What not to ask for in Italy?

Italy’s rich history and culture attract countless travelers. However, misunderstandings can arise from unawareness of proper etiquette when asking for things. Here are essential tips to navigate Italian requests successfully.

  1. Use polite tone and gestures: Italians value personal relationships; a friendly, respectful approach is crucial when asking.
  2. Coffee orders: Instead of "un caffè americano" (American coffee), opt for espressos or cappuccinos.
  3. Discounts: Italians perceive bargaining as disrespectful, so avoid requesting discounts until rapport is built with the vendor.

  4. Embrace Italian pace: Patience and enjoying moments are valued in Italy. Rushing or being impatient can be perceived as rude.

Understanding these cultural nuances allows for meaningful connections during your travels in Italy. Remember, we only have one life; let’s make it count by respecting customs and traditions.


  1. What are some common mistakes to avoid when asking for things in Italy? Answers: Using an aggressive tone or body language, ordering ‘American coffee,’ requesting discounts right away.
  2. Why should I avoid asking for discounts right away?


    Italians perceive bargaining as rude or disrespectful.

  3. How should I ask for coffee in Italy?


    Order an espresso or a cappuccino instead of ‘American coffee.

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