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Italian Stereotypes

Discussion in 'General Discussion About Italy' started by OliveOil, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. For example, when I was in Rome our neighbor was always wearing an Adidas jumpsuit and scooters were parked everywhere. Sadly, no one was pressing their fingers together or were performing wild hand gestures whilst talking, however.

    Have you experienced any Italian stereotypes coming true?
  2. I think I did see a lot of vespas while I was there, lol. Also, the stereotype about Italian guys being *friendly* towards girls seem pretty true as well
    Clairelouise84 likes this.
  3. I think vespas are used a lot because it seemed very hard to find a parking spot. Vespas are smaller, so you can park them almost anywhere. Also, I can't really say I know what you are talking about when it comes Italian hospitality, but I believe you.
  4. Well, this surprises me, no animated hand gestures? The Italian side in my family (husband) is quite emotional with expressing and communicating with body language. Granted my deceased father-in-law lost his hearing due to illness, as a child, and was fluent in sign language. Nevertheless, some of these signs and certainly those of other relations had a definite Italian flare.

    My side of the family Scandinavian is much reserved. Well, now that I think about it, maybe it more personality differences verses cultural? I have dear friends, in their 80's from Denmark and very animated. Hmm. You have me thinking now, will have to dig into this.

    Well regardless, when I think about all the times I have heard, Forget About It, it is with the slight of the hand and an accent. There is no mistake that this is an Italian behavior. lol
  5. If they don't use hand gestures, they're not Italians! LOL :D

    As far as stereotypes go, I'm so used to everything by now, I rarely observe them anymore! But I'll try to give you a few examples.

    Outside Italy, Italians are seen as cheap, arrogant, always willing to "nail" pretty women and, of course, the "flapping" of the hands is typical :) :) I'm sure there are other traits people see in most Italians, but these 4 are the ones that immediately come to mind right now!

    However, judging an entire country of people by these stereotypes is not really accurate.
    Sure, I have met really cheap Italians! Some of them are literally filthy rich (they have their own companies, they own properties.. ecc.), but they won't even offer you a lousy coffee if it means they have to pay! But not every Italian is like that, most Italians are extra - generous, many will even feel extremely offended if you don't let them pay the bill! I'm not kidding, it's happened to me....

    They are seen as arrogant, but they really aren't :) I must be because of the way they speak or gesticulate or insist on using interjections every 3 words :D
    As far as the friendliness towards women... well, that is true. But come on, regardless of the nationality, every man on this planet is probably friendly towards beautiful women :D
  6. Who isn't willing to "nail" pretty women?

    I've never heard of the arrogant Italian stereotype. The one I've heard is that they love conversing and doesn't understand the concept of personal space. I've only met friendly Italians.
  7. I'm not claiming I'm an expert, but I'll try to explain what I have observed in almost 7 years of living in Italy :)

    I think many Italians are perceived as arrogant because of the tone they use in their conversations, the hand gestures (that is just too much for someone not used to flap their hands in every direction :D ), the fact that they are so very proud of their country and never get tired of saying it, they are very self confident and just proud to be Italian!

    Well, personally, I see nothing wrong with these things, but apparently many people do have a problem with them :D
    In fact, all my siblings who came to visit me over these 7 years were under the same impression: what rude and arrogant people the Italians are! I laughed each time and told them they're narrow minded.

    Of course every nation has it's own tone when they speak! And the Italian language is particularly known for it.
    Hand gestures are the essence of an Italian conversations. No hand gestures, no point in speaking at all :p LOL!!!
    Of course they are proud of their heritage, I am too and I think every one of us is! The difference is that Italians are not afraid to show it.
  8. Meat heads are one thing that people make Italians out to be. They workout, use steroids, and are loud mouthed. Also people seem to think that Italians tan more than other races or ethnic groups. Adidas track suits, that was funny because a lot of them do dress that way.
  9. Eh, I can't say I've heard of swole Italians. But Italians definitely seem more tan though. I think that's just because they live in a pretty warm place, though.
  10. That's more of an Italian American thing though, isn't it?
  11. No idea. The only Italian Americans I know of are the dudes from The Sopranos.
  12. I have only ever met a handful of Italian people in my life, but I have to say that all of them had a fairly unpredictable temper. I am not sure if this is a stereotype but they all had a short fuse but their temper never lasted long at all, and when it was over they seemed to forget it had ever happened.
  13. I also have to say that of the five Italians I have met, three of them have been guys and they have all been very charming, the women were also very welcoming and much nicer to me than I think any English girl has ever been to a stranger!
  14. One stereotype that I know is that Italians do not stop at red traffic lights. This was emphasized as true every time when I was in Italy. But I was nearly every time in the North of Italy. Maybe it is in the South a little bit different.
    sallymarie likes this.
  15. I think one of the biggest Italian-American stereotypes is being "guido." The TV show Jersey Shore really put a bad name on Italian Americans. Trust me that most aren't like that. There are definitely a few who dress and act similar to these reality tv characters but most don't at all. Many Italian Americans were embarrassed by this show (including myself).
  16. I met a bunch of Italians while living on Malta and i learned several thing. They are very confident, very talkative and loud, their English is BS, they talk fast and with their hands, they are extremely sensitive on any remarks towards their work, skinny bastard all of them :), very joyful and at times one would say they are not very smart and sensible people, good hearted usually but always ready to quarrel. They like Italian cuisine and it is the best one of course, chefs swear by their Bolognese sauce and plenty more of stereotypes. I really like to talk about this stuff.
  17. My Nonna and Nonno were very much the type that talked with their hands - and my Nonna in particular would always make a ton of food for any get together, and tell everyone they "looked too skinny - why don't you eat more?"

    Those to me are examples of stereotypes coming true!
  18. As a long-time student of the Italian language here is what I've found out yet:

    1. They seem to be very passionate about soccer (il calcio). It's like a national sport. It's kinda prestigious to be a professional player no matter how high or low is your team.
    2. They don't like to rush and live in a hurry. Especially in non-urban areas or in small towns.
    3. They like to start their day off with a portion of cappuccino with croissant and in the daytime have a glass of red wine by themselves or with a friend or colleague.
    Italianpot likes this.

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