many girls that found themselves in very uncomfortable situations
just because they were not able to take the situation on their hands.
On the other hand, be aware that all Italians (both men and women) gesticulate and engage a lot
in physical contact when speaking to other people. This, most of the time, has no second meaning
Don’t get frustrated
There is no doubt that Italy is beautiful, that there are many things to do and see and that the food
and the culture are amazing; though I know how frustrating it can be when, more than 90% of the
population does not speak English, and communication can get a nightmare. Transport, people,
meetings, everything seems to be always late, delayed, cancelled and things do not function like in
your own country… Trust me; I grew up there, so I know! On the positive side, try to remember that,
luckily, you are on vacation. Relax. Do not let this things get in the middle of your trip. At least the
country has to offer many other things that make up for all these inefficiencies!
- Image Credit: http://www.virgin-vacations.com/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara is originally from Italy, she now as a fashion blogger for a clothing site in Denmark as well as a
freelancer, but no day goes by that she misses her beautiful country.
This post was submitted by Sara Coppola.