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How about those Italians

Travel Forums Europe How about those Italians


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1. Posted by ozman (Full Member 118 posts) 10y

My missus and I have just returned from a week in Rome. While we loved the ruins and the food, the Italians (well, 90% of them) were another thing altogether.

We both agreed that they must be the rudest people in all of Europe. We were absolutely treated like second class citizens in that country. I suppose this is a hangover from ancient Rome when they were one of the greatest civilisations in the world; however, this is obviously not true of modern Italy.

Everywhere we went we were hounded for money, this was especially true at the Colloseum. We have never been to a country in Europe (and I have been to 15 others including Spain and Holland) where people were so cynically out to get our money.

The customer service was worse than appalling. We both walked out of shops when ready to make a purchase simply because there would typically be two to three shop assistants who could not be asked to stop talking to each other in order to serve us.

The drivers there are the worst drivers in Europe. Pedestrian crossings mean that they will simply speed up in order to get around anyone on the crossing rather than stop as is done everywhere else in Europe.

It is disturbing that they treat their toursits so badly considering that Italy would sink into the Mediterranean without the tourist dollar.


2. Posted by Nikolina (Budding Member 51 posts) 10y

I live close to Italy so I am used to them and maybe I am not too objective. I can not say I had bad experience but I believe all you said. Look at it this way, it is part of there charm:)

Anyway, even they are like you said, tourist come and come...more and more...and if you ask USA citizen which country they want to visit in Europe, at least 80 % would say Italy!!!???

3. Posted by lugosi (Budding Member 28 posts) 10y

My experiences in Italy are very positive; customer service's excellent, everybody's so friendly & helpful... But knowing the Italian mind, I can tell you that they are not very keen on American and British tourists, whom they consider to be just a source of massive income. In Italy, you have to express your wishes clearly and sometimes loudly (yet trying to be nice), and stand up for your rights. ;) Otherwise you will get no attention or respect. The fact that I speak Italian fluently and look like an Italian might have something to do with their being so nice to me. :)
And about the Italian way of driving... That's just their way, every visitor in Italy must get used to it. It's always wise to see how and when the locals cross the street. When in Rome, do as the Romans do! ;)

4. Posted by aleah (Full Member 400 posts) 10y

Italy does have, as most Southern and Eastern Mediterranean cultures, a high context culture. That means that they make a strong distinction between insiders and outsiders (tourists for example). A lot of the communication is not expressed verbally but between the lines (body language, facial expression)

This is very difficult for people from low context countries (Switzerland is acutally leading on that, but also North America, Germany and the Nordic countries belong to this group) to understand, as in this culture, message is transmitted orally and quit direct. There is not much reading between the lines necessary to communicate.

I hope this helps to understand better how the italians "work"


5. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 10y

Quoting ozman

We both agreed that they must be the rudest people in all of Europe.


Peter - I resent that remark. It is well known that we, the Scots, are by far the rudest people in Europe.

Please get your facts straight in future.


PS Visit Scotland 2006!

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Quoting mikeyBoab

It is well known that we, the Scots, are by far the rudest people in Europe.

I saw a snippet of a news story that said Glasgow has become the most dangerous city in Europe. Guess this is why people go to Ireland!

7. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

Guess this is why people go to Ireland!

We're not dangerous per se, just very very rude.

8. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 10y

Quoting mikeyBoab

We're not dangerous per se, just very very rude.

So should I reconsider my plan to go to Scotland? Hmm...

9. Posted by NextMove (Budding Member 24 posts) 10y

hello ozman,
I'm italian and I can understand what you're talking about.

Sometimes in places where there'are so many tourists local people often take advantage of them, I know this isn't a right behaviour and it should being punished (not by police or so but by people the took advantage of such as americans, germans, japaneses, etch..)
I live in one of the most italian touristic city (florence) and I know it can happen, it happens but at same time I hope this will not let you think all italians are so idiots.
In my city we call them "bottegai", a derogatory way to call shopkeepers.

About people by feet I understand they couldn't be very nice, but let me say (I don't wanna justify them) that sometime me too can't sustain "herds" of people when you wanna going to buy some bread and can't across a street because of people snakes :)

I hope being enough clear, ask you for sorry for everything and hope you'll be back in Italy without bad thoughts :)


10. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

I think there's nothing more welcoming than being charged a small fortune for a can of Coke being kept icy cold by a water fountain that also doubles as a coconut cooler!