Everybody knows that stereotypes and clichés are not a good thing because they lead to prejudices and discrimination. All kind of generalization just like these ones and also stereotypes are a bad way of thinking about people and countries and genders. When a person thinks or feels a certain way about an entire group of people he/she is 99% wrong.
Italian people eat pizzas, pasta, cheese and drink wine. Italian men are seducers, they speak quickly and drive Vespa.
Stereotypes are so widely shared and common that there is an artist who created an unbelievably detailed map of the world which reflects common stereotypes prevalent about various countries. You can find it here.
Stupidity breeds stupidity, you know, and the world is full of patsies, shallow people and everybody wants to make reality easy to understand.
But Mexico is not a country made of housekeepers, Romania is not full of vampires, Muslim is not synonym for terrorist and Africa is not diamonds and desert.
Italy just like any other country has its stereotypes and clichés. Trust us, we’re gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse…
Italian gestures are the most popular cliché
People go crazy with that. There is a global madness about Italians and their gestures. The internet is full of infographics (!!!) to teach you how to act and move like an Italian. Here’s some examples:
It is unbelievable how people can be easily influenced. These infographic seems to be funny and probably they don’t hurt anyone. But there is one question to consider. Do you find them useful? Do these infographics help you to know Italians better?
When you hear/see silly stereotypes, there is just one thing to do. Ask them: what the hell are you saying!? 🙂
Just like our guys here…
Italian food and related clichés
Pizza, spaghetti, mozzarella. La dolce vita. Italian way of life is more complex than this one. Italian food is probably the most famous in the world and maybe the best one. You only have to choose between traditional regional food and gourmet food.
Don’t think just about pizza, think about the Neapolitan school of traditional pizza makers who are in the spotlight now. They are revolutionizing the concept of the pizza itself. The same is for other food and any other rumor. Clichés are static. Reality is dynamic.
Don’t expect to see fashion people speaking loud and drinking wine if you come to Italy. You will probably find them in a crowded restaurant, just as in any other part of the world.
Stereotypes and clichés in the entertainment world
Comedians use stereotypes and clichés as starting point for many of their sketches. It’s funny because everybody can understand it since stereotypes and clichés go viral.
This one above is one of the most viewed video on youtube if you query about ‘Italians’ on YouTube.
What you can do
Remember, both positive and negative stereotypes and clichés can have a negative effect. They can create false expectations, offend someone, share extreme generalizations.
But, above all, stereotypes and clichés will disappoint you! If you could verify every hearsay you won’t probably find not even one authentic aspect.
So, check everything in person when you can. Travel broadens the mind. Travel as much as you can to know the world around you and get closer to different people. Traveling is a state of mind.
And traveling in Italy is a dream come true. Then, you will decide what is true for you. And getting closer to the truth will make you feel better.
The true stereotype
How do stereotypes and clichés spread? Because they often contain a percentage of truth. You cannot deny this fact.
There is at least a little bit of reality in these feelings and thoughts. Probably distorted, but exist.
We give you some examples. If you go further this is what you will find:
• Italian coffee is an habit because it’s unique
• If you want to taste the real Italian pizza you have to eat it in Italy!
• Italy is one of the world’s 15 largest wine-producing countries
• Vespa is an icon with a beautiful history, but people drive mostly cars.
• It’s not all about the prosciutto…but when you taste the original Prosciutto di Parma you want to cry with joy. Italian food can be a unique experience.
• The same is with the Parmigiano cheese, the mozzarella cheese, olive oil, and so on…
• Italy is one of the leading countries in fashion design, if you love fashion it’s the right destination
• Yes, we make Nutella
• Tourists always fall in love with Italy
A funny article with 31 maps mocking national stereotypes around the world