A bit of the Italian culture - cultura italiana
Part of the allure of Italy and Italian culture is the sense of timelessness and there is much about Italian culture that cannot be so easily categorized. In this section you can learn interesting facts about the Italian culture.
Some examples of the Italian culture include:
The most popular sport in Italy is football or calcio but this country has a long tradition of different sports such as skiing, motorsports, cycling, basketball, etc. The Italian national football team called Azzuri is currently ranking 4th on the FIFA’s list. Italy will be defending the World Cup Winner Title in Africa later this year. We can teach you how to cheer for the Azzuri in Italian!
The Carnival of Venice or Carnevale di Venezia is a worldwide famous show. The word carnival comes from the Latin for "Farewell, meat!". As Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday) obliged people to fast, during the period up to Ash Wednesday all meat, butter and eggs had to be used up.
By the seventeenth century the Carnival of Venice had become a regular attraction for tourists from Northern Europe, mostly young aristocratic men who spent a year or more visiting the cultural attractions of Italy.
Fashion is definitely one of the most developed industries – just think of Versace, Armani or Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few. Each year Milan hosts a fashion show dedicated to pret-à-porter that has been dictating fashion trends since 1958.
No one loves their food as do the Italians – meals are not just for sustenance but are social events where families and friends meet and talk for hours.
The Italian cuisine is considered as very healthy and delicious and is imitated all over the world. The portions are much smaller than those served in northern European countries, and are generally based on vegetables and fruits and home-made pastas. Traditionally, meals in Italy usually contain 3 or 4 courses.
The typical meal consists of:
- Aperitivo - Appetizer before a large meal
- Antipasto - There are hot and cold starters
- Primo - The first course (pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup)
- Secondo - The main dish (fish or meat)
- Contorno - Side dish (salad or cooked vegetables)
- Formaggio e frutta - cheese and fruits" can be the first dessert
- Dolce - Desert
- Caffè - Coffee
- Digestivo - Digestives (liquors such as grappa, amaro, limoncello, nocino)
Doing business in Italy
Practicing proper etiquette is essential in the Italian business world.
- Be descriptive and demonstrative in conversation. Your Italian colleagues are likely to be effusive and demonstrative when they talk, and will appreciate enthusiasm in your own communications.
- If at all possible, get a third party introduction to potential colleagues. Italians appreciate personal connections when doing business.
- Wear a few elegant accessories to business meetings. A subtle display of wealth or success will likely be noticed and appreciated by Italians.
- Don’t put your Italian colleagues under pressure to make a decision. Decisions are often not made during business meetings
- Follow through with any verbal commitments, as failing to stick to a verbally agreed-upon decision can cost you credibility and even the business relationship. Italians highly value a person’s word.
- Have all important business documents translated into Italian.
- Schedule appointments far in advance, and always confirm appointments.
Choose your location and start learning Italian now