Fit in with the locals in Italy
Ian writes: so we’ve had 5 things to avoid whilst staying in Italy; now for 5 tips to make you fit in like a local.
Football, or ‘Calcio’
Before setting off, brush up on the teams and form of the Serie A. If you can sip your cappuccino at the bar and pass yourself off as an expert on the finer points of the 4-4-2 over the 4-3-3 formation, you will be immediately accepted as a local; especially as it’s World Cup year.
At least once during your stay, ignore the traffic wardens and wave goodbye to parking etiquette. Pull up outside a bar and just get out without concern that you are blocking in several other cars. And don’t look back – just head to the bar and order your coffee[s]. Definitely a local’s move.
At the end of a good meal, order up a shot of Grappa. Extra points for the rougher stuff, as only a local can stomach the stuff.
This one almost always gives away where you’re from, so leave your comfortable clothes and shoes at home (read sneakers/trainers and sportswear in general), and only pack oufits that fit perfectly together. Ladies ensure that handbags are the latest models, and gentlemen should sport wherever possible a pair of brightly coloured trousers (extra kudos for lime green); along with a suitably bright jumper to throw over the shoulders. Top it all off with the biggest pair on sunglasses you can find, and you’re half way there.
No local will ever use anything other than a fork for eating the delicious plate of pasta in front of him/her. Any sign of knives (or heaven forbid a spoon) will be sneered at by servers and fellow dinners alike.