1. Just because the sun goes down, doesn’t mean dinner’s over.
My first night in Italy, we ate from 7pm to well after 10pm, outside! It gets your body’s circadian rhythm reset and waking up feels a lot better.
2. Gelato is worshipped.
Everything you’ve heard is true; our ice cream is garbage in comparison. One of the core flavors in Italy is Stracciatella; it’s a good introduction into the miraculous world of gelato.
3. Young people speak English, no one else.
Sure, that’s a pretty big generalization to make, but that’s my own personal experience. Most Italians under 30 can get by with some English. Any older and you’ll be expected to get by with your Italian.
4. Immigration couldn’t care less about you.
I’ve been stopped by customs a lot, but never by Italians. Lax customs is kind of a stereotype many Mediterranean countries are known for.
5. Cheap, Cheap Pizza
On most menus, next to the 10 and 15 dollar pizzas, there’ll be a 3 euro margarita pizza made up of dough, sauce, and cheese. It’s a great deal and come on it’s a whole pizza!
6. Wine by the bottle!
$50 bottle in America, $8 in Italy, what a wonderful country. I think you’re getting the picture, gelato, pizza, and cheap wine, Italy is paradise.
7. Italian is as easy as uno, due, tre.
Easier than Spanish and more beautiful than French, I don’t know why more people don’t study it. You’ll pick it up quickly.
8. Cities are dirtier than you’d think.
For one, graffiti isn’t really cleaned up, so it builds up and sort of takes away from the beauty. Look up and the architecture is terrific, but look down and the outdated sewer systems and homeless might give you mixed feelings.
9. Italy has a north/south complex just like the United States.
Basically, the half of the country above Rome is the always-busy workers and below is the more laid-back types.
10. Just breathe it in, and relax.
The Italian way of life is famously addictive; the culture is altogether satisfying and leaves you feeling whole.