HOW TO SPEAK WITHOUT SAYING A WORD!
Romance, opera, gondolas, Chianti, haute couture – they are all part of Italy’s rich heritage and we haven’t even touched on their coffee culture which has been exported all over the globe!
This country is quite simply stunning in so many ways and offers the visitor a great variety of things to see and do, ranging from beautiful lakes and scorching beaches to well-developed mountain resorts which are perfect for skiing at any level.
The natives themselves are a passionate bunch and can often be seen waving their arms about and gesticulating wildly to demonstrate their point of view. They can appear to be arguing constantly but most of the time they are just chatting animatedly!
Do the Italians sing when they speak? Sometimes it seems like this to the foreigner’s ear! The Italian language is romantic, expressive and a delight to listen to, the intonation of its speaker seeming to rise and fall with regularity. The Italians are quite rightly proud of their language and love it when visitors make an effort to speak it – even if they only manage a few phrases. Some essential greetings and ways of expressing thanks can be found below, but if after reading this blog you feel inspired to learn more why not book a lesson or two with Stefania our own native Italian teacher!
Hello/good morning: Buon giorno (bwohn-johr-noh)
Goodbye: Arriverderci (a-ree-veh-dehr-chee)
Hello/bye (informal) Ciao! (chow)
Good afternoon Buonasera (bwoh-na-seh-ra)
Goodnight Bunonanotte (bwoh-na-noteh)
See you tomorrow A domain (a-doh-mahnee)
Thank you Grazie (grat-see-eh)
No thank you No grazie
Please Per piacere (per pia-chereh) [note that
Italians do not often say ‘please’!
Of course it’s true that Italians can also easily communicate without actually saying anything! Hand gestures are very common and it’s probably a good idea to learn a few before you visit – watch this short video and learn how to gesticulate like a native (when in Rome…..)!
LEAVE THE CROCS AT HOME!
Italians are fashion conscious and love people-watching. They place importance on style and chic, so pairing up skinny jeans with a dressy top is good whilst baggy trousers and oversized t-shirt is not! Smart casual is the way to go but don’t forget to dress modestly (long sleeves, long skirt/trousers and hats removed) if you’re planning to visit any religious buildings, otherwise you might find you are denied entry.
Don’t ask for parmesan on your seafood pasta! It’s a culinary crime to mix fish and cheese in Italy.
Cappuccino is for breakfast, so order it before midday. Any other time it’s espresso all the way!
Don’t ignore staff when you enter shops – a polite greeting is the norm.
Never cut your spaghetti/linguine! Learn the art of twiddling the pasta on to the spoon with the fork or you will see a few raised eyebrows…..
Don’t step out on to the road just because it’s a pedestrian crossing. Italian drivers may or may not stop, so if you want to live, best to wait until you are 100% sure.
Has this blog inspired you to visit or revisit this beautiful country? Go on, book those flights, brush up on the language and pack your cases – we would love to hear about your trip and how you used the tips in this blog…….. Buon viaggio!
PS: Italians are not in the habit of tipping in restaurants – always good to know!