10 Ways to Become an Authentic Italian
While teaching English in a homestay in Italy, Kayla Maneen has learned some appetizing and fashionable ins and outs of the Italian way of life.
Below is her list of ten ways to become an authentic Italian:
- Olive oil makes everything better. Drench all your meals with it. While Americans may put a drizzle of it on salads, the Italians pour it over vegetables and pasta, and use bread to soak up the remains. They can—and often do—go through a giant bottle in a week.
- Always arrive at least twenty minutes late to wherever you are going. There is no such thing as being “on time.” Everyone and everything (including the trains!) is always just a little bit late. There are people to talk with, and things to forget, which seems to prevent anyone from arriving when they had intended.
- Eat all of the sweets and feel no shame. Not only are you “allowed” to eat chocolate, pastries, and other delectable goodies, you’re expected to. Especially for breakfast, or after dinner, as an afternoon snack, or whenever your heart desires. You won’t get any weird looks from Italians for indulging in dessert!
- Make your family your #1 priority. If you’re not with them, talk with them on the phone—multiple times a day. Don’t forget to include the in-laws!
- Always answer a phone call by saying “pronto”.
- Practice your (already pretty good) English with a native speaker. Don’t forget to stare at these native English speakers with great intrigue as they go about their daily business.
- Coffee just became your second religion. Cappuccinos, mocha-chinos, macchiatos, lattes, espressos… Try them all! And make sure to be picky about where you drink them, and what they should taste like. Italians take their coffee very seriously.
- Cultivate your sense of fashion. Men, women, children, and even the family dog Fido need to look good on a daily basis. If you don’t, people will stare. Pair a bad sense of fashion with being a native English speaker, and prepare to become famous. Also, if you’re going to the seaside, please pack a different bikini/swimsuit for every day.
- Nutella is the new peanut butter—use it well. It’s perfectly okay to become addicted, and to have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Get used to a new food order. It’s pasta first, then salad, next is meat and cheese and bread, and finally fruit and/or dessert. Make sure to have an espresso at the very end. Break in your elastic pants, because you’re going to need them when eating in an Italian home.
According to Kayla, if you take this advice to heart, you are well on your way to becoming an Authentic Italian. Congratulations!