Mind Your Manners - Italian Etiquette

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 12:55 PM

Meeting People

When meeting population for the first time it is approved to wait to be introduced. You will generally be introduced to the oldest someone first followed by the women.


The transfer of enterprise cards is a base convention when first meeting someone. Status is important in the Italian culture and it is base to list any titles and/or study degrees you hold on your enterprise cards.

Mind Your Manners - Italian Etiquette

Physical Greetings

When greeting someone a handshake accompanied by a "Pleased to meet you" is appropriate. When departing be sure to shake everyone's hand, a general group wave as is often done in the United States is not looked on favorably.

An "air kiss" is an approved greeting once you have established a connection with someone.

Physical Space

Italians stand much closer to one another than Americans do and it is base for men to walk down the street arm and arm and also women to walk down the street arm and arm.

Eye Contact

Intense direct eye taste is common, seeing away is a sign of disinterest and/or that you are behaving rude.

Good Topics of Discussion

Food, wine, soccer (the national pastime), politics (if you know what you are talking about), music, doctrine and current events.

Bad Topics of Discussion

Inquiring about hidden family matters, personal income, stereotypes, World War Ii and Vatican politics. Also the base American quiz, "what do you do?" is determined rude and too personal.

Communication Style

Moments of silence are rare in Italy and repeated interruptions signify interest.

Whistling and winking at women is meant as a compliment and is not used in a degrading way. If a woman is interested she will respond the whistlers with eye contact, if she is not she will ignore them.

Italians often gesture with their hands and one does not converse with their hands in their pockets. Italians place great importance on maintaining a "Bella Figura" (Beautiful Figure/ Image) and slouching and leaning against things is just not done.

Waiting in Line

Lines do not exist in Italy, do not be surprised if someone just walks up to the counter and is served before you, despite the fact that you were next and have been waiting in "line" for the past 20 minutes.


The evening "passeggiata" is a base occurrence in Italy. Strolling the streets, seeing who is out and catching up with friends is a nightly occurrence in Italy.


Customer service is not as "in your face" as it is in the United States. generally a salesclerk will ignore you until eye taste is made signaling service is required.

Public Transportation

The easiest way to catch a taxi cab is at a taxi stand.

On group transportation it is former for the younger to give up their seats to the older and men to give up their seats to women.


The tip is generally already included in the price at a restaurant. A approved tip for a taxi driver is 10 percent. Bellmen usually receive 1 Euro per bag.

Appropriate Dress

In general Italians dress much more formally than Americans. Italians value "quality" in their clothing and are much more likely to own 2 very nice high-priced suits than 6 decent cheaper suits. Black and muted colors are base in combination with brighter colored accessories.

Italian women tend to wear more makeup than American women and also wear nylons all year round.

Meal Time

Breakfast is generally from 8 to 8:30 Am

A approved Italian breakfast is coffee (espresso is generally served after dinner) with a croissant or a merge of cookies.

Lunch is generally served from 1 to 3 Pm

In the south lunch is the biggest and longest meal of the day, in the North it is often the biggest meal of the day but during the enterprise week it does not last as long as it does on the weekend. A typical lunch includes soup, bread and olive oil, a main meal and/or soup, salad and a desert of fruit. Wine and sparkling mineral water usually accompanies the meal.

Dinner is generally served from 8 to 10 Pm

If the main meal of the day was lunch, then dinner is often a light affair taken at home. If any way it was not a typical dinner is quite elaborate. Formal Italian meals consist of: antipasto (such as proscuitto, bruschetta, or fruit), soup, pasta, main dish (usually meat), salad, cheese, desert, fruit and an espresso. Wine is also generally taken with dinner.

Table Manners

The Italians do not switch their knife and fork as population do in the States. The fork remains in the left hand and the knife in the right hand.

Placing your utensils down on your plate signifies to wait staff that you are finished.

When not using your utensils your hands should be kept visible above the table.

Dishes are passed to the left.

To get a waiters concentration you should make contact, waving your hand or calling out is determined to be rude.

Often times in an informal restaurant you will be seated at a table with a stranger, if this is the case conversation is not expected.

Who Pays?

In general the someone who does the intelligent also does the paying, although the guest is startling to protest. When a woman is seated at a table with men the men (despite a woman's protest) will always pick up the bill.


The supplementary south you go the less importance is settled on being on time. For group events being a half an hour to an hour late is common. When population are late resist the American temptation to request the reason. Lateness is generally because a someone was complicated in obligations that complicated superiors, family or old friends (and it would have been rude to cut it short).

Mind Your Manners - Italian EtiquetteFar East Movement - VEVO Go Shows: Jello Tube. Duration : 4.33 Mins.

Far East Movement hit their favorite taco shop in downtown LA for a surprise performance of "Jello" on this episode of VEVO Go Shows! © 2011 Interscope

Tags: FEM, Far, East, Movement, Like, G6, Rocketeer, Los, Angeles, Jello, Tacos, VEVO, Go, Show

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