5 things Foreigners Should Not to do in Italy
You will soon realise there are some things you should never do while visiting Italy, so keep in mind in order to stay on the Italians’ good side.
Do not drink coffee at odd times
You shouldn’t drink any coffee product while having lunch or dinner. Coffee is something you ask at the end of a meal.
Cappuccino is for the morning exclusively. Coffee Americano is tolerated lately, but years ago it was called ‘Dirty Water’.
A friend’s advice: Do not order a cappuccino or a cafe latte after 11:00 (am). Also, latte means milk in italian. The closest alternative to Starbucks latte is Latte Macchiato.
Do not Mess with Italian food
Do not ask for pineapple topping on your pizza! People would roast you quite badly. You should have an idea of what goes and what doesn’t go in a Pizza.
Never put Chicken in the Pasta!
Don’t ask chicken pizza in Italy. No, pizza topped with chicken is not at all Italian food.
Italians go to characteristic bars to drink espresso ( in small cups) or other types of proper coffee, and sip it while giving a look to the newspaper, or comment/moan about politics with the other patrons.
That said, there were no Starbucks in Italy,until recently when starbucks opened a grand store in Milan but following the Italian rules of a shot-size espresso.
Of course, not even Italy’s fine food culture has been able to contrast the McDonald’s world colonisation, but their Italian customers are mostly teenagers and foreigners.
Do not refuse food and do follow some traditions
When someone offers you food or drinks, especially if you’ve just eaten a first portion of the dish being offered, and that was cooked by the house lady, you’re supposed to accept or have a good/nice excuse for not doing so. Refusing it would be considered impolite or a sign that you didn’t like it. You’ll also have to be patient with the fact that eating abundantly is Italians’ a way of socialising .
Similarly, expect to be frowned upon when you cut spaghetti with the knife. Italians eat them by rolling them around the fork. I guess you need a bit of practice to learn how to do it (A friend of mine says, ’’well, actually I don’t know how hard it can be, because we learn to do it before we start saying ‘mummy’’’). You’re authorised to put a towel on your legs, in order to avoid occasional sauce squirts.
Do not put grated cheese on fish, or any other “sea” based dishes, it is just ridiculous.
Do not order food without knowing the price, always check the menu, where prices are clearly exposed, before ordering anything; ask the waiter how much the dish he is proposing costs before ordering, and then check the bill.
DO NOT EXPECT many ENGLISH SPEAKERS OUTside YOUR UNIVERSITY
If you don’t speak Italian, don’t expect to find people who understand English. You can even address them in your language, they don’t feel insulted when foreigners don’t make the effort to say at least a few words in their language. Italians usually try to help as much as they can, with gestures, riding you to your destination or alike.
Do not use swear words against Jesus Christ, Mary (Madonna), the Pope, and things that are generally perceived to be closely related to Roman Catholicism. Over 90% of the population is Catholic and you wouldn’t want to offend them.
Never lean on ‘The Leaning Tower of Pisa’.
Do not support the German football team when it plays against Italy.