Everyday life in Italy
How do Italian families live? Are there similarities or differences to German families? What is everyday life like for Italians?
In Italy, the family is very important. You spend a lot of time together. Children live with their parents for a long time. Many people are believers and so the church also plays a major role in their lives. Much emphasis is placed on traditions. One is also proud of what Italy has produced in terms of art and culture.
In Italy, however, things are often chaotic. Hardly anyone on the road seems to stick to the rules, you like to drive back and forth. In offices the mills grind slowly and there are always delays. The mostly good weather may also ensure serenity. In any case, punctuality and order are not necessarily the strengths of the Italians. A bit of chaos is just part of it!
This probably also reflects the temperament of the Italians. You like to talk loudly and underline what has been said with your hands and feet. When Germans listen, it is easy for them to think there is an argument, and our southern neighbors just talk with passion!
In their free time, sports, fashion and food are very popular with Italians. People like to spend their money on clothes and good food. People like to talk about football often and often. The fans are called Tifosi. In addition to the national team, the favorite club is also enthusiastically cheered on, for example Juventus Turin, AC Milan, AS Roma or Inter Milan.
In the early evening you can see a surprising number of Italians going for a walk. It’s not so hot anymore and it’s time to go outside – they’re doing a passegiata ! You walk down the Corso (the main street) or across the piazza (the square), show yourself, meet the neighbors and have a little chat. Everyone returns home for dinner around 8 p.m.
Eating in Italy
What do you eat in Italy?
Because Italian food is also very popular in Germany – and many other countries – you probably already know a lot. Above all, pizza and pasta, i.e. noodles, are eaten a lot here too. Noodles come in countless shapes, for example as spaghetti, tagliatelle, macaroni or fusilli. You can fill them and that’s how you make tortellini or ravioli. For lasagna, noodle plates are layered. Maybe you also know pesto as a sauce with pasta or mortadella, Parma ham, mozzarella and Parmesan. These foods all come from Italy. And of course the delicious ice cream, the gelato.
Morning, noon, evening
For breakfast, Italians usually only eat a croissant and drink an espresso with it. It’s strong coffee in a small cup. A snack is usually enough at lunchtime.
The main meal is taken in the evening and it can be drawn out over a longer period of time. Antipasti are used as starters. Two courses are then common: the first contains carbohydrates (often pasta, gnocchi or risotto made from rice), the second then meat or fish. Gnocchi (pronounced njocki) are small dumplings made from potatoes.
Pizza is a flat bread made from yeast dough with a spicy topping. The basic ingredients of the topping are a tomato sauce and cheese. It’s a margherita pizza. Incidentally, it was named so in honor of the Italian Queen Margherita, who loved pizza as early as the late 19th century. For a simple pizza you can combine any vegetables or sausage. Pizza Funghi contains mushrooms, Pizza Prosciutto is topped with boiled ham, Pizza Tonno contains tuna. A folded pizza is called a calzone. Which other pizzas do you know?
Many Italians look forward to a sweet dessert at the end of the meal. Tiramisu is one of them. It literally means “pull me up”. Layer sponge fingers and a marcarpone cream and dust it with cocoa. Or would you prefer panna cotta? This means “boiled cream” and is a kind of pudding. Mmmh! Ice cream also tastes good as a dessert, of course!
Caprese is made from mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. This appetizer thus incorporates the colors of the flag of Italy, a country located in Europe detailed by homosociety.
Christmas in Italy
How do you celebrate Christmas in Italy?
The vast majority of Italians belong to the Catholic Church and are strictly religious. For them, Christmas is the most important Christian festival next to Easter, when the whole family comes together. Christmas is called Natale in Italian.
As early as the Advent season, the streets and houses are decorated for Christmas and lights brighten the evenings. Large fir trees with chains of lights are placed in large squares.
Most families set up a crib. It often finds its place under the Christmas tree in the living room. The crib recreates the birth of Jesus. There is a little baby Jesus and of course Mary and Joseph. Ox and donkey and the three wise men are usually there too. Many families expand their crèche over the years and so it gets bigger and bigger.
The Christmas tree is either artificial or is set up with the bales. Incidentally, the crib and tree are set up on December 8th, the Catholic solemnity of the Conception of Mary.
On Christmas Eve, the family goes to church together and eats together. A typical Christmas dinner is the panettone, a cake with raisins. It reminds a little of the German Christmas stollen. The Pandoro is also a typical cake at Christmas time. Meat must not be eaten on Christmas Eve, but only the next day. A mascarpone cream is a popular dessert.
Either the Christ Child brings Christmas presents on Christmas Eve or the witch Befana, who comes on January 6th. She rushes through the chimney into the house and brings the good children presents – everyone else will find little bits of coal in their shoes or socks! However, this is not real coal, but black colored sugar mass. You can find a poem about the witch Befana here !