Italian Stereotypes List – Top 10 Funny Food, Culture, & Fashion Jokes!

Italian Stereotypes – Food, Culture and Fashion + A Bit More!

Today I’ve got a guest post from Silvia Pe about Italian Stereotypes.

She is an Italian travel lover and a compulsive reader living in Sardinia. She works in tourism field for and runs the blog, where she shares information about Italy. You can reach her on Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon.

Madonna Italians Do It Better

Italian Stereotypes – Funny or Problematic?

Here is a list of Silvia’s Italian Stereotypes!

1. Italians cannot live without pasta
2. Italian tablecloths are only red-checked
3. Italians are Mafiosi and the coolest of them is the “Godfather”
4. Italians talk a lot, with a strong musical accent and they are always gesturing while talking
5. Italians( boys and girls) are fashion addicted, or worse, fashion victims
6. Italians are tanned all year round
7. Italian guys are romantic, Casanovas and soccer players
8. Italians are “mammoni” (Mama’s little boy even in their 30’s)
9. Italians are relaxed, thanks to our Dolce Vita style philosophy
10. Italians are always late

Stereotypes are parodying exaggerations and often, we only know the reputation and stereotypes of a foreign culture. All over the world, a common “image” of Italians is known (as well as the French, the British and the Spanish), even though the actual knowledge of the country is superficial.

What usually happens is that the media uses the stereotypes especially in advertising, movies and in regards to VIP. As a result, it is no difficult to see certain characteristics as being typical for some nations.

I know this very well, because I have experienced it first-hand. I have lived in Spain and in the UK for a few years. What happened to me was that I had the chance to talk to people I had just met, about such grotesque representations. Italians are not all members of the mafia, fashion addicts, lazy and, least of all, not everyone votes (or has voted) for Silvio Berlusconi!

At first sight Italian stereotypes are funny and, surely, I appreciate a healthy discussion about different viewpoints but stereotypes can be problematic.

So, let me clarify the 10 most famous Italian Stereotypes.

1. True. Estimate per capita consumption of pasta in Italy is around 28 Kg every year. This means 2,3 Kg of Pasta each month. There is no doubt: Italians eat pasta almost every day, so you can still assert that Italians can’t live without pasta!

Italian Stereotypes List - Top 10

2. True&False. Red and white tablecloths are classical on Italian tables, especially in the “trattorie” or “agriturismi”… nearly all Italian families have checked tablecloths because, as Lacryma Christi label said, “Red and white table cloths went perfect with wines and roses which were eventually also added as a décor, in the centre of the table”.

3. False. Mafia is a cruel reality in southern Italy, the only cool people are Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. No more comments are necessary.

4. True. Gestures empathises the meaning of anything Italians say, something that come from the heart and can mean a lot of things that language cannot express.

5. True. From North to South, Islands included, fashion is part of Italian DNA. Even the most anti-trendy ones have an eye for accessories, colours match, haircut or perfumes.

6. False. If you could look at me, you’d never think that Italians are always tanned. Maybe, someone overdoes it with the sunlamps, but in this case their skin colour looks ridiculous and not tanned!

7. False. Italian guys are romantic? Not at all! there are a lot of beautiful men on the peninsula, but being romantic is another story! Italian guys love football, but there is only one, Alex del Piero. Casanova: as in all countries, men think to be clever so, it is not an Italian-boy prerogative. If you don’t know, Casanova is also the name of a male neurosis, a kind of pathological narcissism which is incurable! In this case, yes, all Italian men are Casanova 😉

Italian romanticism

8. False. Please, ask Italian politicians why we are still at home in our 30s!

9. False. Having a positive attitude, or taking the life easy, doesn’t mean being lazy or wasting time doing frivolous things. Yes, we love eating and having free time but who doesn’t?

10. True & False! We are not late, because if the appointment is around 10.00 everyone arrives at 11.00! Unfortunately foreigners don’t understand this habit and always arrive before the actual hour of the meeting!

The point is that stereotypes transform serious and complicated issues, turning then into general realities, regardless of time relation or historical knowledge, like when people talk about the mafia in a superficial and tactless way.

Of course, stereotypes are a controversial topic, but we basically all know that there are black and white sheep in every herd.

I hope you have enjoyed these top 10 most famous Italian stereotypes, but folks please, don’t take them too seriously!

Italian Map

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  1. September 10, 2012    

    These are all mostly false. My husband and friends are Italian, I live in the Castelli Romani and the only thing that is true is the addiction to pasta. He gets super angry if he doesn’t eat it nce a day!! My husband many be the worst dresser on the peninsula! He talks to his mom maybe 1x a week and we see her once a season despite being in the same town. Perfume is forbidden in my house. I have to say I enjoy looking at the all the leathery looking women at the 1st of September. I will never get the tanorexia, ever. Who wants to look 55 when they are 25?

    • December 14, 2012    

      Ha ha! I think there are elements of truth there – you can’t just pigeon hole a whole country!

  2. Lyn Midnight Lyn Midnight
    December 24, 2012    

    Ha! I’m beginning to demystify these myths myself. It’s funny because I’m a Bulgarian living in Rome, and I still don’t get the “let’s meet around 10” thing. If you say 10, being late 15 minutes is fine, but more than that… please, buy yourselves a watch, Italians. Muah. I like this article!

  3. January 11, 2013    

    Alas not all Italian men are romantic but they were more forward in my opinion that British men! I think there is always a little truth in stereotypes 🙂

  4. January 12, 2013    

    There is usually an element of truth!

  5. December 19, 2013    

    Nice handling of the most common stereotypes, especially the Mafia issue. Whenever I tell someone my dad is from southern Italy, invariably they’ll follow up with some kind of Mafia crack. Which is kind of annoying because it’s so tired, but also kind of amusing because he was in the Carabinieri, which is about as far as you can get from being a Mafioso!

  6. Italian Stereotypes Italian Stereotypes
    October 5, 2016    

    Sorry for the jump in. I just started a facebook page that talks about italian, especially from an ironic standpoint.
    We talk abut stereotypes, and do you know how it’s simple to have fun with them?

    If you’re interested just visits and if you like it, well just put a like on the page 🙂

    Italian Stereotypes

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