Customs & Traditions
Men and women greet each other by shaking hands but if someone has dirty hands they offer forearm, a finger or an apology instead. When a man and women are introduced to each other, the man bows his head slightly and the women extends her hand first. Close friends kiss on the cheek, but in Southern Italy they kiss on the cheek between men is reserved for family members.
-Gestures.. Italians are known for their hand gestures during conversations, In fact they communicate with their hands instead of words.
-Visiting.. Italians value long long friendships and enjoy visiting one another especially on holidays and Sundays. In villages they are usually unannounced. Dinner guest bring wine, chocolate, flowers, or something else, for the host. If visiting before dinner, guest are expected to stay for the meal. In the evening before dinner or on holidays, Italians enjoy taking a walk around town.
-Eating... Italians usually eat the continental style, with the fork in the left and the knife on the right. Hands are kept above the table, placing them on the lap is improper. When their done eating they place utensils parallel on the plate, and no one leaves till everybody is done. Eating together is becoming less common in larger cities. Dinner time is different in the south than than the north.
Art & Music
They're very proud of their artistic heritage; there's museums, plazas, churches, and statues all over Italy.
Opera is an important part of Italian life.
Italy is currently a democratic republic, after monarchy was abolished in 1946. There is a president, the cabinet which is headed by the Prime Minister, a legislative branch which consists of 945 members. The different political parties include: Forza Italia, Democratic Party of the Left, National Alliance, Northern League, Democracy is Freedom-The Daisy, United Christian Democrats of the Center, Communist Renewal, Italians of Values, Greens, Rose in the Fist, Italian Communist Party, and UDEUR (Union of Democrats for Europe).
Republic has helped transform Italy from a monarchy to a more constitutional rule. If kings are to be still present now, then Italy would definitely not be able to keep up with current standards seeing that the population has increased and that more people are needed to help govern the country.