In seven days I visited Rome, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Naples, and Pompeii. While I did not get a chance to stay very long in these cities, I think I got a pretty good taste of the Italian culture.

Coffee. I forced myself to try Italian coffee (actually espresso, there is no “coffee”) because I’m not a big fan of coffee’s bitter taste, but I was amazed that there was no such taste in the cappuccino’s I tried. Very little sugar was needed. It went down smooth and there was no coffee breath where you needed “After Coffee Chewing Gum”. To make sure that my conclusion was accurate, I grabbed a cappuccino from Starbucks a day after my return. I couldn’t finish it – it had an extra bitter and burnt taste. Once you have the coffee in Italy, you can’t possibly drink it here.

Food. The food portions are much smaller in Italy; there was only one instance in which I was full and that was when I gorged on an entire pizza. Their breakfast consists of pastries (no mega-omelettes or cooked pig), and their lunch is usually small panini sandwiches with an espresso, though dinners are more filling if you get multiple courses. They just don’t have the dense fat-laden foods that we have here, so when I arrived back home the first thing I did was eat a huge greasy burger with bacon and fries. Being full is an American thing.

English. Italian people do not speak very good English. It got to the point where if I was talking to someone who did speak it well, it was a guarantee that they were from a different country. An American over there told me that Italians feel that if they learn English, they will be lowering their culture’s value.

Traffic. After renting a scooter in Siena (tame traffic by big city standards), I must conclude that Italian drivers are maniacs. They never yield unless you make that bold “if you don’t stop we’re going to crash” move. It’s like everyone plays a game of chicken, even pedestrians. To cross a road as a pedestrian in Italy, you need to step out in traffic with confidence and act like you assume they will stop. The smaller roads near city centers are shared by parked cars, pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, cars, and city buses, in a space no wider than two small lanes. People break almost every type of road law (especially the scooters), except red light running.

History. It must be hard for an Italian not to be influenced by the thousand year old monuments and ruins that surround them. Conservation is a big deal, so it is rare to see new buildings in city centers. There are few skyscrapers. I have a feeling that holding on to this past prevents them from making quick changes for the future, for their city layouts are not very conducive to capitalist efficiency. Regardless, their cities have character that ours don’t. You can tell planning went into their cities to make each building harmonious with its surroundings.

Style. Now I know where the term “Euro Trash” comes from. A popular uniform among teenagers were baggy jeans tucked into sneakers with a huge puffy jacket that had nonsensical writing or random flags on it. (I once saw “Camp Elliot California” on the shirt of some hipster doofus.) Most twenty-something Italians dressed well but not considerably better than Americans. They were very content with going to a fancy club in simple clothing, and it appears that they do not put in the effort that Americans do. I didn’t see any Coach bags or A|X shirts. Italians simply don’t have our unhealthy obsession with name brands. It’s as if they don’t care too much about impressing other people. For instance in the U.S. on cold nights you will often see girls in their tiny tops freezing their ass off so they don’t have to wear a coat to ruin their outfit. But in Italy the weather was only brisk and every girl wore a coat. There were also no fancy cars in Italy (you only see the occasional old guy in a BMW or Audi), no big rims, no iPods, and no huge car sound systems. It makes us look like we’re trying to overcompensate for something by spending money on ridiculous things.

Nightlife. I feel like the Italians are a little behind the curve on this one. It seemed that they are trying to copy the clubs that we have here, but you know what they say about duplicating success. There are some nice Italian nightspots, but nothing groundbreaking.

Women. No question, Italian women are hotter than American women. Except for their apparent lack of booty, they are simply better than American girls. Much thinner, better skin tone, eyes, lips, etc. But what’s interesting is that they are just as snobby as American girls. Plus, they don’t prize Americans, and view us as idiotic, fat tourists in general. Here’s a handy-dandy chart that breaks it down:

American Girls
Italian Girls
Body Size
Makeup Abuse
Bride Worthiness

As you can see from the chart, Americans girls only excel at their sexual features, confirming that they are good for sex and not a whole lot more.

Other things I noticed:

-Italian McDonalds are ghost towns.
-Little kids sound very cute with their developing Italian accent.
-Florence is tourist hell.
-Baggy jeans, scarfs, and nerd glasses were very popular with the girls. And not emo glasses, but serious nerd glasses: thick and clear colored.
-Italy has a big graffiti problem, especially in Naples (which also has a trash and feral dog problem).
-Soda water is sold right next to normal water, and is just as popular.
-No smoking in public places, country-wide.
-Bartenders give almost no ice in mixed drinks. A popular Italian cocktail I tasted (sweet vermouth, Campari, and soda water with an orange wedge) was absolutely awful (ditto to pizza with anchovies).
-Eating pizza twice a day is normal.
-The natives like rolling their own cigarettes.
-Old people (over 60) stay out past midnight to participate for evening strolls.
-African men have cornered the market in counterfeit purses and belts in both the U.S. and Italy.
-Loitering is a natural past-time. Italians have wonderful squares to hang out in. We have squares infested with homeless people and urine stench.
-People-wise, Italy is nearly not as diverse as the U.S.
-In a land of thin people, I did not see one gym.

In conclusion, I think Italy is a wonderful country. There is a lot to do and see, but one must know the language to really be able to participate in Italian society.

50 thoughts on “ITALY

  1. Sudamericana

    Dear International Man of Mystery,

    I am a little bit disappointed that you decided to go to Europe instead of Latin America 😥

    Can’t wait to read your interesting observations, though.

  2. DCB Post author

    My camera was the Canon sd200. I think it’s under $200 at amazon now. I think it’s a great camera.

    I totally loved being back here for the first day or two, but the love has weared off.

    I had a friend in rome, but outside of rome I traveled solo, which proved to be frustrating yet adventurous.

  3. Anonymous

    i do have to say that when i was in italy the italian men prefer red heads over thier own women ten-fold.

    you are such a damn lumper.

  4. nabeel

    hey DCB… explain something to me… from the handy-dandy chart, it looks to me that according to yourself, italian women aren’t that much different than american women except for looks. you even said that italian women can be as snobby as american women.

    Yet you take away one point from american women, and give italian women one point for bride worthiness. care to elaborate on why you did that?

  5. Anonymous

    Actually, 1.) Italians don’t eat pizza and 2.) There is smoking is almost ALL public places. I lived in Italy for 6 months.

  6. Phil

    I thought New York was a city of the worst drivers until I visited Rome. I can confirm that driving in Italy is bound by no laws that I am aware of. If you wish to die, you probably ride a moped in Italy.

    I was also confused by Europe’s, in general, aversion to ice cubes in any drink.

  7. Sudamericana

    Buenos Aires is the city of the worst drivers. We have embraced our Italian heritage and built upon it.

  8. CrazyGirl

    I am surprised you didn’t think that highly of nightclubs over there. I’ve always thought they were ahead of the curve in regards to that. Although, I mostly went to clubs in Vicenza, Verona, and Milano. Milano is a step above the other Italian cities.

  9. mirabella

    what percentage of men and women do you think settle down just to settle down? what percentage do you think just settle for who they’re with? i think it’s gotta be pretty high with the divorce rate in the 60% and all.

  10. mirabella

    what percentage of men and women do you think settle down just to settle down? what percentage do you think just settle for who they’re with? i think it’s gotta be pretty high with the divorce rate in the 60% and all.

  11. prncess674

    Overseas McDonald’s are very expensive by local standards, especially considering good local food is usually much cheaper! Great trip photos! I am a travel junkie myself

  12. krizzo

    There is no smoking allowed in all airports in Italy, as well as a lot of other places. You could not find very many places that allowed it in Venice or Rome when I visited.

  13. Dr_Brodski

    How about Italian men? Are there any females or discerning males who can give us a good blurb about Italian men and how they ‘stack up’ in comparison the American males.

  14. calgarienne

    Vittoriano. CRAZY traffic around there eh? I was scared for my life crossing the street each time. We were told by the tour guide to walk across the streets with no fear and you won’t be hit – the cars will stop for you. But if you show fear, game over.

  15. maria

    how dare you say that italy girls are cutter and hotter than american girls the only way i would accept it is if you had latin girls and they beat the shit out of those italy girls so you shut up cuz you don’t know wAT U ARE TALKING ABOUT CUZ I’AM latin and hot so shut the fuck up sorry for the slag but i’am pissed at you cuz that is not true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!byeeeeeeeeee

  16. kira

    wow u went everywhere y 7 days, thats gay but anyway good job with the web…nice photos 2!
    well im a hottie cya

  17. jessica simpson

    well american girls are hotter u prick i hope u die…and that other bitch that thinks latins are hotter!! mwhahahaha well cya gay poofs
    peace out, luv ya (not really)
    haha luv jessica simpson

  18. Anonymous

    So, most charts are calculated out of research and since the italian women wouldnt have anything to do with you I’d say your information is irrevelent! Have you thought the italian women thought YOU were a fat idiotic tourist! I’d bet your low opinion of American Women comes from us thinking your a fat idiot also! Ah, poor guy, cant get “banged” anywhere in the world!

  19. Anonymous

    italian women are better in every way possible and i’m not even italian, i’m spanish. as far as this..

    -People-wise, Italy is nearly not as diverse as the U.S.

    thats because the US is a ‘melting pot’. aka we have no culture of our own.

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  21. Russ

    I find it laughable that you wrote an article about Italian Culture after seeing 7 cities in 7 days – thats hardly enough time to shower and wander around for a few hours, eat dinner and go out at night, and then you have the confusion that ensues from attempting such a trip. I lived in Spain for 6 weeks and I feel that I didn’t learn about true Spanish culture until I could fluently speak the language, which took about 3 weeks (after years of class of course). The fact that you could only speak English and not the native language compounds your inability to be anything more than a simple tourist. Not a bad thing to be, but when in such a position do not attempt to write about anymore more than your personal experience.

  22. Patrizia

    Hi DCB,

    my name is Patrizia, and I am Neapolitan.
    Let me tell you something about us.
    First, Naples is not a trash bag, I mean, there are times when the city it’s dirty, you are right, but believe me it is not a daily thing!!!
    The fact that we are sourronded by history does not prevent us to improve in many field.
    Alot of researchers live in the States and other places in the world, the thing is that Americans know just what is convenient for them, sorry, I do not mean to be rude, but this is what I have learned travelling through your country, you want us to believe that you are the best, which is obviously not true.
    ONLY THE OLD GENERATION OF ITALIANS DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH. I am 40, and I do speak some english.
    The reason why we are thin, is because we do not eat JUNK FOOD, and as you said we use to serve small portion of food.
    There is alot to say about Italy and Italians, but it will take awhile….


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  24. dominic

    Hello !,

    1, i have been in Italy for one month and they eat pizza and smoking is seen as very stupid compared to my home country.
    2, girls are generaly physicaly worst than ones from Quebec.
    3, they are realy more sociable, enjoyable and realy more educated.
    4, South of Italy is the best place compared to Quebec which is very cold by all possible means. Just the feeling of being in this best place of the world make you feel very good.
    5, this board is cool, and excuse my english !

  25. Cali Girl

    After reading your “handy-dandy” chart regarding American women vs Italian women I have come to the following conculsions:
    -I have never met you, and I never want to.
    -There is a reason why you NEED to date foreign women who do not have a firm grasp on the English language. Any self-respecting, American woman would not touch a creep who uses such a classy term as “bangability” with a ten foot pole.
    -Your review of Italy only proves what a total kook you are. You went to Italy for only seven days and now you feel as if you are an expert on Itaian culture?

  26. Cali Girl

    P.S. I’m tempted to tell you to piss off back to Italy, however, I’m afraid you will tell people that you are American, thus giving the U.S. a worse world view than it already has. Do us all a favor, stop pretending to be a cultured, international playboy with you?re, what, seven days of worldly experience, and stick to only things you actually know about: McDonalds, pizza and Starbuck’s. Oh, and I also noticed that there were no photos of ANY Italian women. Gee, wonder why that could be.

  27. Anon

    You have to be about the stupidest and most uncultured git in the world, you do no favours for Americans who most of the world regards as loud and obnoxious and closed minded. Many of the commments you make make you sound like a retard. Do everyone a favour and stay in DC

  28. Anonymous

    I am a spaniard, currently in Venezuela. I do not understand all the insults you have received only for sharing YOUR VIEWS of Italy, coffee and women. I think either if pizza or smoking availability is or not as important as some interesting things you said about the importance of brand names on clothing and money spend on cars. I have found your comparison beetween american and italian women quiet fun. And even more fun at the remarks made by nasty american women! Maybe you need to reduce a point in the chart eh?? Jajaja!

  29. Anonymous

    Sorry but I meant that pizza or smoking being accurate or not is not as important as your remarks on what people wear, the importance of brand names on clothing and the way people spend money on cars. Those are really interesting things, and having lived in Europe and in South America, I can say they are very accurate, from the clothing to the cars I agree 100%. It seems to be the same in US and South America though…

  30. Anonymous

    DCB brother, you speak the truth about American Chicks. They are loudmouth, materialistic, and brainless. Most want to be famous or just worship the famous. It’s our entire culture, and yes…european women kick they’re ass in every catagory.

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  33. Anonymous

    I’m Italian. I live in Venice and I think It’s quite impossible that you understand my country in just seven days. For understand Italy and Italians you must stay here for one year.

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