Customs and Traditions of Italy
According to Countryaah, the official language is Italian. English and French are also spoken in the country – they are understood in restaurants, hotels and tourist offices. In the northern part of the Adriatic and on the lakes, they communicate mainly in German. Souvenir sellers in the shops of Rome, located near the Colosseum, speak Russian.
The dominant religion in Italy is Catholicism, and you will also see Muslims, Jews and Protestants throughout the country. There are no restrictions on certain religions. If you wish, you can find a representative of almost any religion in the world.
There are more than 45,000 Catholic churches in Italy. Many of them are located in the Vatican – the religious center of the country. All churches are open to the public, you will not be asked what faith you belong to. But remember that when visiting the temple, women must cover their shoulders, otherwise you will not be allowed inside. In extreme cases, you can put a handkerchief on your hands. Check agooddir for recent history of Italy.
By nature, Italians are expansive, impulsive, hot and very sociable. Showing interest in the culture and art of Italy will increase your value in the eyes of the locals.
It is not customary to drink strong alcoholic beverages, including beer. At the same time, a glass of local wine is an indispensable attribute of lunch. Pronunciation of spatial toasts is not practiced. They are replaced by the phrase “chin-chin”.
During business negotiations, Italians often use the services of intermediaries. A special place in communication between partners is occupied by informal relationships, including spending time together after hours.
Norms and rules of conduct
Tourist behavior rules
Temples. Most excursions in Italy include visits to religious institutions. It is worth preparing for this in advance: put on long trousers (for men) or a skirt and cover your shoulders, back and chest with a scarf (for women).
Bars. When serving at the counter, tips are not paid. If you have taken a table, then the amount for its rental is automatically included in the bill. Sometimes it can significantly increase the cost of the order itself. Be careful when choosing dishes. For example, if you ordered seafood, then the waiter will set up white wine, regardless of your preference. They are very sensitive to local dishes and will not allow one of them to be spoiled due to the inexperience of the tourist.
Bad habits. Smoking is prohibited on trains and other public places. The exception is isolated rooms with a special ventilation system.
Rome. Swimming in the fountains of Rome is prohibited. If you violate this rule, you will be fined up to 500 euros.
Venice. When traveling in Venice, do not throw garbage into water channels or on the streets. If you are in Piazza San Marco, then know that you can only sit in the places intended for this purpose. The same rules apply to eating.
Communication. In Italy, it is customary to address everyone with “you”. During the conversation, be calm and confident, avoid scandals. Italians do not speak loudly, but always pronounce all sounds clearly. And if you pronounce any word incorrectly, then you will be corrected immediately.
Stores. Walking out of a store with a plastic bag is considered bad manners. For this purpose it is necessary to have a shopping bag.
Evening walks. Before dinner in Italy it is customary to take a short walk. At this time, there are so many people on some streets that sometimes the movement of cars stops.
Siesta. During the siesta (from 14.00 to 15.30) most shops and restaurants are closed. Some private shops have a floating work schedule. If you want to visit them again, then ask the sellers at what time they open again.
Behavior in hotels:
- If something is not on the tray during breakfast, then ask the waiter to bring this dish from the kitchen;
- Dine in hotels rarely. The restaurant schedule is usually located at the hotel administration, or hangs near the elevator;
- Dinner (“la cena”) in hotels starts at 19.00 or 19.30. Drinks are charged separately.
- In a beach hotel, in addition to a hotel room, a place on the beach is provided. You can take it in advance by putting a towel there;
- In hotels, there is a rope in the bathroom. If you pull on it, then the administration will receive a signal that you urgently need help. If at the same time you do not answer the call to the room, then the attendants will invade your bathroom.
When visiting Italy, please observe the following safety rules:
- If you were attacked by robbers, it is better to give them the money, and then call the police. This is what most Italians do;
- You do not need to often check the map – you give out a stranger in yourself;
- Do not sit down with unfamiliar fellow travelers;
- If you lose your passport, contact the police and draw up an appropriate protocol. For the restoration of documents, you should contact the Italian Embassy. You must have a copy of the protocol and 2 photographs with you;
- When driving a car, be careful on the roads. Some drivers can avoid the traffic jam and stand at the traffic lights. For Italians, this only causes respect for the perseverance of the driver;
- It is better to prepare money for travel in an Italian taxi in advance;
- If you are given flowers on the street, then treat this with caution. Perhaps this is just a distraction and they want to rob you.
Main holidays and non-working days:
- New Year – January 1
- Easter is considered the main holiday in Italy. The date is set according to the lunar calendar
- February 15-24 – carnival time
- Day of Liberation from Fascism – April 25
- Labor Day – May 1
- Day of the proclamation of the Republic – June 2. On this day, a military parade takes place in Rome.
- Assumption – August 15
- All Saints Day – November 1
- Christmas – December 25
- Saint Stephen’s Day – December 26th.
In addition to generally accepted holidays, other significant dates are celebrated in each city. During the celebration of Christmas and New Year, as well as in July and August, when the “ferragosto” period begins, most firms and enterprises do not work.