Italian Traditions that You Need to Know About Before You Travel

There are two main reasons why it is important to learn about Italian traditions before travelling. First, by understanding the local customs, travellers can avoid offending Italians and potentially ruining their trip. Second, learning about the country’s customs can help travellers appreciate the culture more and have a deeper understanding of what they are seeing.

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Here are a few Italian traditions and customs that travellers should be aware of to make the most of their experience in this beautiful country.

La dolce vita

One important custom in Italy is the concept of la dolce vita, which means “the sweet life.” This phrase encapsulates the Italian approach to life, which emphasizes enjoyments such as good food and wine, family, friends, and leisure time. Italians take their time with food, and it is considered rude to hurry through a meal or to eat on the go. Instead, mealtimes are meant to be relaxed and enjoyable, providing a chance to catch up with loved ones.

La dolce vita also extends to other areas of life beyond food. While hard work is very important among Italian traditions, Italians also enjoy spending time outdoors, socialising with friends and family, and taking part in leisure activities such as going to the beach or hiking in the mountains.

While the concept of la dolce vita might seem frivolous to some (Italians place a high emphasis on aesthetics and take pride in their appearance), it is an important part of Italian culture and helps to create a strong sense of community. By taking the time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, Italians are able to maintain a healthy balance between work and play.

Family is everything

Another important aspect of Italian culture is the importance of family. Italians are typically very close with their families and often live in close proximity to one another. It is not uncommon for several generations of a family to live under one roof.

The extended family plays a significant role in Italian life and provides support during times of need. Family members often rely on one another for help with childcare, finances, and other areas of life, and they don’t need special occasions such as public holidays or birthdays to get together.

Italians are extremely proud of their families and often take great care of their elders. Family gatherings are typically large and boisterous affairs where food and wine play a central role, and where everyone speaks and laughs really loudly.

If you’re looking to get to know an Italian better, spending time with their family is a great way to do so.

Business etiquette in Italy

When doing business in Italy, there are a few etiquette rules that should be followed. First, it is important to arrive on time for meetings and appointments. Italians may like to have fun, but when it comes to business, they value punctuality and view it as a sign of respect.

Second, business meetings typically begin with small talk before getting down to business. This helps to build rapport and create a more relaxed atmosphere, which goes in line with the pleasure-seeking Italian traditions mentioned above.

Third, Italians tend to dress more formally for business meetings than people from other cultures. For men, this typically means wearing a suit and tie, while women might wear a dress or skirt.

Finally, it is considered good manners to give a small gift when doing business in Italy. No, don’t worry. There’s no need to buy expensive designer clothes. The gift in question could be a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or a book about your country.

By following these simple etiquette rules, you can make a good impression and build strong business relationships in Italy.

Art and Architecture

Italy is world-renowned for its art and architecture, and it’s no wonder why. The country is home to some of the most iconic pieces of art and architecture in the world, including the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Visitors can find art and architecture everywhere they go in Italy. From the grandiose cathedrals of Rome to the picturesque canals of Venice, there is no shortage of beautiful things to see.

Even if you’re not an art lover, it’s impossible to visit Italy without being impressed by its rich cultural heritage. So whether you’re admiring Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel or exploring the ruins of Ancient Rome, be sure to take some time to appreciate the art and architecture that Italy has to offer, as they’re a huge part of Italian tradition and national identity.

Italian food


They say you haven’t tried ice cream until you’ve tried Italian gelato.

Gelato is a type of ice cream that is made with milk, cream, and sugar. It is typically lower in fat than other types of ice cream and has a smoother, denser texture. It is usually made fresh every day and comes in a wide variety of flavours. Some of the most popular flavours include chocolate, strawberry, and pistachio.

The Italian pizza

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world, and it originated in Italy. Italian pizza is typically made with a thin and crispy dough, a simple tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese.

Italian pizza is typically cooked in a wood-fired oven, which gives it a unique flavour.

The most popular types of Italian pizza are:

  • Pizza Margherita: a classic Neapolitan pizza with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves.
  • Pizza Marinara: a simple pizza with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and tomatoes.
  • Pizza Quattro Stagioni: a delicious pizza with four different toppings representing the four seasons: spring (artichokes and mushrooms), summer (tomatoes and mozzarella), autumn (ham and olives), and winter (ricotta cheese and spinach).

If you’re looking for a truly authentic Italian pizza experience, be sure to try it in Italy.

Italian Pasta

Pasta is another popular Italian food that is enjoyed all over the world. Pasta is typically made from durum wheat flour and water, and it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Pasta is typically served with a sauce, such as a tomato sauce or a cream sauce. It can also be served with vegetables or meat. The most popular types of pasta dishes are spaghetti, lasagna, fettuccine, and ravioli.

If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty meal, pasta is a great option. But be careful: Though it is perfectly acceptable to add grated cheese to pasta in some countries, it is considered an offence according to Italian tradition.

So if you’re looking to try some authentic Italian pasta, be sure to leave the cheese off. Otherwise, you might end up with a fork stuck in the back of your hand.

Just kidding (we hope!).

The coffee culture

No trip to Italy would be complete without enjoying a cup of coffee. Italians are passionate about their coffee, and it shows in the quality of their drinks.

Coffee is an important part of Italian culture, and it is typically drunk in small cups. The most popular type of coffee is espresso, which is a strong, black coffee that is served with sugar.

Cappuccino is another popular type of coffee, and it is made with espresso, milk, and foam. If you’re looking for a caffeine fix, be sure to try one of these delicious Italian coffees.

The Importance of the Italian language

The Italian language played a significant role in the unification of Italy. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Italy became divided into a number of small city-states, each with its own dialect. This made communication between different regions very difficult. However, during the Renaissance, a standard form of Italian began to develop, based on the Tuscan dialect.

This new language was adopted by the educated classes across Italy, and gradually became the dominant language of the country. It helped to unify Italy by providing a common means of communication between different regions. For this reason, the Italian language is considered a symbol of unity, a key part of Italian identity, and a link to the country’s rich history and culture. Mastering the Italian language is often seen as essential for anyone hoping to fully understand and appreciate Italian traditions.

Despite being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Italy is a country that is often overlooked when it comes to language learning.This is a shame, as Italian is a beautiful, rich language that is relatively easy to learn, and, with 60 million global speakers, one of the most useful as well.

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If you’re planning a trip to Italy, learning some basic Italian will go a long way. At Language Trainers, we work with native Italian teachers who specialise in teaching their language with a focus on Italian traditions so that learners can have a comprehensive appreciation of the Italian language and the customs embedded in it.

Are you travelling to Italy? Send us a quick message and we’ll pair you up with an Italian tutor for a customised traveller’s course!