13 Things you should never do to an Italian

1. Mess around with their food.

Italians feel passionate about their food. Sometime ago I tried to make the comparison between Spanish and Italian food. Well, mistake.

2. Skip the two kisses part.

See, that’s a funny thing. After living for 5.5 years in Lithuania I got used to not kiss anyone. They find it disrespectful. And oh, first cheek is the left one. In Spain we put first the right one. This can lead to quite awkward situations. Or not. 🙂

3. Drive slow.

Recently I had the wonderful chance to be back in Italy. I also got the «wonderful» chance to be allowed to drive. Holy molly! You better speed up. They don’t just simply drive, they fly. And if you go to the normal (within legal limits) speed, they will show you their lights and the sound of their honks! Get ready!

4. Over-gesticulate with hands.

Italians are world-wide known for being people who speak with hands. They might not realise it but they do it a lot. See, the problem comes when you try to «mimic» them. They will end up telling you «Ma che cazzo stai facendo?» which in english means something like «dude, drop it».

5. Over cook Pasta.

Probably you’ve heard of this expression: «Al dente» which means still «firm to bite» but not soft. If an Italian ever encounters an over cooked pasta, or how they call it «scotta» they probably will throw it to the toilet. Which brings me to the next point.

6. Have a bathroom without a Bidet.

Now, if you have never seen this, the «other white thing» next to the toilet is called a Bidet and it’s used for the hygiene of the genitalia, anus, inner buttocks and perineum (the part of no-one, between anus and balls or anus and vagina). See, Italians are quite hygienic people which means that about 97,857% of the population (totally invented number) use it. Going into a toilet, making poo, and realising that there’s not a Bidet next to clean up, means anti-hygienic apocalypse.

7. Say Expresso.

Before you shout, I know it’s written Espresso, I just wanted to mess around a bit. Italy is Passion. Italy is Coffee. They mastered the art of brewing coffee and they want you to appreciate it. Do not ask for an aberration like frappuccino,  vanilla latte… in Italy, because, even though they sound Italian, they are definitely not. Actually here’s an interesting article of what coffees you should ask for in La città eterna.

8. Ask if they are part of La Mafia Italiana.

There’s such a misconception that relates the southern part of Italy with mafia. Well, let me rephrase that. There were (and still are) lots of problems with the Maff, but they only represent a ridiculously small percentage of the population. Chances are that if you know an Italian person probably they will know someone close to them that has been affected by any of these Organised Crime Groups. So, be careful, it’s a quite sensitive topic.

9. Ask if the belong to Lega Nord.

Similar to the point above, there are few radical ultra nationalistic and right wing people living in the north of the country. But, unfortunately, this happens in almost all the countries in the world. If you never heard about Lega Nord then it’s okay, but if you have and you happen to know some Northern Italian, asking them if they belong to that group is like asking a German if he’s a nazi. Of course, like in all the scenarios, there’s a small possibility. Be careful my friend.

10. Talk about Hawaiian Pizza.

Who in seven hells invented this aberration? Oh yeah Canadians, not Italians. If you ever suggest an Italian to ask a pizza with Pineapple, they might kick you out of La Patria.

11. Say that Christopher Columbus was not Italian.

Cristoforo Colombo, was a «presumed» Italian born in the Republic of Genoa, who sailed from Europe to «discover» America. You better don’t get into this fight of «but was he really Italian»? There’s not an easy way out of there. Talking from my own experience.

12. Do you eat only Pizza and Pasta?

Of course! And they only drive vespas and everyone lives in Rome or Milan. Duh… Italy is a world known country for its absolutely magnificent cuisine; Risotto, Minestrone, Zuppe, Tiramisù, Polenta… and many more!

13. Are you all gay?

In Italy, and especially in the north (Milan) they give much importance to the appearance and fashion. There are many men who would be considered as metrosexual (a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes) which often is mistaken by homosexuality. There are lots of gay people too, but not EVERYONE is gay :).

*Disclaimer: I’m not Italian, just a Spaniard that loves my neighbouring country. If you think I should add something else on this list, let me know on the comment section down below! 🙂


Here’s my first video speaking in broken Italiano! Hope you like it! 🙂

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Soy un médico de profesión y blogger, fotógrafo y viajero por pasión.

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