The 15 absolute worst things about living in Italy
You might be under the impression that life in Italy is one endless dream involving change-your-life pizza, handsome strangers and late-night vespa rides through cobbled piazzas.
Do not believe the hype... and definitely donât bother booking a plane ticket. Here are 15 reasons to stay away altogether.
While the rest of the world has realized that supersized, syrup-laden coffee with sprinkles, toppings and other calorific additions is the future, Italy is stuck in the old days. Here, coffee comes short, strong and unadulterated by additives and accompaniments. Plus, it costs around â¬1 â" what a rip off.
Taking food seriously
Outside Italy, dining is simple. Fancy a cappuccino after midday? No problem. Want parmesan on your seafood pasta? Sprinkle with wild abandon. Pineapple on pizza? Go wild. Break these sacred food rules in Italy, however, and youâll be committing a mortal sin.
All those ancient ruins lying around
From imposing amphitheatres to grandiose villas and temples, and even the ruins of entire towns, the Bel Paese is littered with ancient sites. Who wants so much history on their doorstep like that?
You could trip over that. Why hasn't anyone cleared all this old stuff away? Photo: Iudovic Marin/AFP
Endless summer holidays
Taking a month-long vacation in August is practically mandatory for Italians and many escape the rat race by heading to the beach for sun, sand and sea on repeat. Sounds exhausting.
Wasting two hours on lunch
Traditional Italian lunches can be a long, drawn-out affair with multiple courses involving platters of cured meats, cooked vegetables and at least one type of pasta.
Even pencil pushers get out the office, forget about work and enjoy a plate of something nutritious. Other countries waste much less time: in Britain, for example, the average lunch break for office workers is an efficient 28 minutes, leaving more time to file those all-important reports.
Too much personal contact
While a handshake, nod or maybe even the briefest moment of eye contact might be the normal greeting for us Brits, Italians are more likely to greet people with a smile, hug or friendly kiss. What are they trying to hide with such open affection?
What's a reserved foreigner to do when confronted with Italy's public displays of affection? Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
Sticking to what's in season
Italyâs markets are lively, colourful and packed with the freshest fr uit and vegetables, much of which is grown locally and often sourced from the same trusted producers year after year. Trouble is, I want strawberries in December and I donât care how many food miles it takes.
Italyâs artistic heritage is vast. The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Da Vinciâs Last Supper and Michelangeloâs Sistine Chapel are just a few of the thousands of masterpieces on display.
Take care though; overdosing on art can bring on the psychosomatic disorder Florence Syndrome, which results in rapid heartbeat, dizziness and fainting.
Italy's art is so overwhelming it has a syndrome named after it. Photo: AFP
From drivers honking their horns at every car and pedestrian that happens to cross their path to the local barista shouting out the orders across a crowded bar, Ital y is a chaotic place.
After a short period immersed in the pandemonium, though, other countries start to seem incredibly boring. Youâll also never be able to queue patiently again.
Too many desserts
Having to choose between gelato, tiramisÃ¹, cannoli and panna cotta is just too difficult. And thatâs before you even begin to think about seasonal specialties like panettone at Christmas, colomba at Easter and bignÃ¨ di San Giuseppe on Fatherâs Day.
Your waistline will need a miracle, so youâd better start praying now.
So much tiramisÃ¹, so little time. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
Shortly after any move to Italy, friends and family back home decide they want to experience la dolce vita for themselves â" and youâre their ticket in. Expect uninvited guests at your door within about six months.
So much natural beauty it's unfair
The landscape of Italy is as varied as it is beautiful. Verdant countryside, steaming hot springs, gorgeous beaches, snow-capped mountain ranges and even fiery volcanoes dazzle visitors and locals alike. Quite frankly, it ruins you for other countries.
Italy has (mostly) staved off invasion from the likes of McDonalds, KFC and Burger King, meaning diners have to put up with fast food, Italian style â" namely, regional recipes and home cooking in a street food setting. Think panini stuffed with local stews or braised veggies, deep-fried goodies like supplÃ¬ and arancini, or a slice of simple yet satisfying pizza.
Nice, but we know what you really want is a Big Mac and fries.
Fast food, the Italian way. Photo: Eric Parker/Flickr - CC BY-NC 2.0
An overbooked diary
You might have heard that Italians are friendly, generous and hospitable. Iâm sorry to tell you that itâs all true. Youâll receive so many invitations to stay at peopleâs houses or join their entire family for Sunday lunch, despite having just met half an hour ago. Itâs literally the worst.
OK, now thatâs actually a real headache. I wouldnât wish an appointment at the questura in mid-August on my worst enemy.
Originally from the UK, Emma Law is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Rome. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
What do you think are the worst things about living in Italy (serious or otherwise)? Let us know by email or in the comments below.Source: Google News Italy | Netizen 24 Italy