Pinching in Italy?

Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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Pinching in Italy?

We've been told it is customary and acceptable for men in Italy to pinch women's bottoms. Is this true and, if it is, what is the customary and acceptable response?
valsal is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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LOL the last time I heard about pinching in Italy I laughed so hard I fell off my pet dinosaur But seriously, it's neither customary nor acceptable, so in the rare event it happens to you, feel free to govern yourself accordingly. Buon viaggio
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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The only pinching we were worried about was of our wallets.

We did get flashed in the bus though. Does that count?
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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Customery and Acceptable - certainly not! I have traveled all over northern Italy, and been in both social and business situations, and have never heard of, seen, or experienced this. Of course I am 'of a certain age' so maybe I wouldn't be a target, but my daughter has always been treated with respect and she is young and attractive. Similarly I have never seen my younger colleagues treated is this way. There is no 'customary response' because it doesn't customarily happen.
equitraveler is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Who told you that valsa??
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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You have the wrong information, valsal, you are supposed to pinch the Italian men's bottoms!
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 04:00 PM
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I like SeaUrchin's idea. Actually, myself and a co-worker are going on separate vacations to Europe, 2 weeks apart. She's going with a tour group and she received info from the tour company telling her this might occur. I thought it was a "blast from the past" but thought I would check it out. I'm taking my daughter with me and wanted to be prepared.....LOL.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 04:19 PM
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It did happen to a few single girls who were on our bus tour, but this was in 1979.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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I have a few women friends who traveled to Italy and were a bit disappointed that they didn't get their bottoms pinched. It seems to be a wide spread rumor in the States. However, when I lived in Italy I did get a "drive by pinch". A guy drove by on his vespa and reached out and pinched me. I took it as a compliment.
landini is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 06:14 PM
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It is certainly not acceptable and no longer customary (for at least the last 25 years). (Maybe it was in the 40's and 50's - don;t know - but the world has moved on.) I'm sure it happens sometimes when the situation allows (a crowded bus etc) just as on public transit in any city.

IMHO the acceptable response is either a stamp on the foot or an elbow in the ribs of the miscreant - just as it would be on any other bus or subway.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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I studied in Florence for three months in 1999. During that time, I did get pinched once. But it was at a discotheque, so I don't think it was any different than rude drunk men anywhere. I slapped his hand and walked away.
christieCA is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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That trend went out with Travelers checks--about 20 years ago.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Was patted on the bum on a train on my first trip to Italy. Does that count? Nothing since!
nibblette is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2006, 07:25 PM
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My bottom was not pinched at all in Rome, but I saw a lot of Italian men's bottoms I would have loved to get my hands on...
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 08:00 PM
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Well, it happened to me last week! Frankly, I was shocked. After all I'm 52 years old and I like to think I still look good but hey I never expected to actually get pinched.I thought it was passe. I was standing in front of the hotel on Saturday morning when it happened. How did I react? I shouted, " you stupid a--, what's wrong with you pinching an old lady?" He looked shocked and so did my sister! When I e-mailed my assistant at work that afternoon and mentioed it to her, she laughed so had she cried. I did not feel assaulted and actually it was pretty hilarious!
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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We just got back on Tuesday from Italy and France, and neither my DW or SIL got pinched. They are both striking women, and very pinchable.

I think they were just a bit disappointed.

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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 11:03 PM
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Pinching ladies bottoms was a myth about Italy along with handsome latin lovers in the 50's, I wasn't around so can't tell you if it was true, I think the movies had something to do with promoting it, wasn't there one where the (famous hollywood) male star pinches the culo of the (famous hollywood) female star and she eventually falls in love with him. Now if a pretty lady were to pinch my ass, I would pinch myself to check I wasn't dreaming.
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 01:06 AM
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Small children's light cheek pinching happens now and again!
mousireid is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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Having recieved a Vespa "drive-by" pinching once 30 years ago in the North of Italy and once last year on Ischia, I know that this form of Italian "chivalry" is still alive in the Boot, (some traditions die hard) and also that age may not protect you! Walk in groups of more than two. That way, at least one of you can proceed pinch-free by walking in the middle!
To me, that is one important difference between the US and Italy.
They have a few drive-by pinchings.
We have a few drive-by shootings.
I'll gladly take the former anyday,,,
Old Oct 29th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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A few years ago an old high school acquaintance came to stay with me at the start of her backpacking trip across Italy. She asked me whether Italian men could be expected to routinely pinch, grab, proposition, etc. (we had gone to high school together in India, so were very familiar with what the Indians call "eve teasing").

I answered that I thought it was a myth - I'd never had anything of the sort happen to me except once on a very crowded bus in Rome.

We took a walk to a nearby street market which I had visited many times before without incident. And she got LOTS of attention: "Ciao, bella!" rang out from all sides, to my total stupefaction.

That evening, coming home from dinner, we were followed by two Egyptian men intent on getting to know us better. I shouted at them: "I'm a married woman!" - which deterred them not a bit. Again, nothing of the sort had ever happened to me on my own.

I could only conclude that my friend had some sort of neon sign on top of her head that only men could see, flashing "I'm available!" She certainly wasn't as perturbed as I was by the attention, and went on to have various adventures - "These Italian guys sure can kiss!" she told me when she came back through Milan.

So, I dunno - you get what you're looking for??? (I already have an Italian man, don't need another one.)

best regards,
Deirdré Straughan
DeirdreStraughan is offline  

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