Understanding the Culture & Customs of Italy

Customs and traditions are an important part of the Italian culture, which is why you can get a great cup of coffee anywhere, or there is a picture of a saint on your rental car. Many of Italy’s traditions are food-related, but there is also social etiquette to be followed and superstition to be reckoned with, so to avoid a brutta figura (looking like a fool) it’s a good idea to know more about protocol and culture in Italy.

Autumn Traditions in Italy–The Summer of San Martino

The warm sunny days of early November - similar to an American Indian summer - are called the "summer of San Martino" in Italy. Find out why. [more...]


Have Sausage, Will Travel – Exchanging Regional Foods in Italy

Italians who travel to another town to visit family in Italy feel compelled to bring samples of the best of their regional food, exchanging it for local specialties to bring back home. I’ve lived on the family trade route between sausages, olive oil and gorgonzola. [more...]


Italian Culture and Traditions – Avoid the Gift of Death

Italian traditions indicate which flowers are appropriate on certain occasions - avoid giving the gift of death, a no-no in the Italian culture. [more...]


How to Cure Green Olives

A simple recipe for how to cure green olives that does not require daily attention. [more...]


Deciphering a Parking Sign – How to Avoid Parking Tickets in Italy

Parking in Italy can be a challenge, from squeezing into a tiny space to deciphering a parking sign. Here are parking tips to avoid getting a parking ticket in Italy, and where to find a guardian angel. [more...]


June 2 Festa Della Repubblica Celebrations in Italy

In 2010 the Festa Della Repubblica celebrations in Italy on June 2 take place in a climate of political instability. [more...]


Italian Street Games – U Calacipitu Go-kart Culture in Sicily

Called a calcipitu in Sicily, a rudimentary go-kart is a part of the Italian culture of street games, where danger and noise go hand in hand. Join the celebration during a walk through Ragusa Ibla. [more...]


Italy’s Traditional DOP Cheeses – Provola of the Nebrodi Mountains in Sicily

One of Italy’s historic cheeses is Provola dei Nebrodi, a DOP cheese made in the mountains above Messina, Sicily, and traditionally aged in damp caves. [more...]


Weeds for Cheese – Bartering Caciocavallo In Sicily

Bartering with a farmer in Modica, Sicily brings us traditional caciocavallo cheese in exchange for weeds. [more...]


How to Make Sicilian Ravioli – Recipe & Cooking Lesson in Sicily

I learned the technique of making Sicilian ravioli in a home kitchen during a neighborly cooking lesson in Sicily, and managed to take enough notes to write up a recipe and explain the technique. I also had a great lunch. [more...]


Italian Culture & Customs
Italy Travel Guide