5 Things Not to Do in Italy: Embracing Local Customs

5 Things Not to Do in Italy: Embracing Local Customs

Apr 18, 2024Federico Milone

Italy, with its rich history, culture, and traditions, offers an unforgettable travel experience. To fully embrace this experience, it's important to be aware of some local customs and avoid making mistakes that could offend the locals. Here are 5 things NOT to do in Italy:

1. Never put pineapple on pizza

Pineapple on pizza is an abomination to Italians. Pizza is a sacred dish, and the ingredients should be fresh and of high quality. Pineapple is not a typical ingredient on Italian pizza, and its sweet flavor ruins the taste of the other ingredients.

2. Don't order a cappuccino after noon

Cappuccino is a breakfast drink. Italians drink it in the morning with a cornetto or brioche. After noon, Italians typically drink espresso or macchiato.

3. Avoid adding panna (cream) to carbonara

Carbonara is a classic Roman pasta dish. The traditional recipe uses eggs, pecorino romano cheese, guanciale (cured pork cheek), and black pepper to create a rich and creamy sauce without the need for additional cream. Adding panna can dilute the flavor and alter the texture of the authentic dish.

4. Don’t break spaghetti

Spaghetti should be eaten whole, not broken. Breaking them is considered bad manners and can make it difficult to eat them with a fork.

5. Don't put ketchup on pasta

Ketchup is never used on pasta in Italy. Pasta is seasoned with a variety of sauces, based on tomatoes, olive oil, vegetables, and other fresh ingredients. Ketchup is seen as a low-quality condiment that masks the flavor of the pasta's ingredients.

By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to appreciating Italian culture and having a truly authentic travel experience. Italians are passionate about their food and traditions, and respecting their customs shows you care. 

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