Dos and Don'ts

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Question English Answer English
Use "signore" and "signora" to address to a stranger who is older than you.
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It is respectful to address a stranger older than you like this. "Signore" stands for "Sir", and "Signora" stands for "Lady".
Feel free to hug and kiss those people who have some confidence with.
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(two kisses, one on each cheek, Italians love it) Italians do not need to be close friends with someone to kiss someone on their cheek. Unless it is someone important (boss, or professor), do not feel strange if someone kisses you on your cheek.
Shake the end when introducing yourself to someone new.
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Shake the end of the person you get to know. When you do it, do it with confidence!
You can give tips at the bar/ restaurant.
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However, it is not a must like in the US. In fact, it is considered nice but nobody really expects it.
Don't be afraid of speaking loud, Italians do it all the time.
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When you speak to someone, on the phone or face to face, don't worry about speaking too loud. Unless you are in a certain circumstance that requires it, talking loud is not impolite.
Don't mess up with the food in a restaurant!
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Appetizers come first, then you can order a first course, second course and, last, a dessert (Don't eat them together or even mix them, you have to enjoy it and eat one by one in the correct order).
Don't ask for an "american coffee".
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it doesn't exist and bar tenders will be offended! Expresso is the way!
When in Naples, do not drink water after having an espresso.
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It is considered it a little bit disrespectful, like if you need water to wash your mouth from the flavour of coffee.
Don't make too much noise when eating.
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Enjoy your food, so speak when your mouth is empty and do not make weird chewing noises. Italians won't be too happy otherwise!
Don't go around with flip-flops unless you are at the seaside!
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If you want to immerse 100% in the Italian culture, do not do it! Unless you are at the seaside or you are going there. (Italians recognize tourists in a city by their flip-flops).
For girls: don't feel ashamed if guys give you lots of attention!
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It's just an Italian way to compliment you:)

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