Let’s see what’s true in the Italian stereotypes.
- Mafia. The Mafia is real in Italy and it does exist, especially in the South and the island of Sicily. Obviously, not every Italian is a Mafioso and most will feel offended and insulted if you use the term, even when if you mean it as a joke.
- Gestures. Yes, the most important element of communication is the gestures. The Italians use their hands, shoulders and facial expressions when talking. They speak loudly in public whether on the bus, in the street or on the phone.
- Chaotic. Nothing in Italy is well organized or easy-to-use. You have to fight to get the smallest scrap of information. Don’t be surprised to see Italians fighting to get into the buses or jumping the queue to be served first at the coffee bar. Italy’s slow-moving and stressful bureaucracy has made us more pushy and resourceful.
- Lazy. There is a stereotype that Italians are lazy, but this is not true. They do take work seriously and their typical working day lasts for about 8 hours, from 8/9 a.m. to 5/6 p.m., sometimes until 7 p.m., depending on how many breaks have been taken during the day. People in Italy feel that work is not everything in life, that’s why they spend so much time on coffee or cigarette breaks.
- Mummy’s boys. Italians stay at their parents’ home until they have saved up enough money to pay for a flat. This can take a while, which is why many Italians leave their homes when they’re already 30 years old. This, by the way, has earned Italians a reputation of being mummy’s boys – yet another stereotype caused by misunderstanding between cultures.
- Romantic. Yes, it is true. The Italians do enjoy romance and guy ill never let a girl go home unescorted. Also, the macho ideal is still alive and well in Italian culture.