11 Ways Americans Know You’re an Italian

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Okay, so I got a lot of feedback on 11 Ways Italians Know You're an American, and I wanted to counter that article by saying, we Americans also can pick you Italians out of a group.  Granted yes, we are in Italy, so there are plenty of Italians.  Living in a tourist hub like Florence though, there are days where I interact with more Americans or other tourists than Italians.  Here are my 11 surefire ways to pick an Italian from any group of people.

Sidenote* I love my Italians, men and women, so don't take it a bad way when I say any of these.


  1. You can smell an Italian man from a mile away.

    Seriously, what is it with Italians and their cologne?  Maybe it's a European thing, but any Italian I have ever interacted with always puts on just a little too much "gal-bait".  Cultural thing?  I think so.

  2. The men wear their collars popped.

    via GIPHY

    Alright, this is not 1976.  Please unpop your collar.  I had a friend visiting recently and as we were walking to lunch she turned to me and asks, "So is the popped collar just like, an Italian thing?".  Yes, unfortunately it is.  None of us Americans really understand it.  Also, while we're on the topic of collared shirts, lets make them a little less tight, yes?

  3. Italians are repulsed by the idea of a real breakfast.

    OK, so you have to actually talk to an Italian to figure this one out, but I had to throw it in here anyways because WHY!?!? What is so offensive about some good 'ole bacon and eggs for breakfast??  Yes Italy, your coffee is amazing, but if I have one more too sweet pastry for breakfast, I might throw it out the window.

  4. They actually REALLY use their hands to talk, and say "mamma mia"

    When I first came here, I assumed this was something in cartoons used to make fun of Italians.  NOPE.  This is something actually done. Hand gestures are often accompanied with a nice "cazzo" or something even a little more vulgar.  "Mamma mia" is an expression used for pretty much anything and everything, good, bad, surprise, disgust, whatever.

  5. They wear jackets and sweaters in August.

    via GIPHY

    Why for the love of God do they do this?  It will be 90 degrees out and there will be Italians strolling around in sweaters as I am dripping sweat in a top and skirt.  Do they just not feel the heat?  The world may never know.

  6. They don't know how to form lines.

    Whether it be for a concert, waiting in line at the questura, or just purchasing a coffee, I'm not sure I've ever seen Italians form a line of any sort.  If you see people standing in a line while you're in Italy, 99 times out of 100, they're not Italian.  
    Going in line with this (haha get it), Italians are just really bad at organization and communication in general.  Non answered texts, being late, and chaos are all very common in Italy.

  7. They talk to themselves when they're walking down the street.

    Since many Italians don't have cars, I guess the whole talking to yourself while walking is the same as talking to yourself while driving?  I've been observing this for a while now, wondering if maybe they were on Bluetooth, but I'm pretty sure they aren't. I talk to myself too, so no judgements, I just usually don't do it when I'm walking to work.

  8. They never wear shorts.

    And when they do its these weird below the knee tight capri things.  I really don't understand the appeal, so I don' think this is something I will "when in Rome".  I'll stick to dresses (:

  9. They all smoke.

    via GIPHY

    Yes, smoking is around in the states, but we have laws against advertisements and selling to minors.  For Italians there is no such advertisement law, and cigarettes can be purchased in machines scattered everywhere without need for your own photo ID.  You can borrow anyone's codice fiscale within a few feet away and get cigarettes at any time of day. Almost every Italian I know smokes, and if I can't tell between a group of American girls, and a group of Italian girls, the Italians will have someone who starts smoking.
    Those who don't smoke either used to, or have switched over to vape. 

  10. Italians have conversations across the street from each other.

    Whether it be from shop to shop, or 3rd floor apartment to 2nd floor apartment, Italians will yell across the street to each other instead of crossing to have a conversation.

  11. They don't clean up their dog's shite.

    Watch your step, especially in Florence where there is almost zero grass in the city center, because people do not pick up dog poop.  Sidewalks, streets, drains, and doorsteps alike, doggie feces can be found any where.


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