Optional lesson #1: Living in Italy

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Oggi voglio insegnarvi com'è vivere in Italia ;)

Try and use the words you know to understand at least half of that sentence:

Oggi (today) voglio (I want) vivere (to live/living) in Italia (well, isn't that obvious enough? haha)

Insegnarvi means to teach you (pl.) and com'è is translated as how is as in how something or somewhere is like.


Today I want to teach you (pl.) what it's like to live in Italy.


RIGHT! The following is a personal opinion and should not be considered offensive in any way. I have drawn references and comparisons between English and Italian people but I judge neither better nor worse-being both is brilliant in this scenario! Any problems or negative comments should be messaged to me. Grazie mille! :)

So I've been in "pizza-land" for over four years now, right? That means I've not only consumed many pizze, but also knowldge, history, culture and, certamente-another language.

One cannot go wrong upon hearing the common "stereotype" that states Italians are loud people. This is so very true. Italians love noise (rumore) and being on the move. They rarely enjoy resting and almost seem to worship working. Of course, I am mainly referring to the older (more traditional-like) generation in this case.

In my first two years of being a foreign student here in Italia, having lie-ins was no simple option to take without being criticised, woken up earlier than expected and having to adapt to this new yet strange lifestyle.

Let's not forget food! Food (cibo) is almost as important as breathing to most Italians.

If you have decided to live in another family's house as an exchange student, then be sure to be ready for lunch and dinner. If lunch is at 13:00, then that is the time, not 13:05 or 12:55. It is the usually the most filling meal of the day and more often than most may start with a simple or creatively delicious risotto, followed by a bistecca (steak) or pesce. Remember-eating together in Italy is family time. Respect it if you are living with an Italian family.

In many ways Italians (like any country foreign to another) live in a different world. They are often surrounded mostly by mountainous areas and the countryside. It is precisely in these places where new ideas and models us foreigners are accustomed to living with daily are rarely accepted without some sort of protest or simple complaints from the elderly.

The Italian elderly population is not used to living among foreigners as much as we are.

The city people on the other hand are naturally going to act more similar to autoctonous people of places such as London or Paris, with a lot of hustle and bustle and plenty of bars, souvenir shops and supermarkets.

Refer to people you don't know or haven't met with Lei and always say Buongiorno, Come sta? Prego and Arrivederci unless instructed otherwise. I personally find Italians to be ambiguous in this sense: refer to them politely and they'll probably criticise you (jokingly most of the time) for treating them as old people! If you just say Ciao, however, they may still greet you in turn but at the back of their minds they will most likely think how rude you were for not saying Buongiorno to them in the first place!

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