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1. You no longer can eat salty food for breakfast, and if you do you definitely can’t mix it with something sweet.

2. You scoff at people who drink cappuccinos after 11am.

3. You say “Aye-yah!” when you get hurt instead of “Ouch” or “Ow-ah!”

4. You realize you’ve started staring at people much more, but don’t think it’s as rude as you once did.

5. You cross the street whenever a car isn’t coming — to hell with the little red person on the traffic light.

6. Similarly, you’re less scared not to follow road laws, and drive much more — ahem — ‘freely’ than you once did.

7. You can slip sarcasm or double-meanings into any conversation, no matter what the topic.

8. You begin English sentences with “Allora” and do things like “taking” a dish or “doing” a shower.

9. You use your hands during every conversation, sometimes responding to English friends with a gesture that fully explains your point, but that they’re likely not to understand.

10. You don’t think twice about paying for water, and you never expect ice.

11. You wear long pants even when it’s over 75˚ Fahrenheit.

12. Your go-to small talk is about upcoming or recently-had vacations.

13. You firmly believe in the dangers of cold air on your throat and happily take a digestive shot after dinner.

14. You become fiercely proud of the town you’re “from” (or living in) and know the waiters, baristas, and mammas throughout.

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About The Author

Gina Mussio

Gina Mussio is a Columbus, Ohio native but lives in Monza, Italy. There she writes, teaches English and resolutely searches for the best pizzeria in town. Talk to her more at @ginamussio.

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  • qtmavi

    This is brilliant! One thing I will never do is become afraid of the colpo d’aria!!! I refuse darn it, I’m American and therefore immune. An amusing list none-the-less. I am a hispanic american living in Torino. :D

    • Gina Mussio

      Thank you! I said the same thing about colpo d’aria, yet after almost a year I find myself covering up much more than I ever used to! My refusal comes more with all the rules for digestion! haha :)

  • Jane Gherardi

    I live in Lucca and all of this, for me, is absolutely true, except I refuse to wear a scarf in temperatures above 75 degrees. ;-)

  • Del Stewart

    15. You count on your fingers starting with your thumb. 16. You can make the word “Bo” mean anything you want it to mean, positive or negative, in any language. 17. You wave at people palm inward making a cupping motion. 18. If you’re a man and you wear one of those horrific Speedo bathing suits, seriously, don’t bother coming back.

  • babalu

    This should be retitled Italian-american,

    • sal

      Exactly! We are usually have nude – winter or summer! Cold air on your throat?! Paying for water? Face palm…

  • Julie

    I spent all my life in Rome: absolutely true. I guess n°11 applies to the North! :-)

    • Gina

      Hi Julie — perhaps it does! I’m based out of Milan, but have traveled extensively throughout all of Italy. Coming from Ohio where we’re used to pretty cold temperatures, It can definitely be difficult to understand how anyone could wear pants in such hot weather!

  • Giovanni

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH so freakin’ true XD

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