Italian culture Italian mentality Facts Customs Traditions Religion in Italy
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The typical Italian is courteous, proud, undisciplined, tardy, temperamental, independent, gregarious, noble, individualistic, boisterous, jealous, possessive, colourful, passionate, spontaneous, sympathetic, fun-loving, creative, sociable, demonstrative, irritating, charming, aggressive, self-important, generous, cheerful, cultured, polite, unreliable, honourable, outgoing, impetuous, flamboyant, idiosyncratic, quick-tempered, artistic, a gourmet, ungovernable, elegant, irresponsible, hedonistic, lazy and industrious (contradictory), an anarchist, informal, self-opinionated, corrupt, indolent, flexible, patriarchal, frustrating, inventive, sensual, practical, irresistible, impatient, scheming, voluble, friendly, sexist, musical, sensitive, humorous, garrulous, petulant, macho, noisy, happy, fiery, warm-hearted, a suicidal driver, decadent, religious, chauvinistic, an excellent cook, stylish, bureaucratic, dignified, kind, loyal, a fashion victim, extroverted, tolerant, self-possessed, a tax dodger, unabashed, quarrelsome, partisan, a procrastinator, scandal-loving, articulate, a bon viveur, conservative, nocturnal, hospitable, spirited, urbanised, confident, sophisticated, political, handsome and a football fanatic.


Italians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to the Italian geographical region and its neighbouring insular territories.
Italians share a common culture, history, ancestry and language.
Legally, Italian nationals are citizens of Italy, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence (in effect, however, Italian nationality is largely based on jus sanguinis) and may be distinguished from ethnic Italians in general or people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and from ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian peninsula without Italian citizenship....

Population of Italy
About 96 percent of the population of Italy is Italian, though there are many other ethnicities that live in this country. North African Arab, Italo-Albanian, Albanian, German, Austrian and some other European groups fill out the remainder of the population. Bordering countries of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia to the north have influenced Italian culture, as have the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Sicily and Sardinia.
Languages of Italy
The official language of the country is Italian. About 93 percent of the Italian population speaks Italian as native language, according to the BBC.
There are a number of dialects of the language spoken in the country, including Sardinian, Friulian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Ligurian, Piedmontese, Venetian and Calabrian. Milanese is also spoken in Milan. Other languages spoken by native Italians include Albanian, Bavarian, Catalan, Cimbrian, Corsican, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Slovenian and Walser.
Family life in Italy
"Family is an extremely important value within the Italian culture," Talia Wagner, a Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapist, told Live Science.
Their family solidarity is focused on extended family rather than the West's idea of "the nuclear family" of just a mom, dad and kids, Wagner explained.
Religion in Italy
The major religion in Italy is Roman Catholicism. This is not surprising, as Vatican City, located in the heart of Rome, is the hub of Roman Catholicism and where the Pope resides. Roman Catholics and other Christians make up 80 percent of the population, though only one-third of those are practicing Catholics.
Art and architecture in Italy
Italy has given rise to a number of architectural styles, including classical Roman, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical. Italy is home to some of the most famous structures in the world, including the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The concept of a basilica — which was originally used to describe an open public court building and evolved to mean a Catholic pilgrimage site — was born in Italy.
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has influenced food culture around the world and is viewed as a form of art by many. Wine, cheese and pasta are important part of Italian meals. Pasta comes in a wide range of shapes, widths and lengths, including penne, spaghetti, linguine, fusilli and lasagna.
Italian holidays
Italians celebrate most Christian holidays.
The celebration of the Epiphany, celebrated on January 6, is much like Christmas. Belfana, an old lady who flies on her broomstick, delivers presents and goodies to good children, according to legend.


Local Patriotism (Campanilismo)
It took a long time for Italy’s separate states to unify compared to other European countries, and it has been a republic only since 1946.
As such, the Italian population continues to be very provincial. People tend to identify themselves by their region, city, town, village or even their ‘quartiere’ (a district within a town). For example, a person from Siena in Tuscany may feel ‘Sienese’ whilst in Tuscany, but ‘Tuscan’ when they are anywhere else in Italy.
Connection and loyalty to one’s township or locality is often stronger than one’s connection with Italy as a country.
This is not to say Italians are unpatriotic – they are very proud of their nation.
Indeed, Italians generally feel their Italian identity most intensely when overseas.
However, nationalism is not typically a very strong motivating factor for the population.
It is instead often overtaken by the overwhelming spirit of ‘campanilismo’.

Etiquette in Italy
It is common for Italian friends and families to kiss on the cheek when they meet, irrespective of their gender.
Stand up out of respect when an older person enters the room.
It is important to dress neatly and respectfully.
Cover your mouth when yawning or sneezing.
Hats should be removed indoors.
It is impolite to remove one’s shoes in front of others.
Punctuality is not tight in social situations. In Italy, ‘on time’ can mean 20, 30 or even 45 minutes late.
Open doors for the elderly. Men often open doors for women.
Stand to greet any senior person that walks into the room.


Why Italian Culture Fascinates the World
Italian culture is today a reflection of the rich history of one of the most fascinating countries in the world. In fact, it is a culture based on a country which, at the height of its power was the centre of an empire that spanned the known world.
The Roman Empire exported its culture to countries across Europe and it is no exaggeration to say that the Roman Empire probably did more to influence modern society (at least in the Western World) than any other civilization before or since.
Today, Italian culture revolves around a number of pillars; family, religion, history, the arts, architecture, language, and last – but by no means least, food.
The central role played by family
One of the most important foundations of Italian culture is the central role played by family.
It is the bonds that extend across the extended family that have for generations allowed the Italian people to maintain a unique culture even when emigrating to other countries.
Cuisine in Italy
However, if there is one popular foundation that Italy has provided the world to aid in its understanding of the culture of the country and what it means to be truly Italian, it is in the area of cuisine. It is an understatement to say that Italian culture has been spread through the international acceptance of its cuisine.
The central role of food and wine in Italian culture cannot be underestimated.
This is a country where a meal is a cause for celebration – and one where the breaking of bread is viewed as an opportunity for friends and family to further cement the ties that bind them together....

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