• Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Ireland!

    Ireland: Cliffs of Moher! Go Now!

    Ireland
    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania
    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Switzerland!

    Switzerland: The Matterhorn. Go Now!

    Switzerland
    This mountainous country unites ethnic Germans, French, and Italians; making it home to a number of diverse cultures. Go Now!

  • Latvia!

    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. 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