Italian culture and traditions of men sitting in the town square.

Cultureof Italy

Italy has two very distinct cultures between the North and the South. Predominantly individualistic and more reserved in the North, and communal and more relaxed in the South. While it is unlikely that a northern Italian will welcome you into their home upon meeting you for the first time, a southerner, however simple their lifestyle may be, often extends such an invitation. Throughout the country, Italians have very strong family bonds and appreciate traditions and predictability over constant change.

Cultural Tips from an Italian

Throughout Italy people embody the concept of Bella Figura in everything they do. Bella Figura literally means “The Beautiful Figure”, a philosophy and a way of life that rules Italians. It is the most difficult concept for outsiders to understand. Bella Figura is about the way things are presented and said, the way one looks and conducts himself or herself in public. In essence, it is about making your best impression possible.

Tipping In Italy

The tipping rules of the USA do not apply to Italy. You can cut in half what you would leave in the USA and still be leaving a very good tip. While the receipt may say “servizio incluso”, this does NOT equal to a tip, so it is always best to leave a few euros directly to the waiter in cash. For example, if you have a cappuccino and a pastry at a table outside, one to two euros is a reasonable tip. Or if you have dinner for two at a nice restaurant where the bill may be 65 euros, a tip of eight to ten euros would be appropriate. If you find it helpful and more predictable for you a 10% tip is more than enough.

Coffee in Italy

A bar in Italy is simply a caffé (accent on “fe”). If you prefer to relax and read a book or the paper while you have a cappuccino, know that the cost for consuming it at a table is often three times higher. However, the cost for a cappuccino, espresso, or other drinks consumed at the bar while standing, have a standard cost and are very affordable (a cappuccino in Italy is ⅓ to ½ the cost in the USA when consumed at the bar).

Italians are very traditional with their coffee, don’t expect a pumpkin spice latte, soy milk, or a 32oz grande iced coffee. The ordering ritual often includes ordering and paying at the bar, and taking your receipt to the barista to make your drink. Italian pro tip: Italians don’t add milk in their coffee after 10am. 

YOUR TRAVEL STORY BEGINS WITH A VOOMAPASS

A VoomaPass is your ticket to experiential travel with one of our Locals on your vacation. Because our Locals live where you’re vacationing, they will be your resident insider. Your VoomaPass connects you with a Local to advise you before and during your trip, share their cultural insight and be able to take you on exclusive, authentic Experiences.

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Italian Flag

Culture

Food & Wine

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Regional map of Italy

The Boot

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transportation modes in Italy, Plane, train and moped

Transportation

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