Differences: Italy vs. USA

I’ve been here for over 7 months now, and I’ve noticed many differences between Italy and the USA. Here are some of my biggest observations. Enjoy!

  1. Driving: Driving is crazy here! Italians drive so quickly here! They go way over the speed limit and the police don’t even stop them. Also, most of the roads here only have one lane for you and one lane for oncoming traffic. That means that if there is a slow car in front of you, you have to go into the oncoming traffic lane to pass them. Sometimes it’s really scary to watch because you can see oncoming traffic in the distance, but you pass anyway and for a second it feels like you’re going to have a collision with the oncoming car in front of you! Road crossing is different as well. The cars here don’t stop at every crosswalk, so if you want to cross, you just have to start walking and hope that the cars don’t run you over!
  2. Laundry: Italians don’t use dryers for their clothes…they just hang them outside and wait for them to dry. And if it rains (like it does a lot here)…well, that’s a problem. I always look at the weather report every day and make sure to have my outfits planned out a week in advance so I don’t accidentally end up without clothes because they are all trying to dry ;) I also noticed that Italians love to iron! In my first host family my host mom would iron EVERYTHING! I’m not even kidding. It was a three step process – wash, hang up to dry, iron. Like…I ain’t got no time for dat??!! (sorry, just felt like using a really southern accent there hahah)
  3. Food: This is an obvious one, but it’s super important! Italian stereotypes are true, they love their pizza and pasta! I’ve literally never eaten more pasta in my life before I came here. Risotto and cheese are very popular too, and I can’t forget about the wine! I should also mention the Italian coffee. It is delicious! It is a lot stronger than coffee in the USA and you use super tiny cups for drinking! Speaking of beverages, what’s up with Italians not using ice??! In the USA I put ice in all of my drinks!! Anyway, overall I would say that the food and the way of cooking is a lot more advanced in Italy than the USA. They have fresher dishes and they have more advanced machines for making them.
  4. Technology: The USA is definitely more advanced in technology than Italy. First of all, typing. This whole time I’ve been here, I haven’t seen one person who knows how to type properly. They just use two figures to type, and it takes forever! I’m very thankful my parents made me take an online typing lesson when I was younger, even though I hated it. Thanks mom and dad :) haha Also phones and computers are more advanced in the USA. Italians are just starting to learn how to use computers at school.
  5. Trash: This is a weird one, but it’s interesting! In the USA, people divide their trash into 2 groups – non-recycle and recycle. Italians however, have 5 groups – paper, glass, plastic, metal cans, and green. Each day there is a pick up for something. For example tomorrow is paper pick up. And they have a calendar in the kitchen that tells you what kind of trash to put outside for each day of the month. Italians are very economic!
  6. Time: In the USA, everyone moves at a rapid pace and uses each moment to accomplish something. People may not eat a full meal until the evening because there is only time for a coffee in the morning and a quick snack for lunch. This could not be further from the Italian perspective of time. In Italy, time is seen in a lighter sense in that people do not see a need to rush. Italians will casually walk down the street and converse with friends, have a cup of tea or simply appreciate their surroundings. And they will NEVER miss a meal!

So those were just a few of the differences I’ve noticed between Italy and the USA. I should also mention that school is very different too, so if you want to learn the differences you can visit my Italian school vs. American school post. Hope you learned something! :)

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