Everything you need to know about Italian traditions, habits and passions, as well as their coffee, language and lifestyle.
1. Italians really prefer blondes. True, they interpret this concept broadly: any girl with a suit a little lighter than the raven's wing has a chance to become an object of attack, and the farther south, the greater the probability. Italians also love tall (Mediterranean girls are stunted). But on the way to the heart through the stomach on the Apennines does not work: self-respecting Italian firmly believes that it is safe to let exactly one woman into the stove - her own mother.
2. By the way, blondes (and blondes!) In Italy are not so rare: the Norman conquerors inherited not only on the coasts (where they built a bunch of castles), but also in the gene pool. Especially spectacular look the descendants of the Vikings in Sicily.
3. Non-drinkers are found in Italy, albeit rarely (there are practically no reasons to drink, in principle, a bottle emptied at dinner has not stopped anyone from driving and driving dozens of kilometers in fog or serpentine). People who do not drink coffee are not found among Italians at all. Victims of medical restrictions, in order not to feel like outcasts, start the day with caffeine-free cappuccino. Only a tourist can request tea for breakfast; cappuccino after lunch, too, drink only come in large numbers.
4. The Italian does not know the words "espresso". That so called ignorant northerners, him coffee-un caffè, a half a SIP of pure caffeine. Ordinary bartender, even if he is a Negro's, do those three in a minute (and no "Barista diplomas" for this, of course, not provided). The same amount of substance, but in an even greater concentration is called "ristretto", and razbodyazhennogo to a "lungo". The tourist, who, even from lungo pounding heart, doomed to us (in a good bars to it is served boiling water — can be diluted till the cows come home). In the event of a hot summer came up with a cold cappuccino (cappuccino freddo), and milk with a drop of coffee (latte macchiato — version of the diet) and coffee ice (granita al caffè). And for the chilly winter, a coffee, seasoned with Grappa, whiskey, cognac or liqueur — caffè corretto.
5. Tradition to see off old year, throwing out extra furniture out of the house through the window, was safely dead, even in the most remote villages. But some rituals have survived: the night of January 1, any self-respecting Italian meets in red underwear (for good luck) and a bowl of lentil stew (money).
6. In Italy do 260 plus species of wine, but the pizza made to order not wine and beer. The main beer brands in the country two: one North (Moretti), and the other South (Peroni).
7. The Italians do not dry the umbrella when open: open an umbrella inside —a good sign. Entering a shop, restaurant or office, wet umbrellas, it is customary to leave at the entrance — in a special basket, which in dry weather can be easily confused with the ballot box. The whistle in the apartment allowed easily, but leaving a bag lying on the bed — no God forbid. But landed in a dog pile, it is necessary immediately to rejoice is to money.
8. Comb your hair in public for an Italian — top indecency, but to scratch his balls only light in sight is a perfectly normal thing. Moreover, it should protect from the evil eye (in Russia in similar circumstances decided to knock on wood).
9. THE WEATHER FORECAST ON TV NOT VOICED GIRLS, AND THE BBC ITALIAN OFFICERS IN FULL UNIFORM.
10. This does not mean that the girl have nothing to do on television. Far from it: it's supposed to Shine in the evening a satirical program Striscia la Notizia (translated as "Creeping news"). It is assumed that the host throws jokes on the topic of the day, and half-naked beauty brings him a "zipper" of news. Walking back and forth across the screen in a swimsuit, you can make an incredible career: to be the leading song contest in San Remo, becoming a companion of George Clooney, the Minister or, at worst, a simple MEP.According to the monstrous contest, several thousand candidates for the place fall into the statistics for “Creeping News” - but then everything goes like clockwork: the program goes on channel 5, the channel belongs to Berlusconi, and the prime minister’s tendency to long-legged beauties is known to the whole world, including his ex-wife : Veronica Lario at the time of his acquaintance with the owner of factories, newspapers, ships appeared on stage in revealing outfits. It is strange that after 20 years she was surprised by the candidates recommended by her husband to the European Parliament.
11. MPs, councilors, Ministers, mayors, chiefs of police and the head of government in Italy go to "Lunches" metallic-blue. No flashing lights on them, but the scandals in the press still get a fair amount: as per official statistics, Italian taxpayers provide more than 600 state limousine — eight times more than in the States, and ten times more than in France.
12. Benefits Catholic hierarchs looks very tempting: among other things, cardinals, and others like them rely on special Vatican stamps petrol filling stations (which are found not only in the Vatican but also within Rome).
13. The limits of the Vatican is not limited to the Vatican wall. To the papal state date back a country residence in Castel Gandolfo, and buildings of various departments, such as ministries of the Catholic propaganda (Propaganda Fide) in the heart of the tourist area of Rome — side by side with the boutiques of via Condotti.
14. In addition, the papal patrimony are considered the main Roman Basilica, the total number of seven (including St. Peter). Theoretically, these churches are still hiding from the law is not worse than in the times of Caravaggio: the Italian police there is no progress even leading to them the steps. Pickpockets this fact did use, cutting purses with cameras have languished in the queue of travelers and ensuring that the Vatican is incredibly high (worse port of Naples) the level of crime.
15. IN ROME, ON THE WATERFRONT, SOON A HUNDRED YEARS AS A MUSEUM OF SOULS IN PURGATORY.
16. Italian Church — a treasure for the ethnographer. About the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius in Naples all know — but in the same way (just with less crowds) arrives and the blood of St. Pantaleon in Ravello. A wooden baby Jesus in the Roman Church of Aracoeli every year gets letters at Christmas; in Sant Eusebio, near the Central capital market on January 17 blessing of the animals (used to bring the cows, now drag the Terriers and turtles), and in Santa Francesca Romana at the Forum annually on March 9 sprinkle Holy water on the vehicles (mostly taxis and motorcycles).
17. Sacred places in churches can be identified by the Golden Shine: in gratitude for the healing (salvation from bankruptcy, finding the groom, give away, wish fulfillment) devout audience weight wrong whole chapel medallions, images of cured limbs made of precious metals, figurines and tapes. Especially zealous in the South, in the vicinity of Naples, where any taxi driver, driving the truck across the double solid, hoping for divine intercession more than on the police, courtesy of others and the SDA.
18. Taxi drivers in Italy — a separate caste. Not all of them are crooks, but no one will miss the opportunity to include Patsy-visitor counter on country fare, and then to justify their actions a heavy life: licenses are now rare and expensive (in Rome, for example, driving a taxi can only 1,800 people, to pay for such a right need thousand 15, and then 20, and sometimes father-in-law and son-in-law has to buy the car together), Union rules do not allow to cheat (will intersect with the passenger after the shift — will be deprived of the right to carting), tariffs are nearly the last century has not changed, and even evil, the municipality introduced a fixed fare to the airport. How then, pray tell, do not twist the meter?
19. The main Italian matter, comparable in scale with fools and roads — the trade unions. Precise — strike. Strike all: pharmacists are protesting against the trade aspirin in supermarkets, lawyers — against tougher competition, students vs exams, the Professor against the students, ground services of airports against life in General. Each shop tends to complicate the existence of the greatest possible number of people. When dissatisfied with the chiefs of stations, not trains; when infringe the rights of benzozapravschike, stores quickly come to an end products in pharmacies — medicines and ATMs — money. To calm all these people is difficult, especially since even Deputy Ministers from time to time hold shares with a briefcase marching through the streets all day and refuse to work on the laws. Theoretically all this Orgy must be regulated by a special Commission, and any action will be announced in two weeks. In practice, air traffic controllers, drivers and helpers of the pilots wanted to sneeze on Commission: aviation in Italy, protests more often than flying, on average, 400 times a year. It's amazing really that with all this garbage at least someone at least sometimes tries to fly.
20. Until the fifties of the twentieth century in Italy lived cavemen: cave is a district of the city of Matera in Basilicata. Now from the cave apartments gradually make boutique hotels and museums.
21.In Italy there are no passage yards: the courtyard is everyone’s internal affair, it must be closed from outsiders by a wall or at least a fence. The exception is exactly one - the Roman district of Garbatella, a city-planning experiment, started in the twenties. While the constructivists in Russia invented communal houses, Mussolini turned a whole working quarter into a commune in a more favorable climate.
22. The Italians are sure that the main thing in a foreign language is pronounce (because their emphasis is virtually indestructible - after living in Russia for a couple of decades, a Roman or Milanese will still say “evil”). But the tourist who learned to output “non parlo litallano” without losing a single vowel will in most cases pass for the local one - after this phrase he will be contacted in fast Italian without any concessions.
23. In Italy, there are three hundred dialects (not to mention some Sardinian language). Most of them almost died out, leaving a memory in the form of a couple of dishes on the menu, several names on the map and the manner of pronouncing “p” (in Rome it is rolled out), “h” (in Milan, this sound is replaced, where possible, by “s”) or “k” (in Tuscany they say “haha-hola”). But in some places the dialect turns into a way to oppose the world. The most striking example is Venice, where the same square can be called in three ways - from "San Giovanni" to "San Zan" and "San Zanipolo".
24. In the same Venice houses are numbered not according to streets and districts, which on the whole city only six. In the end, postmen have to deal with the "San Marco 3467" and "Santa Croce 4853" and hotel — to send to future guests of the user with the interpretation of the address (the Venetians could not win even a Google it seems that the satellite they were able to confuse exactly the same as any American tourist). However, in the peaceful land of Florence have to stray: for legal entities it is necessary to have a separate room, the color red, so after the 16th of the house can be the 4th or even the 7th (the division into even and odd sides of the street is often missing). To accept the fact that Italy's second floor is our third, and the first human is zero, that is "earthy" (pian terreno), after this is a breeze.
25. Italian lift (written in 600-year-old entrance) can be five corners or not to be the roof, and it will never close itself when, should be carefully shut the door.
26. In every Italian city — my schedule. Florence restaurants rest on Sundays, and ice cream on Mondays. In Bologna on Wednesday evening to find an open grocery. The inhabitants of Ferrara having dinner at home Thursday — a restaurants are closed this day (it is possible, however, to throw in Modena — where chefs make a break on Mondays). Common problem one: Monday morning — no shopping. To 15:30 the money will be able to spend except on food.
27. The first Monday after Easter is a national day off when supposed to take the basket and go on a picnic. Train tickets on this day will not buy in the Park free space and on the road — will not pass. The only thing worse is the 15th of August (assumption), which in the cities are only tourists and it really is a fucking loser.
28. Count-Communist in Italy's business as usual. Communist millionaire — by the way, too. In Emilia-Romagna, where the Communist party has almost same number of votes, as in Moscow in the Soviet Union, and the celebrations of the newspaper "UNITA" gather more audience than a concert with the visiting rock stars, the voters come to the polling stations on collectible Lamborghinis.
29. THE CONCEPT OF CONSCIENCE IN THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE IS MISSING.
30. The Museum's Director, if he is a nonresident, are eligible for housing (for the principle "that guard, and then we have"). A few years ago there was a big scandal: the headmistress of the Castel Sant'angelo gave myself a two bedroom apartment exactly there, where once had lived the Pope. With unmatched views of the river. Actually punished this lady is not for abuse and for unauthorized alterations of a historical monument (without moving walls, it was impossible really to organize the kitchen). The Director of the Palatine archaeological collection behaves more modest — and therefore for many years been in the evenings, alone with the spirits of the emperors. Other Museum workers, apparently, are afraid of ghosts is to find a change, the man could not.
31. The Italians are sleeping in tightly sealed spaces — the outside should not leak any ray, not to mention the breeze.
32. Wedding dinner consists of twenty-odd changes — less indecent. In the middle served with lemon sorbet: it is believed that it AIDS digestion. But the cake is still far away — after the sorbet will bring more rabbit or fowl.
33. Not all relationships will stand the wedding in Italian — so all try to marry as late as possible. Every girl from 12 years begins to pick up his temple for the wedding on the occasion of the meeting with the Prince. Popular places must be booked for the year (and may even two). The guest list is sure to get second cousins, hunting companions of his grandfather and colleagues of the groom at the first job. Taking into account all the quirks, allergies, schedules and unforeseen circumstances, finding a restaurant, providing photographers and completing the required course of conversations with the priest, we still have to move the actual ceremony, and to live to the moment when you shut the door of the Bridal Suite and try to sleep.
34. Italian cuisine is by no means limited to noble ingredients such as truffles, buffalo mozzarella or balsamic vinegar: in some Puglia, the main dish is the herbs of the local variety of rutabaga (cime di rapa), and braised chicory is served as a side dish in general throughout the south.
35. Italian fat is included in the European Union register of regional products, the production of which violates sanitary standards. They make lard in the same place as marble, next to Carrara (and, by the way, keep it for several months in marble tubs).
36. In Italy, they eat mule eggs (coglioni di mulo) and cat sausage (felino). In fact, of course, both are made from pork, just in the first case, the gut, in which the minced meat is placed with spices, is tied in half, and in the second the name is given not by the original ingredient, but by place - the town of Felino near Parma.
37. JEWISH SURNAMES IN ITALY ARE NAMES OF CITIES. IN THE NATIONALITY OF THE PERSON WHICH ARE THE NAME OF MARIO ANCON OR ALESSIO BERGAMO, MAY NOT EVEN HAVE ANY DOUBT.
38. In Rome, you can and should drink water from a tap, as well as from fountains: it comes from mountain sources from aqueducts of imperial times. The history of Roman prosperity is the story of sewers: the first drains were dug in the 7th century BC, the first pipes were laid in the second, and the barbarians finally managed to finish off the capital of the world only by cutting the water pipes. Having returned to the city pipes and fountains, the popes proclaimed the restoration of the empire; in other parts of Europe in those days, water was valued almost worth its weight in gold.