Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Things to Avoid in Italy

Ran across this today at Profoundly Shallow and wanted to share!!

Things to Avoid in Italy

Originally Posted By: MaggieMc - 15 Feb 2006 (from the Lonely Planet site)

Crossing the road

Look both ways. Pedestrian crossings are there for decoration or as a perverse form of population control. In order to cross the road before next Christmas, one must make a "leap of faith". Ironically, this is most unnerving near the Vatican

Wearing tracksuit pants

Casual is not cool. Even in the smallest village, the locals will glare with the condescension Italians spend a lifetime perfecting. These people get Armani to design the caribinieri uniforms. They are serious about fashion.

Criticising an Italian man's mother

Don't diss mamma. To him, she is the Virgin Mary and after a lifetime of cooking, cleaning, pampering, petting and mollycoddling them, they are rendered completely useless.

Going to a nightclub solo

Girls, Italian courtship is akin to watching a nature documentary; you are their prey and chances of survival reduce dramatically when unguarded. Female tourists are fresh meat: they smell you long before you come into view and you smell good.

Ordering a "latte"

It might work in Starbucks but in Italy you'll get a smirk and a glass of lukewarm milk. Best not to delve into the chai tea, caramel infused or decaf skinny varieties. Here, coffee can be black/white, short/long but always strong and good.

Forgetting the Romans

Italians believe they are directly descended from Caesar and Augustus. Some men around the Coliseum will even don togas to prove the point. All roads lead to Rome but no emergency exits when confronted with a grown, hairy man wrapped in only a sheet.

Criticising Italian cuisine

Don't joke that spaghetti is just noodles with tickets on itself. Marco Polo, aside from being the world's most popular swimming pool game, brought it back from Asia along with garlic and chilli, the staples of Italian cuisine. A sore point.

Asking for "a plate of penne pasta"

Americans, in a homespun accent "penne" sounds like "peni" to Italians, and you'll be asking for "penises". May put you in a spot of bother with a red-blooded Italian waiter. He'll assume it's a come-on and who knows what you'll get on your plate.

Mentioning the mafia

Use the "m" word in a cafe, guys will drop their espressos, the chick behind the counter will burn the foccacia and Godfather music will begin to play.

Asking for the vegetarian option

Vegetarians, Vegans, fruitarians and gluten intolerants, cancel flight now! This is the country that has one gastronomic mantra: "carb up!" Welcome to the wonderful world of the omelette.

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