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Old 11-11-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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The only reason I came up with this thread is because I was speaking to a childhood friend, with one parent from Naples and another from Bari, and she said that, while they can be such a pain in the ass, she wouldn't have them any other way. We had a good laugh on that one. I agree.

Here's my Top 10 and Bottom 10 on the Italians in Italy:

TOP 10:
1. They live their life as if on a stage -everything makes for a scene and the people watching cannot be matched
2. They are open and uninhibited, and somehow do it without ever looking like asses
3. Family and friends matter to them, and this is not diluted as quickly as it is in other parts of the modern world
4. They are generous, and open their homes and dinner tables to people they like, but they're not stupid and will tell you where you can go if you think you're going to take them for a ride
5. They are talented, mercurial and creative, with centuries of proving that over and over across many endeavors
6. They are funny and are not hemmed in by political correctness, and stereotyping is considered an art form
7. They practice a "live and let live" brand of Christianity and, for being the seat of the Catholic church, like their traditions yet are liberal
8. They take service in the hospitality industry (good hotels and good restaurants) seriously
9. They may, on the surface, look like slackers, but they generally are exacting once they put their mind to it
10. They live life one day at a time, and have long before that became a slogan for recovery groups

BOTTOM 10:
1. They live their life as if on a stage - "la bella figura" (outward appearances) count for everything, so they look everybody up and down very slyly and judge accordingly
2. They're great if you're Italian, they're cool with the Spaniards, and have a love-hate relationship with the French - no one else ranks, though they'll never tell you
3. They are fatalistic and have a brooding quality, with earthquakes rocking them and volcanoes shooting lava every once in a while, reminding them that they are temporary, and their economy makes them more so
4. Their breaks, days off, long lunches and other perks come before doing work
5. They make the worst bureaucrats - they love to hear themselves talk elegantly in circles, yet accomplish nothing
6. They smoke too much, which is counter-intuitive, because if you smoke, you will age poorly and they are very much into their looks
7. They hate overweight people, and an Italian woman's biggest fear is "il culo Americano" - "an American butt"
8. They are "drama queens," and petty squabbles in families last an eternity
9. They have a real caste system, with "raccomandazioni" (knowing someone) being worse than it is in the U.S.; there are some jobs you can't have unless born into the right family or circle, again, worse than in the U.S.
10. Unless in a type of work where it's an "art form" (hotel, food, art stores), they can be rude and need lessons in "customer service," though even their rudeness is an "art form" in and of itself

Comments? Additions? Deletions?

Last edited by robertpolyglot; 11-11-2012 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:23 PM
 
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I actually think your top 10 describes Italian americans especially in the northeast very well.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
I actually think your top 10 describes Italian americans especially in the northeast very well.
Haha. After re-reading the list, you're probably right. And the bottom 10, no? Eh, that's probably more applicable to conditions in Europe.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:11 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
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Not sure about the bottom #10.
The way the Americans see and judge others as rude is not the same in Europe. Europeans have their own way to interact with each other and in general they are happy with that. I don't think they "need a lesson" from the Americans.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
5,899 posts, read 8,415,835 times
Reputation: 4366
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
The only reason I came up with this thread is because I was speaking to a childhood friend, with one parent from Naples and another from Bari, and she said that, while they can be such a pain in the ass, she wouldn't have them any other way. We had a good laugh on that one. I agree.

Here's my Top 10 and Bottom 10 on the Italians in Italy:

TOP 10:
1. They live their life as if on a stage -everything makes for a scene and the people watching cannot be matched
2. They are open and uninhibited, and somehow do it without ever looking like asses
3. Family and friends matter to them, and this is not diluted as quickly as it is in other parts of the modern world
4. They are generous, and open their homes and dinner tables to people they like, but they're not stupid and will tell you where you can go if you think you're going to take them for a ride
5. They are talented, mercurial and creative, with centuries of proving that over and over across many endeavors
6. They are funny and are not hemmed in by political correctness, and stereotyping is considered an art form
7. They practice a "live and let live" brand of Christianity and, for being the seat of the Catholic church, like their traditions yet are liberal
8. They take service in the hospitality industry (good hotels and good restaurants) seriously
9. They may, on the surface, look like slackers, but they generally are exacting once they put their mind to it
10. They live life one day at a time, and have long before that became a slogan for recovery groups

BOTTOM 10:
1. They live their life as if on a stage - "la bella figura" (outward appearances) count for everything, so they look everybody up and down very slyly and judge accordingly
2. They're great if you're Italian, they're cool with the Spaniards, and have a love-hate relationship with the French - no one else ranks, though they'll never tell you
3. They are fatalistic and have a brooding quality, with earthquakes rocking them and volcanoes shooting lava every once in a while, reminding them that they are temporary, and their economy makes them more so
4. Their breaks, days off, long lunches and other perks come before doing work
5. They make the worst bureaucrats - they love to hear themselves talk elegantly in circles, yet accomplish nothing
6. They smoke too much, which is counter-intuitive, because if you smoke, you will age poorly and they are very much into their looks
7. They hate overweight people, and an Italian woman's biggest fear is "il culo Americano" - "an American butt"
8. They are "drama queens," and petty squabbles in families last an eternity
9. They have a real caste system, with "raccomandazioni" (knowing someone) being worse than it is in the U.S.; there are some jobs you can't have unless born into the right family or circle, again, worse than in the U.S.
10. Unless in a type of work where it's an "art form" (hotel, food, art stores), they can be rude and need lessons in "customer service," though even their rudeness is an "art form" in and of itself

Comments? Additions? Deletions?

Great list robert

I have extensive family in the Naples area (Sorrento) and was able to live with some of them in my visit to europe in october, and i think i can add a bit of my view, even if its not that accurate as someone living in italy for a long time. Also, my dad is italian, and my grandparents were big time italians, meaning they barely learnt spanish in the 50 years they live in argentina, and they went back to italy every year (almost).

About the top 10, i generally agree, specially how they are family oriented and super generous. If you are family, they will do whatever they need to make you feel good. They are probably the nicest most welcoming people i ever met.

bottom 10:
7)About the overweight people, well, maybe in the area i was wasnt like that, but i gotta soy 80% of my family (and i ve met 60 of them) were fat. And men, DO THEY LIKE TO EAT. Considering they eat something like 8 plates a meal and they can easily spend a sunday sitting in front of a table eating for like 9 hours, then i would say "la bella figura" isnt as important for them as....eating!!

10)Never encounter anyone rude in Sorrento, quite the contrary, people attending any type of business were the NICEST. While in Rome, most of the people were unbelievably rude.


Dont have any more to say to your list, about a lot of the things you wrote i dont know but you are probably right. Great descripcions of italians
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:53 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 28,616,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieLL View Post
Great list robert

About the top 10, i generally agree, specially how they are family oriented and super generous. If you are family, they will do whatever they need to make you feel good. They are probably the nicest most welcoming people i ever met.

bottom 10:
7)About the overweight people, well, maybe in the area i was wasnt like that, but i gotta soy 80% of my family (and i ve met 60 of them) were fat. And men, DO THEY LIKE TO EAT. Considering they eat something like 8 plates a meal and they can easily spend a sunday sitting in front of a table eating for like 9 hours, then i would say "la bella figura" isnt as important for them as....eating!!

10)Never encounter anyone rude in Sorrento, quite the contrary, people attending any type of business were the NICEST. While in Rome, most of the people were unbelievably rude.
Haha Sophie:

I see a lot of Buenos Aires in this list, too, with "la bella figura" obsession. The Porteno cares a LOT about he or she looks. I saw that attitude in Microcentro, Barrio Norte, and Recoleta. About the being fat, my aunts and uncles don't care, because they've had their kids and their carbohydrates for decades now and nothing will stop them from eating. About the younger generation, particularly the women, if they are 10 or more lbs. overweight, they worry about what everywhere will think of them, including my cousins.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:40 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 28,616,513 times
Reputation: 8780
Just thought of this while having a small pizza for lunch:

The "la bella figura" syndrome is actually the ENGINE that, to me, runs both the Italians' Top 10 (yes, I very much want to make a chic impression) and their Bottom 10 (eh, you don't rank, leave me alone).

There are books on sociological observations about different ethnic groups. I was once visiting Powell's Books in downtown Portland OR, which may still hold the claim to be the world's largest bookstore. I was going through the psychology section and stumbled into a book with a title the likes of 'Ethnic Dimensions in Counseling/Therapy' or something like that. I quickly devoured, for free, the chapters on Italians, Greeks, and Portuguese in a clinical setting, and I wasn't too surprised. The only one that was somewhat new to me is that the Portuguese psyche is heavily burdened by the sense of loss, referring to their loss of prominence in European history and subsequent decline into being one of the EU's less wealthy nations.

Still, this thread is about Italy ...

Last edited by robertpolyglot; 11-13-2012 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Queens, NYC
420 posts, read 710,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Just thought of this while having a small pizza for lunch:

The "la bella figura" syndrome is actually the ENGINE that, to me, runs both the Italians' Top 10 (yes, I very much want to make a chic impression) and their Bottom 10 (eh, you don't rank, leave me alone).

There are books on sociological observations about different ethnic groups. I was once visiting Powell's Books in downtown Portland OR, which may still hold the claim to be the world's largest bookstore. I was going through the psychology section and stumbled into a book with a title the likes of 'Ethnic Dimensions in Counseling/Therapy' or something like that. I quickly devoured, for free, the chapters on Italians, Greeks, and Portuguese in a clinical setting, and I wasn't too surprised. The only one that was somewhat new to me is that the Portuguese psyche is heavily burdened by the sense of loss, referring to their loss of prominence in European history and subsequent decline into being one of the EU's less wealthy nations.

Still, this thread is about Italy ...
Out of curiosity, what did the chapters about Greeks say?
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:50 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 28,616,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatTheHellMan View Post
Out of curiosity, what did the chapters about Greeks say?
As can be expected, it was somewhat similar to the Italian chapter. It did mention that, in the traditional and family-oriented Greek community, there is both stigma and guilt associated with being divorced, and that it was more pronounced for women. It has been some 5 to 10 years since I read through this book. But, what an interesting concept - a handbook for understanding, and dealing with, various ethnic groups in a clinical therapeutic setting.

Isn't there that famous saying "Una faccia, una razza," which means "One face, one race," alluding to the intertwined cultures of Italy and Greece? Indeed there is.

Greece
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:28 PM
 
5,721 posts, read 5,466,936 times
Reputation: 3606
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
The only reason I came up with this thread is because I was speaking to a childhood friend, with one parent from Naples and another from Bari, and she said that, while they can be such a pain in the ass, she wouldn't have them any other way. We had a good laugh on that one. I agree.

Here's my Top 10 and Bottom 10 on the Italians in Italy:

TOP 10:
1. They live their life as if on a stage -everything makes for a scene and the people watching cannot be matched
2. They are open and uninhibited, and somehow do it without ever looking like asses
3. Family and friends matter to them, and this is not diluted as quickly as it is in other parts of the modern world
4. They are generous, and open their homes and dinner tables to people they like, but they're not stupid and will tell you where you can go if you think you're going to take them for a ride
5. They are talented, mercurial and creative, with centuries of proving that over and over across many endeavors
6. They are funny and are not hemmed in by political correctness, and stereotyping is considered an art form
7. They practice a "live and let live" brand of Christianity and, for being the seat of the Catholic church, like their traditions yet are liberal
8. They take service in the hospitality industry (good hotels and good restaurants) seriously
9. They may, on the surface, look like slackers, but they generally are exacting once they put their mind to it
10. They live life one day at a time, and have long before that became a slogan for recovery groups

BOTTOM 10:
1. They live their life as if on a stage - "la bella figura" (outward appearances) count for everything, so they look everybody up and down very slyly and judge accordingly
2. They're great if you're Italian, they're cool with the Spaniards, and have a love-hate relationship with the French - no one else ranks, though they'll never tell you
3. They are fatalistic and have a brooding quality, with earthquakes rocking them and volcanoes shooting lava every once in a while, reminding them that they are temporary, and their economy makes them more so
4. Their breaks, days off, long lunches and other perks come before doing work
5. They make the worst bureaucrats - they love to hear themselves talk elegantly in circles, yet accomplish nothing
6. They smoke too much, which is counter-intuitive, because if you smoke, you will age poorly and they are very much into their looks
7. They hate overweight people, and an Italian woman's biggest fear is "il culo Americano" - "an American butt"
8. They are "drama queens," and petty squabbles in families last an eternity
9. They have a real caste system, with "raccomandazioni" (knowing someone) being worse than it is in the U.S.; there are some jobs you can't have unless born into the right family or circle, again, worse than in the U.S.
10. Unless in a type of work where it's an "art form" (hotel, food, art stores), they can be rude and need lessons in "customer service," though even their rudeness is an "art form" in and of itself

Comments? Additions? Deletions?
Having visited several times with family there I can't disagree on the most part. Never had a problem with customer service tho, which astounds me as they work without tips. Maybe because the servers were so friendly that I became a regular after a day and a legend when I revisted lol.
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