Italian Stereotypes: true or false?
Stereotypes tell a story. As a part of culture, they open up passionate dialogues and in doing so, often confirm the very stereotype being discussed (fact: an Italian denying their overuse of hand gestures, will do so by using a surprising amount of hand gestures). We heard and read some of the more frequent Italian sterotypes... Let's discover if they are true or false!
Italians speak with Gestures (and very loud)
This is maybe the most famous Italian stereotypes, but, yes, the way we speak is completely original. We simply cannot stop our hands moving. A gesture is part of a concept, and even if we try to not move our hands while talking, we cannot resist.
Italians also speak very loudly in public whether on the bus, in the street or on the phone. Don't worry, we are not all deaf. A lot of foreigners think we are fighting when we talk that way but it's just the way we are.
Italy has a sort of sub-language shared throughout the country that’s more or less undecipherable to any foreigner. Even if this seems fun, rememeber that is a great help for you: even if you can't speak Italian, or Italians can't speak your language, just move your hands and something will happen. An example? If you feel hungry, touch your belly!
Italians only eat Pasta
Ok, this Italian Stereotype need to be explained a bit. Italians are the first Pasta consumers all over the world, with an average of 26 kilograms per person per year, five times the average consumption in the world. Just to give you an idea, an average American eats 8 kilograms of pasta per year.
Pasta is culture and lifestyle, a tale of the territories and traditions. Pasta is hospitality, sharing, and happiness. It represents a nutritional model, the staple for a diet balanced between health and substance like the Mediterranean Diet, symbol of simplicity, goodness and sustainability.
However, the Mediterranean Diet is probably the most healthy Diet and it includes a huge variety of choices, not only Pasta. It's true that some Italians eat Pasta everyday, but they usually have it for lunch and eat something else for dinner. Also lot of other people don't have Pasta everyday, preferring instead vegetables, fruits, legumes or meat. So, well, this is juts a stereotype!
Italians are obsessed with Coffee
We drink lot of coffees. Probably lot more than the rest of the world. The absolute minimum is two coffees a day: one for breakfast and one after lunch. Normally, many Italians also take two more coffees during breaks at work: one at mid morning and one in the mid afternoon. There are then quite a number of Italians who take 6+ coffees a day, sometimes even late at night.
Coffee for us is a veritable rituals with so many important aspects. Each morning, it should be sipped quickly standing up at a bar counter. Lot of offices have coffee machines and relax area where colleagues drink espresso together while chatting. After lunch, coffee is what help you start digesting and give the energy to go on
Espresso might taste stronger to some palates, but the amount of caffeine in a coffee drink has everything to do with how long the water spends in the coffee grounds. In other words, drip coffee is far more caffeinated than espresso, and French press is more caffeinated still. This, coupled with the small size of a typical Italian caffè means you should feel free to have more and more espresso!
Italians are all about the family
Even if big families with 5 or 6 brothers and sisters are just a reminiscence of the past, most of Italians are still really attached to their own family - probably lot more than in other places. Lot of people Italians actually leave their homes when they’re already 30 years old.
Sundays are dedicated to one thing and one thing only: Family. Not one Sunday goes by where you don't have at least 20 family members, friends and neighbors crowded around a table full of every yummy Italian food imaginable.
Italians really love their Mothers and their Fathers... so, since Father's Day is coming, why don't you organize an Italian Meal to celebrate your Daddy? A Box full of delicious products to cook a real Italian Meal to share with your Dad and all the people you love. Just like it happens each Sunday here.