One interesting thing I’ve found about Italians is that they speak less English than their western European neighbours (e.g. Switzerland, Austria, Germany). I’m not sure why there isn’t as much focus on English as in other countries, but it may be because Italy, like Spain, already has multiple dialects within the fairly small country (click on the image to see the full size).
Whatever the reason, and they are often a bit self-deprecating about their abilities (even though I really have had no trouble understanding them). I met one guy (an Italian rapper, no less) who spoke self-proclaimed ‘Macaroni English’, which is apparently quite basic English with a very Italian flair. I think he was being too hard on himself, but I loved the phrase nonetheless.
I think Italians often don’t give themselves enough credit for their language skills. What do you think?