15 Strange Things Italians Do 🇮🇹

If you have been to Italy then you may have been taken back by some of the very obvious cultural differences that make the things Italians do just plain weird!

Check out our list of 15 strange/weird things Italians do (in Italy).

1. Italians Don’t Just Speak With Their Hands

Very, very true. I talk with my hands. | Italian humor, Italian ...

While Italians are mainly known for speaking with their hands, they actually sometimes use their whole body, face, and head when speaking to get a point across.

2. They Don’t Give You The Bill At Restaurants

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If you are dining it Italy, you will most likely never receive your bill unless you ask for it or go to the front to pay.

3. They Use a Bidet

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Seeing this as a kid you may have thought that this was the weirdest thing ever, but it is actually extremely hygienic. Italians actually think it’s strange that the rest of the world doesn’t use them too.

4. They Don’t Drive in the Passing Lane

Driving in Italy: Italian Road Signs :: Italy Explained
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Italians may be known for being crazy drivers but they follow the rules when it comes to not driving in the passing lanes.

5. Dinner is Eaten Late

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When dining in Italy, don’t expect to ea before 8pm. They usually like to eat when the sun is setting.

6. The Store Hours are Odd

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Since many Italians take an afternoon break from work, this means that stores are also closed. Many store hours are from 9am – 12pm and then reopen at 4pm-8pm. A lot of shops are also closed on Sunday and Monday too.

7. They Do The Sign of the Cross When Passing a Church

How and Why Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross
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Italy being a religious country, this is something many Italians do out of respect.

8. They Peel the Skin off Their Fruit

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Growing up, we are taught that the skin on fruits has the most nutrients, but Italians say it is hard to digest.

9. They Dry Their Clothes Outside Still

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Many Italians still don’t use clothes dryers and prefer to hang dry their clothes. Although it is more inconvenient, it saves money and is also better for the clothes.

10. Straight Men Sometimes Hold Hands or Link Arms

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Italians treat their friends like family so physical contact for them, no matter what their gender is noraml for them.

11. They Consider Tipping to be Rude

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Tipping in Italy is not common at all so waiters and waitresses find it rude when people do it unless you are in a highly touristic area.

12. They Won’t Give You Change Back in Your Hand

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Photo by Italy From the Inside

In Italy it is considered rude for the cashier to give you your change back directly into your hand. Instead, they put your change down in a designated little money tray.

13. Coffee and Espresso is Taken Fast

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The drinking coffee while working trend that many Americans are used to doesn’t exist in Italy. They take a quick shot of espresso and they are out the door.

14. They Greet Everyone Even if They Don’t Know Them

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Whether they are walking into a store or at the doctor’s office, they will greet you with a “buongiorno” or “buona sera” even if they don’t know you. It is their way of being polite and respectful.

15. They are the Most Critical About Their Country

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While Americans view Italy as probably the best and most beautiful place in the world, Italians will be the first to complain about their country. From the lack of jobs to the declining economy, many Italians prefer to live elsewhere.

What are some other strange things Italians do? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. as an italian gay, i have a few things to point out.

    “Straight men sometimes hold hands or link arms”… that’s just not true. and if it is, it’s a very small amount of people that does it. maybe hugging, yes, we’re big huggers.

    tipping is not considered to be rude, it’s just an unusual thing to do here and some people might be surprised to receive a tip (but not offended in any way)

    also, Italy is actually a non-religious country (our Constitution even specifies it) and only very religious people do the cross sign when passing by a church – the average italian wouldn’t.

    and i don’t like admitting it but yes, we use body language a lot more than other countries. and the thing is we don’t even realize! Of course, not every single italian is like that, but many of us are. THE MAMMA MIA GESTURE IS A MITH AND WE EVEN MOCK OURSELFES FOR THAT. we might rarely use it in a “what the f**k do you thing you’re doing?” contest, and that’s it.

    there are a few people that peel the skin off of fruit, but it’s usually just grandmothers that do it for their really young grandkids.

    a lot of italian parents (like mine) suggest that when you finish eating, you must wait 2-3 hours before getting in the water for a swim. you also can’t go out in the cold with wet hair, but that I think it’s not just an italian thing.

    i would add that we DO NOT know how to queue. i have been told that in some english schools, they actually teach queueing to italian kids… i personally do it but it’s really rare for us to actually stay in a perfect queue.

    in Milan – and probably in other cities too, there’s a sign in every public transport vehicle, that says ‘lasciar scendere prima di salire’ which basically tells people to let others get off before getting on the vehicle yourself. It’s common sense, but Italy is full of people that completely ignore it. It is very annoying and a lot of the times they will actually get angry with you for “being in their way”… unfortunately, italy is full of jerks just like any country. with this comment i’m conferming point 15.

  2. It is not concidered wrong for grown children to live with their parents. Italians don’t feel their children need to leave the family of origin at 18, like in America.

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