Italian Customs

by Aislinn Smith

What's the difference?

Italian Customs are very different to those shown by Australians, and here are some examples.


Italian Customs

Table Etiquette

  • It is considered rude to sit down without being invited to.
  • Leaving large amounts of food on your plate is disrespectful.
  • Keeping your plate tidy is a must.
  • Snacks must be eaten with a knife and fork, unless you are among friends.
  • Taking large helpings is considered rude.
  • Drinking small amounts of wine is politer than large amounts.


Clothes

  • Dressing up well, even in public, is considered polite.
  • Clothing indicates social status.
  • Bare backs, knees and shoulders are considered offensive.


Etiquette towards new people

  • Politeness is essential.
  • It is rude to call someone by their first name until they say you can.
  • Asking a woman's age is impolite, especially if they're middle aged.
  • First impressions are everything.
  • Looking into the other person's eyes while shaking their hand is polite.


Jokes

  • Humour is appreciated and accepted in Italy.
  • Jokes told by Italians may contain issues pertaining to the place, but if you are not Italian it is considered offensive.
  • Jokes among friends may have gross connotations, but resolve in a funny way.


Australian Customs

Table Etiquette

  • Siting down without invitation is fine.
  • Leaving large amounts of food on your plate is frowned upon, but not disrespectful.
  • Keeping your plate tidy is not a must.
  • Eating finger food is fine.
  • Large helpings are alright, as long as they're not enormous.
  • Drinking wine carries no burden.


Clothes

  • Relaxed clothing is fine unless you are somewhere fancy.
  • Clothing indicates very little, unless you're in a suit or fancy attire.
  • Any sort of clothing is fine, bare body parts are not taboo unless they're erogenous.


Etiquette towards new people

  • Politeness is appreciated.
  • Calling someone by their first name is alright.
  • Asking a woman's age is impolite, especially if they're middle aged.
  • First impressions are everything.
  • Looking into a person's eyes while speaking to them is polite.


Jokes

  • Humour is appreciated and accepted in Australia.
  • Jokes told by Australians are very free in concept.
  • Jokes among friends may have gross connotations, but resolve in a funny way.