8 Incorrect Italian Stereotypes
By: Liz Flynn
People tend to apply stereotypes to any culture or country. In most instances, these stereotypes are either incorrect or only apply to a minority group of people. Here are some of the most common stereotypes applied to Italy and the Italian people.
1. The sun always shines in Italy.
Although Italy is famous for its Mediterranean climate, the weather is unpredictable. It is quite possible that you will go there for a week-long vacation and it rain for your entire stay.
2. Italians have olive skin and dark hair.
Yes, some Italians do have olive skin and dark hair. Many of the men also have the mustache that is stereotypically associated with Italian males, much like Super Mario from the computer games. However, skin tone and hair coloring vary greatly across Italy. For example, the Sicilians are often the opposite of this stereotype.
3. Italian people only eat pasta and pizza.
This could not be further from the truth. The cuisine in Italy is extremely diverse and depends on the region. Italian dishes are often influenced by the local, seasonal ingredients. Italians are passionate about their food and try to keep their dishes simple yet full of flavor.
4. Every Italian is a football fan.
While football is probably the most popular sport in this country, it is not the only sport that Italians enjoy. Cycling, rugby, and tennis are also popular in Italy. However, those who are football enthusiasts are extremely passionate in their support for their team.
5. The mafia rules the country.
This belief has been exacerbated by the media and films such as ‘The Godfather’. Surprisingly, people think there is just one mafia in Italy that consists of family members led by the oldest male. People also believe that the mafia is based in Sicily. None of this is true. There are many mafias across the country with an increasing number in the north. Women are also beginning to play a more dominant role within mafias.
6. Tuscany, Rome, and Venice are the only places worth visiting.
Tuscany, Rome, and Venice are fantastic places to visit and they are the destinations you are most likely to see in a travel brochure. However, every city in Italy has something special that is worth seeing. Similarly, the villages offer an entirely different experience that allows you to absorb true Italian culture and to see some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever come across.
7. All Italians are amazing lovers.
There is a rather romantic image attached to Italy and this has expanded to the belief that Italians are great in bed. However, the statistics appear to tell a different story. In comparison to other countries, Italy has a very high rate of divorce and separation. In fact, the statistic for those divorcing within the first five years of marriage continues to rise.
8. Italian drivers are bad drivers.
Some Italians are careful drivers and others are lunatics behind the wheel. Like in any country, everyone drives differently. However, Italy is home to some of the fastest cars in the world so this may influence the speed at which some people drive.
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