What is the most Italian thing ever?
Karthik Venkatesh, lives in Milan, Italy
► Speaking with mouth and body at the same time, every time.
► Hating Pineapple Pizza with all their heart.
► Forgetting the “H” all the time, including the previous point and thinking it was ‘eating’ instead of ‘hating’. Also, one never knows whether they are ‘hungry’ or ‘angry’
► Drinking coffee (espresso) at 23:00 after dinner.
► Not drinking Cappuccino after 11:00.
► (South Italy) Clapping when the plane touches down.
► Not understanding a single word when each one is speaking in his/her own dialect.
► Cursing people to go hell and also weeping at the same time when Spaghetti is eaten with Ketchup.
► Bitching about French wine and Champagne.
► Complaining about food all the time when visiting a foreign country.
► Arguing which is better: Grana Padano or Parmigiano.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46561.html 译者：Joyceliu
► “Ehi.. Lets-a go take-a break-a”
► Doing everything with their heart. Let them be cars, pasta, pizza, wine, cheese etc.
► Knowing the precise name of every pasta type.
► Fuming with anger whenever Tasty | Facebook posts any new video about Italian food.
► Hating the German Football team.
► Loving many things that are American but deeply despising American food.
► Loving the family to bits.
► Grandmothers giving their granchildren a pack of pasta and a bottle of sugo before the children go abroad.
► Grandmothers feeding their grandchildren to death during Christmas and Easter.
► (South Italy) Christmas dinner with less than 20 people does not exist.
► Arguing about whose Tiramisu is the best.
► Going to battle over what to put in Spaghetti alla Carbonara - Pancetta or Guanciale!
Jerry Finzi, Photographer/Writer at Finzi Photography - Grand Voyage Italy
It’s often difficult to understand the Italian spirit and soul. There is an expression in Italy… being furbo. Often this is thought to mean to be sly like a fox… getting something over on someone else. Putting a finger up to one’s eye and telling you to be furbo means to pay attention—be careful. To Italians—who all live in 20 distinct and separate regions, all with their own history, heritage and even dialects—this simply means looking out for yourself and your famiglia.
Pay attention! The government won’t always do the right thing. Pay attention! Family comes first, not the stranger down the road. Perhaps this attitude of self-preservation is due to the fact that until the 1860s, Italy was a collection of many independent states… and many today would argue that nothing much has changed. There’s a reason why (for example) you will hear a train conductor in Puglia make announcements in English, “Italian” and in local dialect. Italy is a patchwork quilt with many colors and textures that would take a lifetime to understand, know and appreciate…
As an Italian-American, I’ll add this: In some ways, Italy is as much—if not more—a melting pot than the U.S.
Giordano Vintaloro, Lecturer of English at University of Trieste (2010-present)
As an Italian with an almost 40-year experience, I think I can say something on the topic. In addition, what I do allows me to look at my country with a sort of an outsider’s eye.
All the previous answers are correct, nothing to add. But I think the challenge the question posits is, can you capture the essence of a people in just one “thing”, be it attitude, way of thinking, food, etc.?
It is very difficult indeed, not because of Italy or Italians (it would be the same for Britons) but because it is an oversimplification.
I think there is one thing which is typically Italian, and that is what Architects call mixité (“mescolanza” would be the Italian word). It is in our history, blood, food and even in the landscape.
Italy is a country which has everything: mountains covering more than 70% of the country, it has got the highest peaks in Europe (Monte Bianco, more than 4800m high) and as a consequence temperatures that can be really frosty in winter in the mountains (-20°C is not uncommon in some Alpine valleys, but also in Central Italy’s Apennines). But famous are also beaches (more than 7400kms of coastline), hills, lakes, rivers, and the Po plain, the flattest and largest European plain (if you think of The Netherlands or other countries, they are mostly gently hilly, not flat plains). This diversity of climates translates into a huge biodiversity, the widest in Europe. We go from semi-arctic plants in the North, to the growing of banana trees and Aloe in Sicily. Difficult to find more diversity in one country as little as ours.
This impacted, and still impacts, on the food produce, agriculture and farming. We are used to tasting many different things (vegetables and animals living in these dramatically different clime zones), our palate has a range much wider than that of other countries, exactly because we know more aromas, smells, tastes and variety since we are little children.
Last, but not least - and this is a thing we tend to forget - Italy has the most complicated history in Europe as regards emigrations (call it invasions, if you wish). Starting even before the Romans, recent research found out that the Etruscans (then modern Tuscans) probably came from today’s Turkey, while in the South (once called Magna Graecia, “Great Greece”) Greek colonies brought their civilization, and sparse were also many Phoenician colonies, especially in Sardinia. We’re talking about 8th to 7th century BC, 2700 years ago. Afterwards came Romans, the various Goths, Vandals, Lombards, Huns, Germans, Normans, French, Spanish, Arabs.
What does this mean? That we have one of the most varied DNA in Europe. And all civilizations left something: churches, palaces, monuments, towns, or simply place names. We are used to seeing many different things from many epochs wherever we happen to turn our heads. Not uniformity but diversity, diversity everywhere.
Andrew Lynch, Loved, lived, suffered and laughed in Genoa for 10 years
Going home at midday for your mom/grandmom to cook lunch for you. Banker, punk-rocker, shopkeeper, truckdriver. Mostly the guys, and it seemed like a good thing for everyone - moms get to see their kids regularly even as adults, and perpetual ‘mamma’s boys’ get a nice warm meal at home whenever they can. Awesome.
Also, total strangers giving you artistically impeccable directions to wherever you are trying to go in their town/city. The wording is always very careful and detailed and complete, and conveyed in such a way that, if you listen well, you will definitely get there somehow.
The best part is that no matter your destination, the person giving you directions - banker, punk-rocker, shopkeeper, truckdriver - will almost always happen to have a cousin/relative/in-law who has a restaurant near where you are going, and will ask you to drop by and tell them who sent you…
Enrico Capecelatro, Researcher about how to live healthy
I can point out a bunch of things that I often come across:
1.It doesn't matter which day or moment is, whenever an Italian feels tired or down he says "Ah, I need a coffee... I really hope to be energized after that". And of course it doesn't happen!
2.Pasta is the goddess, pizza is... the same as well.
3.At work, the very first thing people argue about is... what to eat at lunch (even managers, but they try to hide that).
4.Women wear classy and graceful even if they have to go to the bakery.
5.Having a grandmother that is approaching her 100th birthday.
1.closing their shops, supermarket, offices etc once its 12:30pm and rushing home or to the bar like formula1 drivers just to eat
2.Saying Ciao,Ciao for a million times after a conversation. Ciaooo,ciao,ciao,ciaoooo,ciaociao ughhhhh\U0001f602
3.Being so excited around food “buono? è buona?
4.Giving you a wide smile but it's never really from their heart
5.Always being on the defensive and will never let you speak in an argument or discussion
6.Staring at people sheepishly. Italians dont stare and look away, they stare and will almost strip you naked with their eyes
7.Being Extremely stylish and put together no matter how old you are
Luca Guala, Sardinian, with a Piedmontese father and a Friulan mother
Suffering from an inferiority complex and a superiority complex at the same time.
Most Italians will speak ills about the Italian government, corruption, bureaucracy, social behaviour, education, schools, health service, traffic, public transport, police, army, you name it. We do this among Italians and also, shamelessly, with foreigners.
At the same time, virtually all Italians are firmly convinced that they live in the most beautiful Country in the world, that no other culture can match Italian Culture, no cuisine can even come close to Italian Cuisine, that Italian Language is the most musical language of the world and that no other People in the world can enjoy life as the Italians do.
Ben Yeomans, UK born and resident, travelled extensively around Europe
Well I'm not Italian (although I have put in an application for citizenship thanks to my wife). But when I saw this news story last year it struck me as the kind of thing that would probably only happen in Italy:
Italian police cook elderly couple pasta after neighbours hear crying
In summary: an elderly couple were so lonely and upset by all the bad things on the TV news that they start to cry uncontrollably and the neighbours called the police.
When the police arrived and saw what was going on, they set to action - whipping them up a nice meal of spaghetti with butter and parmesan.
Maybe I'm over romanticising a bit, but to me it says a lot about the warmth of Italian people, the love and respect for the older generations and the love of simple pleasures like good food.
Giovanni Dominoni, Spent my life among artists, poets and philosophers.
The blue sky. When you live in a foreign country like I do, you realize how you cannot live without the blue sky. It is like part of your body is being torn apart, when you look up, and what you see is clouds for days and days. You can live with it, but it’s hard. We Italians need a breathtaking scenery, fresh air, the sky, the sea, the mountains and the volcanoes, endless smooth hills… that is what we love. Without it, we are lost. We could live easily without pizza, pasta, swearing, speaking using the hands etc… but we cannot live without the blue sky.
Filippo Zaccaria, Bachelor Degree Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, Politecnico Di Milano
The notary. This profession is 100% Italian: it derived from the “notarii” of the Roman Empire and was kept by the Longobards when they conquered Italy. For the entire Middle Age the notary was a recognised profession in the Italian States only (for example the Republic of Venice, The Duchy of Milan, the Papal State etc…). Nowadays the notary of civil law exists in 96 of 193 States in the world, and they all took inspiration from the Italian example. In the countries of common law (such as UK and USA) there’s the notary public, but its functions are far distant from the original ones
Nikola Tosic, works at BEMapps.com
Eating an Italian dish outside Italy and politely hiding the suffering.
Italy is an alternative reality bubble. Italians are people who spent their lives in Italy. Once Italians exit they internaxt with a much poorer reality of food, clothing, etc. They are aware but always very polite and never judging.
Kind of like as if superior aliens landed on Earth and we asked them what do they think about smartphones while they can travel through time.
Alessandro Fais, born in italian grounds, living in northern italy
Thousands of years of ruling, expanding and gathering richness has left a deep trace in Italian culture and society.
We have sought for technical and functional essence since the Roman Empire on buildings, aqueduct that still work today, sewers to provid water to the first City, marmble deities carved in white to honor our ancestors.
We are hedonistic, lovers of arts, lovers of beauty, lovers of design