Etiquette in Italy

Italy, the boot-shaped peninsula on the Mediterranean, is home to over 60 million people.

The official language is Italian. However, many Italians speak many different dialects based on where in the country they live. English is also spoken throughout Italy.

Italy has a parliamentary government with a bicameral parliament, Prime Minister, and President.

More than 90 percent of Italians are Roman Catholics, but the remainder practice Judaism or Protestantism.

The currency of Italy is the Euro.

General Etiquette

Italians have  an expression, bella figura, which means the ability to conduct  oneself with dignity, pride and confidence in public.  Be aware that everyone is noticing you and your behavior and judgments are being made.

Lining up is not often conducted with aplomb.  Expect line-jumping and pushing ahead.

A few expressions that have specific meanings are:

  • Rubbing your chin with your fingers and then flicking them forward is an expression of anger or frustration.
  • Placing your hand on your stomach and making a face means you dislike someone or something.

Chewing gum is considered vulgar.

Don’t expect non-smoking section of public places to be respected.  Smoking happens everywhere – no matter the rules.