Ten things NOT to do in Italy

Jan 2nd, 2015, 08:49 AM
  #61  
 
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Appia. You may not have heard about The Mayor of New York , Bill de Blasio. I hardly like to sully your innocent ears, but he ate pizza with a knife and fork,. It was a major scandal
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 09:24 AM
  #62  
 
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No discussion about what not to do in Italy can be complete without talking about

T I P P I N G

Have at it.
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 12:03 PM
  #63  
 
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On the caffe latte thing in the UK....I've heard (because it's 40 years since I lived in the home country) that when ordering it they abbreviate to "latte". Then they come to Italy and do the same and of course get just that, a glass of milk.>>

yes, my mum likes to order a "latte" in the afternoon; it would certainly confuse most italian waiters to hear that, though of course if that's what she wants...personally at that time of day I prefer a cup of tea, or something stronger!

IMO the reason behind the somewhat rigid rules that prevail on italian cookery is that they have been honed over many years of experience as being the best way of eating these foods. of course there may be the odd person who really likes to eat a load of grated parmesan all over his/her spaghetti alla vongole, but experience has shown that it actually tastes better without. Similarly the correct type of pasta to serve with a particular sauce - of course if you want to eat penne with ragu, but there are probably good reasons why the italians serve it with tagiliatelli.

What is most amusing is to put together a couple of italians from different parts of the country and get them discussing who has the "best" food or the "right" way to serve certain dishes - priceless.
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 07:41 PM
  #64  
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No Holly, you are no drawing me into that minefield. Maybe someone else will have a go. However it is dealt with in the original Fodor's List under "Don't tip everything that moves".
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 12:27 AM
  #65  
 
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I am wondering reading many responses in this thread if people would have no reaction if they ate in a restaurant with someone who ordered fish for lunch and also ordered hot chocolate to go with it. No automatic sense that this is a strange combination? Somebody who drinks a Pepsi while eating oatmeal in the morning. How about somebody who asks for oatmeal for dinner in a restaurant? Or even bacon, and eggs and toast?

It's fine to say that tourists should be able to eat whatever they want, but most restaurants in the USA and the UK stop serving breakfast at 11am or earlier. Italians don't go so far as to take cappuccino off the menu at 11am, but it strikes them as odd that anybody would want a breakfast item after the breakfast hours.

In the US and Britain, both Starbucks and the makers of flavored instant coffee drinks have encouraged the consumption of milk-laden coffee drinks all day long. They took this out of the context of Italian culture, and marketed to your culture in a different context. But that doesn't mean when you go to Italy you can expect them to adjust to your ideas about their food and be comfortable with seeing you drink cappuccino while eating a panini.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 12:32 AM
  #66  
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You put it so much better than I could sandralist!
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 01:48 AM
  #67  
 
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God forbid that I would make an espresso with three sugars-drinking and cig-sucking Italian uncomfortable with my cappuccino.

Apart from someone knawing on a human thigh bone at the table next to you, how can you give a fig what anyone else eats or drinks and in what combination? So petty.

Sounds like you're just itching to slap someone's wrist for offending your delicate sensibilities.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 01:49 AM
  #68  
 
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"who drinks a Pepsi?" no idea, filthy thing and no idea what is in it.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 02:33 AM
  #69  
 
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typo: gnawing
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 03:40 AM
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Apart from someone knawing on a human thigh bone at the table next to you, how can you give a fig what anyone else eats or drinks and in what combination? So petty.>>

that's a delightful image, cathinjoetown, thanks.

[you been seeing too many pictures of Cro-magnon man, recently?]
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 03:45 AM
  #71  
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Whatever happened to "When in Rome............" ?
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 05:15 AM
  #72  
 
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Do NOT hog the train seat next to you as well as the one opposite as well as the floor space around you with your immense suitcases.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 05:23 AM
  #73  
 
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"When in Rome..." has been turned into, "We do as we like, everyone has to accept that we are always right, and who cares about facts or other people's feelings", I'm afraid.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 05:47 AM
  #74  
 
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Like many other people, I only occasionally pay attention to what other people are eating at tables not my own. But I have definitely lost my appetite watching other people eat some things, sometimes in combinations that disgust me. Apart from things like watching Americans put jelly on baloney (yep, I've seen it), sugar syrups in Coke, bacon fat on everything, including peanut butter or doughnuts, I also had a hard time in Japan watching the Japanese relish in eating raw egg dishes.

So yes. If you have certain sensitivities, you can recoil at some things other people are consuming. Petty? Common the world over? Certainly. Worth learning about other people's sensitivities and not bellowing "Me, me, me" all the time? I think so.

The truth is that I have been insulted in both London and Paris by Parisians and Londoners about my food choices -- sometimes preemptively, as in once sitting down to lunch in a rather nice London eatery and having the server sneer (after hearing me order with my American accent): "And I imagine you'll be drinking a coke with that?" In Paris, I had a server upbraid me for ordering a salad that I didn't realize contained beans in combination with another plate that also contained beans.

My impressions of both France and the UK include episodes of extreme pettiness and persnicketiness about food, and total rigidity about a "proper" cup of tea or what goes with scones, or where to put one's soup spoon -- and yet the supposedly ungracious Italians become the objects of venomous putdowns because of their well-considered and generally intelligent eating traditions.

Strange. Especially don't know why people go to italy if not to learn about its values, which in so many ways I find more appealing that other cultures.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 05:58 AM
  #75  
 
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(You know the truth is that the only reason some of you think this information is so petty and upsetting is precisely because no Italian has ever not brought you whatever you wanted, and did it with a smile. Now you are finding out second hand that they find much of what tourists eat bewildering or repellant, you are yelling and sticking your tongue out and trying to browbeat others into not listening.

So give some credit to the Italians for being sensitive to your feelings. (I'm not following their great example because I find your behavior childish and willfully ignoramus, but don't blame the Italians for that.)
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 06:04 AM
  #76  
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A poster said earlier on that he/she had never seen anyone drink cappuccino with a meal. Well I have, and I can tell you where...on the island of Ischia. There is a nation rather prone to it but we won't say which one, oh nein! The wine waiter comes around - as they do - and they order cappuccino and sip it throughout the meal, just as if it were wine.
I've also seen the occasional American do it as well, in Venice of course.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 06:35 AM
  #77  
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@nochblad: I suppose that's something to do with all the cruises beginning and terminating in Italy.
Someday someone will explain to me why cruisers need so much luggage. Can't one just go in jeans and a tee shirt?
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 06:49 AM
  #78  
 
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Appia - not just cruisers. I have seen people with such large suitcases that I wonder what they contain. Do they never wash any clothing throughout the duration of their trip?

Seeing the size of some luggage I wonder what the excess baggage fees are. Would it not be cheaper to wash things along the way (either in the bathroom basin or at a laundrette)? Quite apart from the convenience of maneageable luggage especially in those (many) railway stations where you have to lug your suitcases up and down stairs because there are no elevators or escalators.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 07:54 AM
  #79  
 
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Do not use your bread to soak up the remaining pasta sauce om your plate, apparently not cool.

Also, when shopping at produce stores, do not grab the food yourself, have the grocer come over and bag it for you. I learned this the hard way.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:16 AM
  #80  
 
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lilsebastien - fare la scarpetta is acceptable in certain places such as a simple trattoria, osteria or tavola calda.
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