30 things I’ve learned so far living in Italy

Now that I’ve been in Italy awhile, I thought I’d take a moment to share a few things I have learned.

1. “Pepperoni” means “bell pepper” in Italian. So if you order a pepperoni pizza, you will get bell pepper pizza.

2. Italian’s usually eat cake or sweet things for breakfast. They are also very slim. I have only seen a handful of overweight people since I’ve been here. And this is not what I expected moving to somewhere where there’s so much pasta!

3. It’s easier to be a smaller dog, as you get to picked up and walked everywhere.

4. REPOSO– still not used to this. From about 12:30 in the afternoon until about 4 in the afternoon, everything closes down. Restaurants, the stores in the mall, EVERYTHING! Then it reopens early in the evening.

5. There are just as many bicycles and vespas/scooters here as cars. Many Italians don’t even have a car or don’t use their car every day because the price of gas -about $1.60 per liter, around 4 liters in a gallon so that’s about the equivalent to $6.40 or so for a gallon if you want to compare to America) In fact, even the mailmen have motorcycles instead of mail trucks!

6. Fiats. YES! They really are everywhere! There are other cars that are popular here like my beloved MINIs, as well as some other brands. Most cars are very small and look like the fiats. (2 or 4 doors and a hatchback).

7. You can pour your wine just like beer growler bars, no need to spend a lot of money on table wine. However for those fancy wine moments you spend a little more.

8. Driving here is a sport. Drive like you just got your license and you are feeling that freedom for the first time. Just watch out for bicyclists and motorcycles/vespas, as they just drive where ever they feel like it.

9. Your wallet is always filled with useless receipts.

10. You can drink alcoholic beverages at a work lunch. Score!

11. You can eat potato chips with your apertivo, and is not considered white trash!

12. Run the washing machine and the dryer and the dishwasher all at once and you get an instant blackout.

13. Pizza can be served with hot dogs and french fries on top.

14. Sunbathing is good for you, makes you look healthy.

15. 17 is bad luck and 13 is good luck.

16. The liver is where all your anger is stored and it’ll hurt if you’re angry.

17. It is considered bad to go out with your hair wet, oops!

18. You are looked at very weird if you order a cappuccino after a meal or after 10am.

19. Air conditioning is “bad for you” , yet most homes and businesses have them.

20. Smoking two cigarettes a day doesn’t even qualify you as a smoker.

21. Deep frying food is not a common practice for cooking.

22. Lane lines are simply road decorations.

23. There are specific pasta shapes that go with specific sauces.

24. Men wear red pants.

25. Getting in line is a concept, not a practice.

26. Everyone is completely comfortable with their bodies, women wear bikinis with their bellies hanging out and the men wear speedos with their all over body fur. It is liberating! You can just be and enjoy your time without worrying if people are judging you.

27. Yes, Italians know what the flipping the bird and what Fuck you means. Hell they use it from time to time to be “more dramatic” and to get their point across.

28. There is no genre specific radio station, you could hear Led Zeppelin and then transition to a Lady Gaga song.

29.There is no regulation for music, movies, or tv. You will hear all the explicit lyrics in a song or in media that the artist intended. You will see kids sing along while at carnivals or block parties where songs are being blasted. Also Country music has a huge following here, they love to line dance.

30. As long as you smile while you are trying your best to communicate in Italian, locals are more than happy to help you stumble along.

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