Italians are loud. Italians are VERY loud. And Italians are beautiful, except for the fact a lot of them have bad, crooked teeth. But the top three things I have learned about Italians are that they are very well dressed and taken care of, are loud and emotional (in a good way), and they love good quality food.
Not only in my classes, but in the things I read, observe, and experience, I have noticed all of these things.
EXCEPT… this is all false…. besides the food fact.
Italians are obsessed with the way they look because having a good figure “bella figure” here means sometimes more than your social status, or it shows your social status. Sometimes you might see a gorgeous Italian dressed with a top notch outfit, with the perfect nails, hair, and makeup but this may be the only outfit she may have. And she probably has worked very hard to be able to buy that outfit. Also, Italians are loud because just like the Italian opera, emotions NEED to be expressed here.
Italians feel an urgent need to express how they feel, not only to their friends and family but to their friends and family in public so that people know what is going on. I often see couples who seem like they are about to get arrested from arguing very loudly in the middle of the street, but then I realize nobody else is even looking or noticing them because this is a normal thing to do here. Couples also explicitly makeout in the middle of the piazzas here but that is something I wish to not get into…
Anyway, Italy may not be exactly what it seems. It is a gorgeous, diverse country (with very different accents, foods, customs, and people within a single country). However, it has a lot of problems many may not even know exist. If you come visit Italy for a few weeks, even a month maybe you may not even notice these problems. But after living for some time here you can start noticing what lies underneath the surface. And all of this helps to explain so much about Italians and the culture.