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Italian Traditions And Customs

Discussion in 'General Discussion About Italy' started by Dina000, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. What are some Italian cultural traditions, customs, social norms, etc., you can think of?

    I've known a few Italian families and it does seem to be upsetting to them when I do not eat large portions of the food offered. I feel I eat quite a bit, but they always seem discouraged and let down that I don't eat more.

    Also I have noticed they often give me a "parting gift" when I leave their house, some food packaged up, or any small little token gift they can find, like an item from their personal stockpile of necessities.

    Do you notice any customs or traditions?
  2. It think what a lot of people don't realize is the formality that Italians maintain. For example when you are introduced to someone you should say good day or buongiorno and shake hands. Hello or ciao is used among close friends and young people and it isn’t considered polite when addressing strangers unless they use it first. It is a very technical understanding of the Italian etiquette.
  3. I don't know if this is an Italian tradition or family tradition, but I've noticed that gift giving is huge. I get so many gifts when I hang out around Italian families. I've gotten things like beautiful used jewelry, makeup and cosmetics, and oils. I always get the sense that Italians are such generous people.
  4. Having been to Italy a couple of times, but only to the big cities, I was wondering where is the best part of Italy to experience real Italian life?
    And when there, what type of customs and values would be expected of a tourist like myself? Would I be welcomed or would people wonder why and what I was doing there?
  5. Hey... I never got any gifts when I visited others.. hmm :cool: (just kidding, it's not like I expected anything and, frankly, I would definitely be overwhelmed if it happened to me)

    I did, however, receive food "to go", usually it was dessert but I recall receiving some home made lasagna once and even some spaghetti sauce (I praised it so much while we were all eating so the host decided to pack some for me to take home).

    @pwarbi I've only experienced life in the big cities myself, and from what I understand, Italians are very nice and giving people, but they have to like and trust you before they invite you in their homes. Of course, when they do, you're considered part of the family and you will definitely feel overwhelmed if you're not used to it :)
  6. I've always found the Italian people to be warm and freindly also but like I said i've only ever been to the big cities and done the tourist thing.
    Sometimes in countries when tourist's go off the beaten track so to speak and into the little towns and villages it can be a different story, while i'm not expected to be welcomed into peoples homes! i was just wondering if there was any tips on what NOT to do juat to be on the safe side?
  7. I notice in movie depictions the desire to eat large portions as mentioned here. How do they keep their slender bodies if they eat so much?
  8. I think one of the most popular Italian traditions is Sunday dinner. Many families spend all day cooking on Sunday and have their whole family over for a several course meal, with antipasti, pasta, meat and pastries for dessert.

    Another popular Italian tradition is having 7 fishes for dinner on Christmas Eve. In the Italian tradition you are not supposed to eat meat on Christmas eve.
  9. These traditions all sound really interesting and are what make the Italians unique. Italians seem to use dinner time as s social time or a celebration. This is the way it should be. It all revolves around food, delicious homemade food! Being invited home to share a meal is a privilege.

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