8 things to know during your holiday in Puglia
The beauty of the world lies in its diversity, each people has its own customs, its own traditions and its “rules” and often when you travel for a holiday, for work or for any other reasons in new countries, you may experience a real “cultural shock”. With this expression we do not mean a state of anxiety due to change, but the wonder linked to the observation of change with respect to the reality to which we are accustomed. Let’s see in detail some characteristics that concern Italians, some have even become stereotypes, try to guess which:
- The tip. Yes, one of the first things to know if you come to Puglia or Italy in general is that tipping is not mandatory and above all it is not a common custom, as it can be in other countries, among many, the United States for example. In fact, unlike in the United States, in Italy, not only is tipping not mandatory, but prices in restaurants or anywhere else are inclusive of taxes, there are no additions to make, which significantly reduces the final price. In tourist environments, tipping is more widespread, precisely because of the frequent contacts with foreign people. In any case, it remains a personal decision.
- A second thing to know about Italians is that they hate the rain! That’s true, most Italians do not like the rain, especially in southern Italy, where people are used to the sun and milder temperatures. So don’t be surprised if on rainy days you won’t see many people on the street, Italians just don’t like to get wet!
- Another thing to know about Italians is that they love kisses, exactly, kisses! You will often see people on the street kissing each other on the cheeks to greet each other. It is a common custom in many countries, in some three kisses are given, in others one, in Italy two are given, one on the left cheek and one on the right cheek. Typically, the kiss is between friends, family and acquaintances, but don’t be surprised if someone does it with you, Italians are generally very expansive and warm!
- Physical contact is another characteristic that distinguishes Italians. From the handshake, to the hand on the shoulder, to the simple touch to attract attention. We just don’t know how to stand still, that’s 100% true, but physical contact is part of our culture, as are the gestures that are indeed the topic of point 5.
- Italians gesture, everyone knows, the world teases us for this way of expressing ourselves! Yet it is fascinating and extremely expressive. Gesturing makes the conversation livelier and the expressed concept clearer. We may say that you can recognize an Italian by how they speak, or rather by how they gesture! And you, have you ever tried?
- Another characteristic of Italians is flexibility, from all points of view. Italians do not like deadlines much, nor the impositions on time, precisely for this reason, Italians are at least 10 minutes late. For us it is normal, of course, without any exaggeration: try to wait for someone for an hour, I dare anyone not to get mad! So don’t worry if an Italian friend you’re waiting for is a few minutes late, it’s quite common.
- Have you ever heard of napping? Well, in Italy it is “a must” both in the south and in the north, even if I have to admit that in southern Italy it is a little more widespread! The nap after lunch is the most beautiful thing on earth and this brings us back to another characteristic, namely meals, since Italians eat at least 3 times a day: breakfast with croissant and cappuccino or with milk and biscuits, lunch with pasta and maybe a second course, dinner and why not, also a nice (and above all good) snack after a power nap!
- The last characteristic of Italians is that they prefer to pay in cash, although you can actually pay anywhere with the card. It is a cultural issue, because Italians struggle to get used to new things, the novelty often frightens them, so you will definitely need cash for your holiday in Italy.
If you have never been to Italy, this small guide will help you to settle in and feel like a real “Italiano” once you arrive, we all know that you can’t wait to gesture too! You will be perfectly able to live your holiday as a local person. These characteristics are valid in northern Italy and southern Italy, with some small differences.