Why foreigners are crazy about Italy
How to enjoy the first holiday to Bel Paese
According to Business Insider, there are at least ten things about Italy that always shock first time travellers there. "Authentic pizza, pasta, cups of espresso, leather bags, historical sites, religious relics, and scoops of gelato often make a tourist's itinerary when visiting Italy. But don't you forget about the most important thing that completes the entire country - the locals."
Is Italian culture and habits too much for a tourist to come with? Sometimes this can be true, but it is fair to add that most of visitors have a highly stereotyped image of the country and this is what make their first authentic experience in the country a bit confusing.
Is Italy "strange" because meals are divided into three courses, antipasto, primo piatto, secondo piatto? Well, that's the traditional way of arranging meals in Italy, but this does not mean people are expected to order everything.
It is common to hear that "Italy won't be Italy without Italians, and Italians won't be Italians without their hand gestures". It is true, and again it is part of its culture. Enjoy it if you like, but don't copy it. It will be weird.
It also happens very frequently to read that "Italians are known for their close family ties, their love for children, and care for the elderly. Foreigners quickly notice that Italians will put their family first before everything", or that "Italy lacks (or never had) this thing they call personal space. They consider it polite to be close to someone while talking and it isn't awkward to talk while touching your hands and arms. Hugs and kisses aren't considered eyebrow-raising when done in public. In public transportations, they won't mind if you sit right next to them even if there are seats available". That's all true, although a bit exaggerated, but it is our culture! If you want to enjoy the country, you should come here with the idea of melting into Italy as much as possible. Live it, enjoy it, and take back what you really liked. Leave the rest there, and remember that all foreign countries may look weird to foreigners, unless they just love it. And for Italy, most of tourists are just crazy about it.