• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Macedonia!

    Macedonia: Traditional architecture. Go Now!

    Macedonia
    Macedonia is a country still finding its unique identity, but its architecture is already one of a kind. Explore Macedonia!

  • Netherlands!

    Netherlands: Wooden shoes. Go Now!

    Netherlands
    This low country might be small, but it maintains a unique place in history and culture. Explore the Netherlands!

  • Austria!

    Austria: Belvedere Palace. Go Now!

    Austria
    Belvedere Palace (pictured) is just one of many palaces found in Vienna. The capital is a good start to Austria, which also features the Alps, the Lakes District, and incredible history & food. Go Now!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Sweden!

    Sweden: Swedish Village. Go Now!

    Sweden
    This Scandinavian country boasts big city excitement in Stockholm to small town charm. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Italy

Behavior

The Italians are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).

Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above others or boasting is viewed negatively.

As a visitor to Italy, just try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Italy Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart.

Dress

Italy has historically been divided and the traditional dress matches the region more than it does the nation as a whole today. The similarities came in basic pieces of clothing as women tended to wear a dress and men generally wore pants with a shirt and perhaps a vest or coat. Embroidery was common on the clothing and with seasonal changes the clothing also varied drastically. Colors also varied, but for special occasions brighter colors were generally worn, although most everyday clothing was simply white, grey, or black.

Today some of these clothing items can be seen on special occasions and local holidays, but no one wears these traditional clothes regularly today. The Italians prefer modern western-styled clothing and Milan is considered one of the fashion centers of the world so the styles are always changing and it's impossible to argue that the Italians are fashionable. Despite the ever-changing fashion, the diversity in clothing is great.

As a visitor to Italy you are free to wear any western-styled clothing that suites you, but wearing shabby clothing will get you odd looks, especially in the cities. The most important thing to remember is to dress for the occasion as most churches require you wear long pants and cover your shoulders, while business settings and nice restaurants often have an even more formal dress code. If in doubt, dress on the more formal, conservative, and stylish side.

This page was last updated: November, 2013