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Just me, or have others been on the receiving end of rude behavior in Italy?

Just me, or have others been on the receiving end of rude behavior in Italy?

Old Nov 15th, 1999, 02:51 PM
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thank you Zepcat, I think you're absolutely right.
I don't think Italians feel to bad about overcharging Americans, because they probably resent that for the same amount of work, they get much less money than Americans do. When we moved to Canada from Hungary my dad's salary increased least five times, and he works LESS!
So next time, don't be so mad, but maybe ask every price in advance, and don't be afraid to argue about something you feel is not right. In almost every culture, there are people who are very impatient with tourists who don't understand everything or who are a little slow. And that applies just as well for North America. Believe me, I know from personal experience. Although I mostly have positive experiences, I did meet people who just ignored me because of my poor English (three years ago I didn't speak much) or just thought they rather wouldn't say anything to me because I "just wouldn't understand it anyway". Also my friends told me that when they went to USA, people were all smiles and helpful, but only until they found out that they will stay for a longer time, and work there too.
Old Nov 22nd, 1999, 08:48 AM
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I have been to Italy about 10 times, I have family in Naples with whom I stay with each time I go and I speak the language as well. A couple of years ago, I went to Venice and Rome and stood in a hotel. I wanted to do the "Gondola" thing like every other tourist in Venice. They expected me to pay over $100 US dollars for the ride because I was a tourist, but when I spoke Italian they thought I was one of them and wanted to charge me 40,000 lire. Most Italians are downright rude, I will be the first to say this. My parents were born and raised in Italy and as much as I love to visit the family, I find more rudeness at the airports. The italians "expect" a tip. They will let you safely take your luggage and pass inspection if you tip them well, and if you don't they say things about you and treat you like garbage (especially at the airport in Naples.) They think that because we are from the USA we have lots of money and that our money grows on trees, boy are they wrong.
Old Mar 2nd, 2000, 08:54 AM
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A few thoughts for your next visit.
First, I've been on the receiving end of "rudeness" in a few places. I think it is important simply to take it in stride. You were in Italy and had three negative experiences? I live in a major metropolitan area in the U.S., and I count it as a good week if only three bad things happened. Apparently, you returned to the U.S. with your wallet, possessions and health intact. Congratulations are in order.

Second, it sometimes helps to turn the tables a bit. I live near D.C. We get thousands of tourists, many foreign, some with no English. Some days I have more patience with them than others. Perhaps they think I'm rude when they are using the subway but don't know the etiquette (e.g. walk on the left of the escalator, but stand on the right). When I slip past them on the escalator, they might be offended, but I'm just trying to get to work and that's the way we do things in D.C. I think I would be offended if a foreign tourist somehow got the idea that those of us who live in popular tourist destinations like D.C. depend on them and ought to treat them better. Mostly, I'd like them just to hurry up. I help when I can, so I understand the frustration that people in Europe can have with foreign tourists.

Third, on cab fare, when I get into a cab and don't know how to get where I'm going, whether I'm in San Francisco, NY, Rome or D.C., I just figure the odds are high that I'll be overcharged. Again, that's just a fact of life. Sure, I try to learn what I can beforehand, but let's face it: it's hard to argue in a language you don't speak. It is the price one pays for getting to the hotel without the burden of finding it and walking there.

Finally, I loved Rome and all of Italy, and I count instances of "different etiquette" as part of the intrigue.
Old Mar 2nd, 2000, 11:22 AM
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I must have lucked-out during my first 2 week trip to Italy last Nov. Probably the fact that we stayed out of the large cities helped. We found nothing but incredibly helpful, friendly people that were so eager to assist. We even had 2 occurrences of people jumping in their car and escorting us to the hotel we were attempting to find. I'm going back this Oct. but will be in Venice & Rome this time. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Old Mar 2nd, 2000, 12:01 PM
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Well, either I'm incredibly lucky, or I have really thick skin, because over the last 15 years I have spent about 16 weeks travelling at different times in Turkey, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Greece, the former Yugoslavia, and Italy and the number of truly "mean" people I've met I can count on one hand. Sure I've had people push ahead in lines, had slow service, been ripped off a couple of times (although no where near the number of times one would expect based on the reports in this forum), but so what.

On the other hand, I have also yelled at a cab driver who I thought was cheating me and then found out later he wasn't. I decided then and there that I would rather lose 5 bucks and get "ripped off" if I wasn't sure I was in the right than make another cabdriver think Americans are awful.

We leave for our first trip to Paris tomorrow. I am very curious to see if all the hype about the French being rude is true. I suspect I will have no worse problems than I've had anywhere else.

If you dislike it so much, please stay away and spend your vacations in the states. And tell all your friends too -- I for one would be happy if the lines at the Vatican Museums were shorter.

Finally, I would define the epitomy of "rude" as calling a entire city of people "slimy" with nothing at all to back up such an overstatement. I have spent time in Naples and while the city is kind of dirty and has an urban edginess, people treated us well, and were actually concerned about the way we viewed their city.

Old Mar 2nd, 2000, 03:08 PM
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I was in Rome last year and went into a restaurant for lunch. The staff noticed us coming in, but nobody actually came over to seat us (a group of four.) Meanwhile, I noticed that others who were coming in were being seated. "Must have reservations," we thought. After about 15-minutes I was getting pissed off. I figured something must be up. Being the tallest/biggest in our group, I went to the receptionist/greeter and went-off on him. He promptly led us to a table and gave us menus.
Know what he said? "Sorry...I didn't know you were American."
I looked him dead in the eye and said, "Dude, we ALL ARE...and you're a freaking idiot."
We were filino-american and chinese-americans from SoCal. I guess this is how Romans treat vacationing Asians.
As for France, we were treated wonderfully everywhere we went.
Old Mar 3rd, 2000, 04:32 AM
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In general, Southern Europeans don't queue - Northern Europeans do.This creates tension in big tourist cities & airports where they mix.Push in or get pushed out.In central London most of the people you see on the street are not Londoners.Native Londoners are reasonably polite - they don't have the time for you that country people have, but they're OK.
Old Mar 3rd, 2000, 09:26 PM
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Hi! Just wanted to add my thoughts. I have been to Italy 2-3 times. Never south of Venice.I would like to add that Venice was the only place in Italy that I encountered rude and surly service in restaurants, as well as bad food. We have traveled the Dolomites and visited Verona and Vicenza. We have also visit some the the cities in the Dolomites, such as Merano and founnd everyone to be friendly and helpful.. Maybe yhese regions do not get the influx of tourists and welcome tourism more for that reasone. I enjoy visiting Italy but doubt I would go further south.

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