DON’T TOUCH THE VEGETABLES, EVER!
If you want to grocery shop in Italy, be aware that there is the silent rule don’t touch the fruits and vegetables with your bare hands or just don’t touch them at all. After all, no one wants to eat food that has been touched by hundreds of people, doesn’t it?
So, in supermarkets, you can touch the merchandise after having worn the specific plastic gloves supermarkets provide. At street markets, instead, you should just approach the seller and tell him/her what you’d like to buy. S/he’ll do the rest.
A CUP OF JOE WHAT?
If you love American-style coffee, the bad news is that you won’t probably find a cup of Joe in Italy. The good news is that Italians make coffee differently. In short, you’ll find less quantity but stronger taste. And you can even choose between a great variety of coffee types: espresso, caffè macchiato – with milk – caffè americano, decaffeinato, caffé schiumato, marocchino, caffé corretto, mocaccino, caffé d’orzo, caffè al ginseng, caffé shakerato, ecc.
TYPICAL ITALIAN FOOD…OR NOT
If you come to Italy to taste famous Italian food as spaghetti with meatballs, chicken parmesan, or fettuccine Alfredo, I’m afraid you won’t find them. Simply, they aren’t Italian recipes. Anyway, you’ll find many other delicious dishes as lasagne, risotto alla milanese, cannelloni, pizza, ecc. If you’re interested in discovering and tasting some real Italian recipes without leaving your home, you can do it with my book Sos Italian Cooking.
Finally, if you’re invited to someone’s house, don’t show up empty-handed. This may be considered a little bit rude. A bottle of wine, a cake, or some flowers are ok. However, if you go for flowers, be aware that red roses are generally given to the woman you’re in love with, while chrysanthemums symbolize the death in Italy, so if you bring them as a gift, they may give rise to embarrassing situations.
Have you noticed other typical Italian customs when visiting Italy? Feel free to share your thoughts below.