Culture Shock in Italy - Navigating New Customs and Traditions Abroad

Culture Shock in Italy – Navigating New Customs and Traditions Abroad

Going to a different country can be both exciting and daunting. Rich with history, culture, and tradition, Italy is no exception. Here are some tips to help you navigate new customs and traditions while getting to know the best of Italian culture:


The Italians place a lot of importance on their ‘saluti’ (greetings) and the subtleties involved will always be challenging for visitors from abroad than locals. When greeting someone, it’s important to stay polite while keeping physical contact limited. If possible, try to use the more formal ‘Lei’ instead of ‘tu’ when speaking with someone older or higher ranking than yourself.

Food & Drink Rules

Dining out in Italy is one of life’s greatest experiences but there are a few things to bear in mind when dining in the country. Tipping is not expected unless service was superb and cash payments are typically preferred over credit cards – so make sure you carry some extra change with you! Also refrain from asking for food that isn’t available as this is deemed offensive – instead simply stick to the local dishes or ask for recommendations from them!

Dress Code

When out and about around town, take note of the dress code – Italians tend to be very conscious about how they present themselves visually, so leave the sneakers at home when heading out for dinner or drinks! Men should opt for collared shirts and trousers whereas women should keep things conservative yet stylish by wearing skirts below their knee length, smart flats instead of heels; accessories like scarves and hats also go a long way in dressing up an outfit without going overboard!

Street Etiquette

Roads in Italy can often get full during rush hour. Drivers often honk their horns impatiently which can come across as rude if misunderstood but don’t take it personally – just give way calmly if they appear too eager behind the wheel! Also, politeness goes a long way here so always offer other cars a friendly wave as they pass by if possible – even when taking public transport like buses and trams.

Cultural Sensitivity

Italy has played host to many cultural changes throughout its history and nowadays, it continues to welcome people from all walks of life into its fold– but this does not mean that everyone shares exactly the same values & beliefs.

To avoid any misunderstandings or unnecessary offense, note that what may seem normal in one place could be unacceptable elsewhere– so try your best to show respect for local customs wherever possible when engaging with them!

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