50 Things You'll Only See in Italy and Nowhere Else

Italy is a country with a rich history, vibrant culture, and a unique way of life. From the stunning architecture and delicious cuisine to the laid-back lifestyle and fashion-forward citizens, there are many things that are considered normal in Italy but may seem strange or unusual to outsiders. In this list, we've compiled 50 of the most interesting (and sometimes amusing) things that are considered totally normal in Italy, but may be hard to find or unheard of elsewhere. From the love of espresso and long meals to the art of nonchalance, these quirks and habits make Italy the charming and eccentric country that it is. So, without further ado, here are 50 things that are considered totally normal in Italy...but nowhere else.


1. Eating gelato for breakfast

2. Taking long Sunday afternoon strolls

3. Drinking espresso at lunchtime

4. Celebrating aperitivo hour

5. Going to church after lunch on Sunday

6. Taking an afternoon nap

7. Watching people play “bocce” in the park

8. Sitting outside to eat in any season

9. Drinking wine with every meal

10. Sprinkling chili flakes on everything

11. Using nonna’s recipes for everything

12. Wearing red lipstick with a masculine suit

13. Going to a bar for a mid-morning cappuccino

14. Taking your time over meals

15. Eating pizza with a knife and fork


16. Taking the stairs instead of an elevator

17. Waving at strangers in the street

18. Having every meal accompanied by olives 

19. Wearing loafers with no socks

20. Drinking Campari on summer evenings 

21. Talking with your hands

22. Stopping to talk to strangers in the street

23. Eating bread and cheese at any meal

24. Having long, leisurely business lunches

25. Making a “finta” (pretending) you know someone

26. Shopping at the local markets

27. Eating out of season fruit and vegetables

28. Complimenting strangers on the street

29. Driving with a car full of family members

30. Eating gelato every day

31. Going for walks in the mountains

32. Eating focaccia for breakfast

33. Taking time for afternoon tea

34. Relaxing at a cafe for hours at a time

35. Taking off work in August for vacation

36. Wearing colorful, patterned scarves all the time

37. Eating ice cream from a cone at midnight

38. Iced coffees and espresso drinks in summer

39. Wearing sunglasses at night

40. Eating dinner late

41. Enjoying a grappa digestivo after dinner

42. Talking loudly in public

43. Buying handmade leather goods on the street

44. Paying next to nothing for delicious fresh bread that the rest of the world couldn’t get for any price

45. Enjoying a good argument

46. Enjoying a limoncello spritz

47. Drinking espresso standing up

48. Celebrating the art of la dolce far niente (the sweet art of doing nothing)

49. Taking a passeggiata in the evening

50. Buying world-class fresh panino or pizza slice from the restaurant down the street for lunch