2NATIONAL CUSTOMSIf you want to get to know a country, not only do you need to visit its main towns or monuments, but you also need to live its culture.The culture of the country is reflected by its food customs, religious customs, typical timetables, typical clothes and typical topics of conversation of its inhabitants.
3NATIONAL CUSTOMSConfronting one’s own country with another can be not only a fascinating way to get to know a country, but also very interesting. In fact, one could discover how every country is a small world in itself.
4Typical Italian Customs Food: pizza, mozzarella, olive oil, wineReligion: Catholic, weddings,Christmas holidaysTimetables: offices, schoolsand shopsClothes: trendy and brand namesConversation: gossip, men vs. women
5ITALIAN FOODItalian food is considered to be the best all over the world. Who doesn’t know pizza, pasta, mozzarella or Parmesan cheese? These products are made up of simple and common elements like flour, tomatoes or milk, but they are famous for the original combination and the proficient workmanship of the ingredients.
6Thanks to the good climate conditions and the rich soil in almost every place of the peninsula, it is possible to grow a lot of different types of fruit and vegetables and to produce a good wine, pasta, olive oil or jam, too. For these reasons, not only is Italian cuisine the tastiest, but also the most genuine.
7RELIGIONReligion is very important in Italy. The main Catholic values, like honesty, fraternity and solidarity are the principal civil values, too. Even if at many times the Catholic ideals are in contrast with political ideals, in many situations itis possible to see how strong the influenceof Catholic faith is in Italian people. Inaddition, when most Italians wed, they have a religious ceremony in church with a long wedding reception afterwards.Besides the capital, Rome, is the maincity for Catholic people, in fact, theirspiritual leader resides there.
8Moreover, the most important religious festivals are considered national festivities. Not only are schools closed nationally at Christmas and Easter, but also in certain schools of towns where they celebrate their patron saint. In addition, every religious festival is celebrated with its traditional customs.
9Christmas: “Made in Italy” Families in Italy celebrate Christmas for three days and with the typical foods of their region. The Christmas celebration begins on 24th December. Families usually have a 5-course fish dinner, for example, fried eel and cod, pasta with clam sauce, the typical Christmas cake called “Panettone”, dried fruit with sparkling wine.
10After dinner, they go to church to bring the baby Jesus to its crib After dinner, they go to church to bring the baby Jesus to its crib. Then they exchange presents and play bingo at home.On Christmas Day, they have a 5-course lunch made with meat and then visit relatives.On 26th December they have lunch and play the typical Christmas games with relatives.
11TIMETABLESMany offices in Italy are open from Monday to Friday, from about 8 to 5. Schools are open from 8 to 2, from Monday to Saturday. The local town shops are open every day, except on Sundays,from 10 to 1 and re-open again at 4 and close at 8. It is custom that local shops are closed in the afternoons as there is a long lunch break.
12Some local supermarkets, instead, do not close for lunch, but on Thursday afternoons they are closed. However, during the national holidays, most shops are open all day. In addition, big shopping centres are open non-stop every day, including Sunday, from 9:00 o’clock a.m. to 10:00 o’clock p.m. They offer a wide variety of services, from shops to fast food and cinema. They have also become a place to socialize and hang out with friends.
13CLOTHES: “Made in Italy” Italian fashion is known all over the world, labelled “Made in Italy”. From this phrase, elegance, originality and innovation of Italian fashion style is expressed and a lot of countries try to copy it. Youths in Italy are influenced by Italian fashion so they spend most of their money on trendy and brand name clothes, like D&G, Versace, Armani, Fendi, Gucci, etc.Different from the Anglo-Saxon world, at weddingsguests tend to wear smart or elegantclothes and not dinner jackets orevening gowns.
14CONVERSATIONItalian people, above all in the South of the country, are very friendly with a good sense of humor. One particular feature about Southerners is that they love to gossip.If one goes to the typical places where Italians meet and chat, one can hear their typical conversations.Men chat in sports centres, clubs or local town squares about sports, especially football, which is considered Italy’s national sport, and the latest about cars. But they are also interested in new technology, economics and, above all, political problems.
15Women, instead, meet in supermarkets, shopping centres and fitness centres and they prefer to talk about their family, household problems, fashion clothes, celebrities or TV programmes.