Check out our list of 10 interesting yet strange Italian superstitions and traditions
1. A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
It is said that if a black cat crosses your path you will have bad luck as Italians and many others believe that black cats are symbols of witchcraft and the devil.
2. The Throwing of Salt
The superstition states that you should toss a handful of salt over their left shoulder to get rid of bad luck. Salt is also thrown around to spread good luck or to bless a home or car.
3. Lentils on New Years Eve
In Italy, lentil soup is usually served right after the clock strikes 12:00am. It is said that lentils will bring money and good luck for the coming year. Also wearing red underwear is suppose to be good luck on on New Year’s Eve as well.
4. Single Ladies, Avoid Brooms
Don’t sweep over your feet with a broom or else you will never get married! Who has heard this one from their nonni? The superstition is that if you accidentally sweep over your feet with a broom that you will forever be single.
5. Don’t Toast With Water
As a kid only drinking water, juice, or coke, of course, we would cheers with everyone, but it is said to bring bad luck to cheers with anything else but an alcoholic beverage.
6. Touching Iron
Instead of “knock on wood, touch steel” Italians tocca ferro or touch steel.
7. The Number 17
Just like 13 is an unlucky number for many, the number 17 is unlucky for Italians. Written in Roman numerals, 17 is XVII, but when rearranged like this: VIXI it means “I have lived,” which used to be written on tombstones.
8. Always Face Bread Upwards
I can just hear the screams now from placing the bread upside down. This is a religious superstition and bread always represents the body of Christ and therefore bad luck to leave it upside down.
9. Doing the Devil Horns
This is similar to touching steel. The sign of the devil horns with your hands is suppose to ward of any evil
10. The Classic Cornicello Charm
Whether it’s on your necklace, bracelet or keychain, the cornicello will protect you from the evil eye.
Do you believe in any of these superstitions or follow any of these traditions? Let us know in the comments below!