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a question for Italians

Monterey Bay area...
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a question for Italians

What do you wish that North American visitors to Tuscany knew?

Your responses will help me to be better informed and less annoying to the Italians I encounter during my vacation in Tuscany. Thanks in advance for your answers

Frankfurt, Germany
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1. Re: a question for Italians

Why do you think there is something special about North American tourists with respect to Tuscany?

To be better informed read the posts here, use the search function, and be open to the culture in the area you are visiting.

Monterey Bay area...
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2. Re: a question for Italians

The reason that I asked about North Americans is that I am one.

While everyone is a unique individual ,there are some commonalities among people of a specific country. By learning a little about the rules of social interaction in a country that I'm going to visit I can then choose whether I want to modify my behavior in consideration of how things are done in the country I'm going to.

From what I've read, customers in shops in Italy are expected to wait for the shopkeeper to show them the item, a handbag for example, rather than picking it up themselves. In the US it's normal for a customer to pick up a handbag, open it, etc.

By having information about differing social customs I can avoid making someone uncomfortable because I'm unintentionally commiting a social error.

Learning to speak at least a little of the language of the country is something else I try to do. Just because I happen to speak English as my primary language doesn't mean that it's reasonable to expect everyone in a country that I visit to speak English.

I spend a good deal of time reading this forum so I will be organized, prepared and polite when I travel to Italy.

Volterra, Italy
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3. Re: a question for Italians

Hi Nosara,

I am an italian for the last 25 years, but originally from New Zealand. Yes it is very important to know these tings. But you can't go wrong. When I go into a shop, I like to look first. If the shop assistant asks if I need help, I say no thankyou, I am just looking. I like to look first, instead of perhaps being pushed into buying something that I am not really convinced about. If I want to pick something up from a shelf to look at it better, I just ask, and most of them say, sure go ahead. It's quite logical really. Of course there are shops which sell expensive items and perhaps there is written to not touch the items but to call the shop assistant.

There is an old saying ,' when you are in Rome do what the Romans do', this is important to keep in mind.

As for Northern Americans etc, it makes no difference from where you are, if you have respect for the italians and their italian way, they will respect you and will make you welcome where ever you go I'm sure.

Enjoy your holiday!

Bye from Jill

Tuscany
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4. Re: a question for Italians

I think that the two most distinctive features of Tuscan way of life are

- appreciation for beauty and harmony in all their forms: landscape, architecture, people

- food culture: eating well is living well. A meal shouldn't be only a way to nourish your body, but also your soul. Choosing fresh and healthy ingredients, preparing and cooking them, eating with calm and pleasure, are not annoying tasks but necessary steps to a better life.

If you'll tune in with these notes, you will get in touch with local people's soul, and they will recognize and appreciate that.

Stef

Rome
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5. Re: a question for Italians

personally I think that being open-minded, considerate, and double asking when in doubt (to avoid maybe making a faux pas) are golden rules of thumb that are good and valuable everywhere. Many thanks for being so kind and considerate. I also agree with stefm that ideally one should have time to relax and cook good food, but I really doubt that people nowadays in Tuscany (or anywhere else in Italy) have so much time available. Nevertheless, good food is part of good life, and I second the suggestion. Relax and enjoy and just let yourself feel the rhythm.

Monterey Bay area...
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6. Re: a question for Italians

Grazie, thank you, for your replies. I'm looking forward to experiencing the Italian way of life.

7. Re: a question for Italians

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