Tuesday, January 25

Stereotipi Degli Italiani

Thanks for all of your input and ideas for Italian stereotypes! Of course what I think is not the truth but I do think it's interesting to see someone's view of Italy after 5 months.  Maybe my fellow Italian exchange students in other regions of Italy would disagree, but this is what I have discovered! 

1. Men spend a lot of time on their appearances.
Of course, I cannot speak for every single Italian boy but for the most part I would say TRUE. However, this is just said in comparison to what I know of american men...or my amazing father, who wore the same yellow sweatshirt for the first 15 years of my life! Love you daddy :) But it's true that you would never see a boy show up at school in sweatpants and a t-shirt. I think that they're more concerned about being classy and fashionably dressed...but this just adds to the famous Italian male charm now doesn't it?

2. Everyone is beautiful.
Ugh..the number of gorgeous people is a little overwhelming! Men, women, young and old...they seem to carry their beauty with them wherever they go.  It could be the naturally tan skin, dark features and hair with plenty of "flow" ( Katherine ) but they seem to have this appearance that is just stunning.  However one thing I have noticed is that, while most people are stunning, a lot of people look very similar, so there isn't much diversity.  I kept seeing this one girl on the way to school, and after a couple weeks I discovered that it was actually three different girls that just happened to look a lot alike! 

3. They eat pasta, pizza & gelato.
TRUE TRUE TRUE. Here's what I have to say about these things...
Pasta: I never knew that there were so many types of pasta! But it's a good thing because I think the average Italian family eats pasta about 7-13 times a week...Let's just say, while I love pasta, I'll be taking a little break from it when I get home.
Pizza: Mmmm when you order a pizza in Italy, you are served an entire flat crusted pizza and it is absolutely normal, and even expected of you, to eat it all! Also many Italians take the pizza, cut in fourths, then fold each slice and eat it like a pizza sandwich. I'm not sure but it does just taste so much better that way, and I intend to always eat my pizza like that in America.
Gelato: I am sorry to say but..I can't describe it. It's NOTHING like ice cream in America, it's so much better, sweeter and softer but I can't do it a justice so you'll just have to come to Italy and find out for yourself!

4. People are very fashionable.
Once again, not everyone is but I think it's something that they definitely win the prize for above the USA. We generally get the music and movies before they do here in Italy, but Italy discovers the upcoming fashions. I used to think I was fashionable back home but here I have to really work at it! Fashion people, start looking for tucked in shirts and middle parts in the future :P 

5. People are very loud and yell at each other! 
True :) I think that this is one of my favorite parts of Italy, while it's overwhelming at times, it is so much fun to observe! They put so much passion into everything they say, and they're able to string together the most beautiful phrases of expletives I've ever heard!! It's hilarious :) 

6. There's lots of soccer.
They play it. Watch it. Breathe it. I'm terrible at it. 

7. There are lots of pick pockets.
I haven't discovered this around where I live in Central Northern Italy.  When I went to Rome people where constantly warning me about it.  I think it's more common in touristy areas as well as more down in the southern areas of Italy where there's more poverty.  I haven't had anything stolen yet...knock on wood.

8.  They're big into music.
I don't know really how to answer this one.  They love music and it's funny to see the amount of people that have their iPods in when they're walking to school or taking the train.  However, most of the music that they listen to is American music, which I found a little disappointing.  They also love their techno and house music, which isn't my favorite but I'm learning to appreciate it.

9. Everyone rides mopeds.
Everyone in Cremona rides BIKES.  However, I think that in the bigger cities, where there's more cars and less parking, more people have mopeds. I have had the pleasure of riding one, and I felt very Italian...and very Lizzie Mcguire :P 

10. People use their hands when they speak.
Oh yes they do, and it's very contagious.  After only five months of being here I can tell how much more I use my hands when I talk.  It's kind of embarrassing when I find myself gesturing at a movie when I'm alone, or at the phone when the person obviously cannot see me. I like it though, and I think that it just adds to the beautiful language! 

So as you can see I've found that a lot of the Italian stereotypes are true. However, there were a lot that are untrue that weren't mentioned. No one asked about the Mafia, boys that still live with there mothers or if people actually do say "Mamma Mia!".  The last one is true but I guess you'll just have to come to Italy and figure out the rest for yourselves! 



Sunday, January 9

MythBusters!...Italian Style


I'm sure many of you have read the book, or seen the movie Eat. Pray. Love.  If you haven't .. you should. The first third of the movie takes place in Italy and is revolved around eating and the Italian culture.  When the Italian reviews of the movie came out they said that it was like one big stereotype put into about 40 minutes of film...which I guess is pretty much true.  However throughout my time here, it's been fun for me to discover which stereotypes we have of the Italian culture are more or less true and which ones are completely false.  ALLORA, for my next blog I would like to share my personal opinions on the subject! 

So please leave a comment of an Italian stereotype that you've heard of and ...if it's appropriate..I will share my thoughts on it! 

I'm counting on you all