What do people around the world think about Italy and Italians? These are some of the most common beliefs:
- Italians are extremely critical when talking about food. People abroad think that Italians are a little bit obsessed with food and that we might become very critical when talking about Italian restaurants abroad. The reason is that in Italy, food is considered as an important part of our culture and not only some random stuff you put in your belly to stay alive and get some energy. Eating in Italy is about sharing, taking your time to relax and experience new flavors and tastes. Cooking means research and experimenting. It doesn’t matter if you’re broke or if your fridge is empty, an Italian will find a way to give his/her meal a little personality.
- Italians eat tons of pasta and bread. Many people abroad are shocked by the fact that Italians can eat pasta every day and still be in shape. That might depend on the fact that an Italian dish of pasta is generally lower in calories, fats, sugar, and sodium than the ones served abroad. Plus, a dish of pasta is considered a complete meal (unless it’s a special occasion or Sunday at mamma‘s – which is always a special occasion).
- Italians are mammoni. People abroad think that Italians are even too much attached to their family (especially to their moms) and that might be in part true. I had the feeling that we have a closer relationship with our families, and we care about our elders more than in some other countries. Not in terms of affection, but in terms of caretaking. When our grandparents get too old to live on their own and they’re no longer self-sufficient, we try to look for any other solution before sending them to a nursing home. Plus, many people abroad don’t know about the current social and economic issues that prevent young Italian people from leaving their parents’ house and going live on their own.
- Italians are very religious people. Due to the proximity with the Vatican, meaning the seat of Catholicism, and for this reason, the Catholic culture has a deep influence on us, whether we’re believers or not.
- The Italian language is the most beautiful language ever. People abroad think that Italian is the language of romance. If you manage to get all your subjunctives right, I would add as a premise.
- Italians use a lot of gestures while talking. Guilty. I cannot deny it.
- Italian men are Latin lovers. An Italian man at a party is considered an unbeatable rival, cause he will get all the cute girls in a glimpse.
- Traveling in the South of Italy is unsafe (???). Probably due to the many movies on Mafia, I heard many foreign people saying “I’d like to visit Italy, but I’m scared of going to the South because of the Mafia”. Well, I can assure that traveling in the South is just as safe as traveling in the rest of Italy, and you will love it.
- Italians create(d) many works of art. When talking about arts, music, cinema, fashion, architecture, theater, literature, but also discoveries and inventions, people will always name an Italian.