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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

What Is a Bidet? Pros, Cons, and Cost of This Bathroom Upgrade ...
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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
Photo by Italy Explained

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

10 leaves: The Ways Things Were (Store Hours, 1)
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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

How to Peel Peaches [With Step-By-Step Photos] | Taste of Home
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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

focus photo of couple's hands
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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

What's that small tray near the cash register? | Italy from the Inside
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

white ceramic cup on brown wooden table
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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.

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