Don't come to Italy expecting one easygoing Mediterranean culture. "Italy is a fast, rough, hard country," says Beppe Severgnini, author of La Bella Figura, a witty, clear-eyed anthropological research of his countrymen. "Too fast in many ways, yet they work-related bloody hard." So show up ~ above time come that service meeting (in fact, check it mainly ahead), don't dawdle at the espresso bar, and don't dress prefer you're in the Bahamas. And also whatever girlfriend do, don't sluggish down in the middle of the highway. Whether you're relaxing on the Riviera or visiting Rome because that the nightlife, Italy may be much more of one adjustment than you thought, and also in fully unexpected ways.

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Italian organization is generally much more accommodating 보다 that of, say, the French. Ask and also you'll more than likely receive—along with, perhaps, a couple of Italian hoax at her expense. Restaurateur Giorgio Locatelli, who flourished up in Italy and runs the acclaimed Locanda Locatelli, in London, says that his son became notorious in their city for eat lard when he was six. "Now he's nineteen, and they say, 'How's your son? Is that still eat lard?' " Here, a few simple rules for not becoming the target of a lifelong joke.

Don't season anything—bread, pasta, one entrée—without very first trying it. You'll shed respect together a discerning diner.

Sometimes you'll acquire bread through a small diced tomato or olive oil to begin your meal. Take into consideration it an extra. Lock do; in fact, they'll include it in a basic cover charge, or il coperto, which has water and also amuse-bouches. You'll be tipping much less than in the states (ten percent if you really love the service), therefore think of this together a kind of semi-service charge.

Extra Parmesan is a privilege, not a right. And also never inquiry it with anything fish-based. "If castle think that something need to be consumed with cheese, they'll offer it," states Locatelli. "If that doesn't come, don't ask for it."

Don't mix and match her pastas and sauces. Certain pastas tie well with certain sauces. You'd it is in hard-pressed to discover a spaghetti Bolognese, and also for great reason.

You don't have to order all available courses—antipasti, primi, and secondi; two out of three are usually expected.

Don't questioning for numerous ice in your soda. Most Italians don't take any kind of at all, and lots of ice (like several water) is considered extra.

Sop up the remaining sauce—called scarpetti, or "little shoes"—with your bread. It's a an excellent compliment to the chef.

Children eat what your parents eat. "You'll never discover a kids' food selection in an Italian restaurant," says Locatelli, other than maybe "in some stupid place, prefer Venice."

Don't use a spoon to twirl her pasta. If you must, use the side of your plate.

Mealtime can be loud and convivial, together you'd expect, however generally not while you're digging in. The "Buon appetito" in ~ the start of the meal signals that fist is now to be paid to the food, and tiny else.

Try to eat with your best hand, particularly in conservative areas. There's a lingering Catholic bias versus la mano del diavolo, the left hand.

Take espresso in ~ the finish of the meal, after dessert. "Cappuccino ~ ten in the morning is immoral and also illegal," says Beppe Severgnini. "It's dogma; friend don't need to define this. You have to accept it. In the middle of the winter in Trieste, okay. We press it to eleven."


** tips from Beppe Severgnini, writer of La Bella Figura

DO have a glass of wine v lunch, but don't acquire drunk throughout dinner or at any other time. Beppe is like most Italians: "I have actually a glass that wine through dinner; i don't attack the minibar in the hotel room." back bars are becoming a late-night diversion because that the younger generation, the legacy of a stand-up pre-dinner aperitivo—wine because that the center classes, Campari mixers because that workingmen—still predominates.

DO "trust the restaurateur's advice and skills during the meal" but NOT "what the puts top top the bill."

DO it is in cordial, social, and touchy with friends (it's even normal for two males to sit ~ above a bench at the same side the a table), however don't kiss first-time acquaintances.

DO be aware of Italians' proficiency v hand gestures, however don't shot to it is in an skilled at them. Beppe recently consented to have a decided he provided at Columbia college taped, just to uncover that they had filmed his hands because that an anthropological study on Italian hand syntax. "Only execute it if you are completely certain that you understand the gesture and what the means," the says. Avoid making a circle v two hands ("I'll kick your ass"), an okay signal ("You could be gay"), or the adversary horns v your hand (you're not saying absent on, you're saying the his wife is rocking on with somebody else).

DON'T underdress OR overdress. "We think that Americans together doing both," states Beppe. "A suit and a shirt through no tie is for sure enough."

DO speak freely about religion, class, and also other perceptible topics, but DON'T carry them up in prior of a priest—and no for the factor you'd think. "He'll love talking around it so lot that that won't stop."

DO permit a woman go first through a door if you're a man—but not right into a restaurant. There, you're intended to lead the way and do thearrangements.

DON'T switch to a first-name basis until prompted, however do repeat your own name. "It's typical of a dinner party in America," Beppe says. "The Italian guest is trying come remember the woman's name, and she's currently telling him about the 2nd divorce native her 3rd husband."


Getting through on Italy's roads—probably the many dangerous in west Europe—is much less a issue of etiquette than of patience and also contained aggression. It helps to understand a few things once navigating them, either together a driver or together a pedestrian

Don't journey too gradually on highways or leave as well much room between your car and also the one in front, or you'll get honked in ~ or passed. There are speed borders here, but they aren't bring away seriously.

You'll see cars parked in no-parking area that don't get ticketed, but don't assume it's a free-for-all. In most cities, it takes a regional to knowwhere come park illegally there is no consequences. If you're having trouble deciphering the parking regulations, ask who who stays there.

Try to prevent driving ~ above Friday and Saturday nights—by far the worst time for traffic and also pedestrians.

Crosswalks are not favor those in the Midwest—or even in new York (indeed, a variety of crosswalks have actually been phased the end in Rome and also Milan due to the fact that they're so frequently ignored). Also if a car stops come let you go, clock the other lanes, since cars will regularly speed around a stopped vehicle.

The farther southern you go, the worse that gets. Naples is bad, and also Sicily is notorious. One famed newspaper story said of one old guy in neapolitan being win by other motorists because he had actually blocked your lane by avoiding his car—for a red light.

Etiquette 101: Greece

Know this around Greece: whatever there is old and also new. In some places, the is together brisk and also punctual together Bonn; in others, that is much less European 보다 Istanbul. It's a country with sharp elbows that balances that is reverence because that the ancient past through a post-Olympics eagerness come prove itself a west power. This is a society where strangers ask about your income, for this reason it's easy to believe that there room no rules—until you fail to check a meeting and experience the full force of Greeks' disapproval. For a traveler, it's tricky but lucrative terrain.


DO dress for dinner. Dress is much less formal below than in northern Europe, but T-shirts and also shorts are still a no-no—even in really casual instances or for outdoor dining, which is the norm in the hot months. Slacks and also a jacket should definitely be packed.

DO toast ~ above the an initial sip. Also a glass of water without food merits a "to her health" ("Eis igían sas" on formal occasions, "Stinygiasou" in ~ informal gatherings). At dinner parties the hold makes the first toast, and the honored guest will shortly follow.

DO share, and do dig your fork right into the communal plate. This is constantly done at family members dinners, less so in upscale restaurants where mutual dishes are rarer. The salads and also mezes often tend to stay on the table throughout the meal.

DO sop increase sauces v your bread. "Bread is a utensil in Greece," claims chef Diane Kochilas, that owns Pylos restaurant in new York. Dipping is meant not simply for mezes however for every little thing sauce is left on your plate from your entrée. In much less formal tavernas, you'll view diners reaching over right into other people's plates with their hunks that bread—though lately the exercise is much less common.

DO examine the fish. Regularly the waiter will present it to you for your an option while it's in the freezer.

DO hail the waitstaff if you need the check. Greek is not a hurry-up culture, and also they're no being rude, simply letting you take your time.

DO tip, however not really much. A company charge of around 12 percent is usually included (check the bill), so just include another 10 percent.

DON'T it is in shocked if civilization smoke in the nonsmoking section. Kochilas has even had cigar smokers in she restaurant (she asked the they desist).

DON'T level out refuse food. It's a authorize of disrespect and a rejection of Greeks' philoxenia (hospitality toward strangers). The farther southern you go, the an ext insistent your organize will be upon secs or thirds—especially in Crete, whereby you have to arrive hungry. "Cretans are hospitable almost to the suggest of gift overwhelming," says Kochilas.

DON'T intend a pre-dinner drink come be readily available in a restaurant (although over there will commonly be before-dinner cocktails in someone's home). After-dinner drink are an ext common, back a small ouzo in ~ the beginning of the meal is occasionally ordered, too.

DON'T speak to Greek coffee Turkish coffee in spite of the fact that it's the precise same thing. However feel complimentary to have it—or any type of other sort of coffee—with your dessert.

DON'T take your shoes off as soon as visiting someone's residence unless specifically requested to carry out so. Here, being allowed to eliminate your shoes is a authorize of respect from the host, no the guest.

DON'T come empty-handed to a party, however don't bring sophisticated gift, either: Greeks deserve to feel duty-bound to reciprocate. Flowers room good, despite chrysanthemums or carnations, i beg your pardon are provided at funerals, are not. Alcohol or sweets are also fine choices.

**DON'T **order just mezes. "That's not cool in Greece," says Alec Mally, who worked in the foreign company in Greece for years.

DON'T do after-dinner plans. Whether you dine in someone's home or out, you'll most likely be there because that the rest of the night.

DO'S and also DON'TS

DO do a nod to the ancients' contributions to democracy and also Western society. One American wouldn't mean to be complimented top top the Constitution, however Greeks take good pride in your heritage—just look at the Acropolis looming end the center of Athens.

DO take them increase on fish, even if it isn't her thing: Fish is not only a certain point the pride, it's usually an excellent and fresh. "The place has actually delicious fish! I will take you," is miscellaneous former international services officer rotate businessman Alec Mally heard constantly indigenous associates.

DO take her time getting to know colleagues and also acquaintances. "Expect a slightly standoffish perspective initially," states Mally, who often winds up on tedious factory tours. And, states TV producer Dorie Klissas, who might have come endure 3 coffee-drinking sessions to acquire the it s okay for a camera setup, "You need to meet people face-to-face."

DON'T lug up Cyprus or the Greek polite War—especially if friend don't want to be on the defensive. "Most human being are most likely to blame american for among the things that led to the Cyprus situation," states Mally.

"DON'T kiss your dog," states John Sitilides, who works on foreign policy worries through the U.S. State Department. "And don't talk to it." Greeks room of the mind that "pets space not humans, nor need to we pretend lock are."


If traveling alone, women have to expect part mild flirtation and—in numerous cases—questions around why they're travel alone. TV producer Dorie Klissas as soon as lugged camera devices beside a man who, fairly than supplying to help, loudly asked why she didn't have a guy helping her.

The sexes don't mingle as lot in Greece together they carry out here, and also when lock do, castle stick with people they know. Klissas remembers going to nightclubs and also not being approached by a solitary man. "Usually," she says, "you go out with a masculine friend, and also by the finish of the night he's picking you up." nobody of this means that you must worry about your safety and security or dress particularly modestly various other than for church. "Greek women room much more provocative dressers than men," claims chef Diane Kochilas.

Men are fairly warm with one another, occasionally kissing girlfriend on the cheek. However unlike women, lock won't kiss every acquaintance and won't be watched holding hands through each other in the street.

Women are usually the persons in the kitchen during dinner parties. A man offering to assist the hostess wash dishes would certainly be roundly dismissed, yet not a woman



Friends and also acquaintances often touch one another on the shoulders and back while talking. Personal space is small in Europe, and in greek even an ext so.

Sharing cabs is common: Feel free to hail one v passengers in it, and don't be placed off if you're joined by strangers en route. Additionally, if the cabdriver isn't going wherein you are, don't it is in surprised if he decreases to accept you as a fare.

Going come a store have the right to be an ordeal because that the casual browser, who will likely be very closely followed by a salesperson and also urged no to leaving empty-handed. Store reiterating that you're only browsing.

When TV producer Dorie Klissas remained in Greece come organize Katie Couric's Olympics coverage, she was constantly asked about her own salary and marital status. (One morning-show host also questioned she on the air.) offered the disparity in living standards, Greeks most likely don't want to understand the truth. "You must be diplomatic about money," Klissas advises, "and never ever boast."


Time Is Relative

The society may be changing, however the european 15-minutes-late dominance can be expanded here come a fifty percent hour. "I was two hours late on my wedding day," states Diane Kochilas, "and my priest had not yet arrived." Tardiness is particularly tolerated in Athens, where the traffic is among the world's worst. This doesn't typical it's okay to be an hour tardy; if you're stuck, call to explain. The an essential thing is no to be as well annoyed as soon as others space late. Intend a schedule that's finest characterized as Spanish lite. Dinner is consumed at about 9 p.m., and also it's well to speak to someone's home up till 11—but not between 3 and 5 p.m. Top top weekends, many human being still nap throughout what's traditionally referred to as "the hour of communal silence." business meetings have tendency to begin on time. Service relationships room far more Westernized (i.e., punctual) than casual ones. Constantly confirm the work before: It's expected, and also you may find out that the conference time has actually been relocated up (the assumption being the you'll uncover out once calling come confirm).

Etiquette 101: Croatia

Croatia has actually been make a dizzying change from satellite Eastern-bloc province to proud, independent, tourist-friendly nation. This way a newfound freedom but likewise an intense desire to assert its national character. Transforms out Croatia is unique: Not fairly Mediterranean, Mitteleuropan, or Balkan, it has its own collection of local specialties and social standards. You'd ideal know a tiny about them prior to you visit.



Fish You have to expect to check out these whole. Many Croatians choose to watch their fish prior to they eat it, for this reason in a restaurant that prides chin on fish selection, you'll it is in asked to come increase front and select her own.

Fish are filleted at the table or ago in the kitchen ~ the cook fish has been gift to the table.

Red wine through fish is usual in Croatia, so long as it's what they call "blue fish"—oilier, richer arrays (which include yet are not restricted to yes, really bluefish), distinctive from flakier, lighter "white fish," i m sorry should constantly be accompanied by white wine.

The farther south you go, the more likely you'll it is in to see civilization eating through their fingers—even such savory points as "blue fish." There room no formal rules to it; simply snap off small bits of your food and also pop lock in. Don't be shocked if you witness this, and also don't be afraid to walk ahead and also indulge, especially in much less formal restaurants.

Salad Generally, it's taken with the entrée, though foreign influence has begun to transform this tradition. If you want your salad prior to the entrée, ask for it in advance.

Smoking There may be less here during meals 보다 in Greece, for instance, but don't it is in surprised if your nonsmoking section is encroached upon by smoke. Girlfriend can try asking locals come stop, yet you won't get really far, and also will in truth be taken into consideration the crude one.

Alcohol Rakija, a spiced grape brandy, is typically consumed through or after dessert. It's a suggest of proud in particular regions, for this reason be sure to shot it. Among the arrays are environment-friendly (with environment-friendly herbs), brown (with mistletoe), and gold (with honey).

Wine soup is an ancient specialty of the northern Istria region. Offered in a bowl and also spiced through salt, pepper, and sugar, the soup is drunk native the key and additionally dipped right into with easy toasted bread. Consume responsibly: Tajana Mavrinac, protocol officer because that the port city of Rijeka, says, "It is no a soup you deserve to really eat once you are hungry. You cannot resist seconds, and also then you space not enabled to drive."

Coffee/Dessert Coffee is taken through dessert—and feel totally free to bespeak a macchiato or cappuccino ideal alongside dessert. This isn't France, and also locals won't think it funny if you enjoy a little bitterness through your sweets.


Long under the thumb of better powers ranging from the Ottoman empire to Yugoslavia to, many recently, Serbia, Croatians are recently confident in their independence, however don't be surprised to discover them perceptible about certain historical subjects. Below are some ways to protect against offense, together advised through Croatian protocol officer Tajana Mavrinac, who coordinates visits of international dignitaries, and Croatian cook Daniella Kramarc:

Kiss near acquaintances twice yet never three times. Serbs kiss 3 times, invoking the Trinity, which they additionally invoke when cursing by holding up three fingers. In some places, friend kiss 4 times but not three.

NEVER describe Croatia as Yugoslavia or the previous Yugoslavia. Mavrinac remembers one occasion when someone native a German sisters city made such a reference and her entire office took offense.

Feel cost-free to ask questions, yet don't dwell top top the past. Also in a dinner party context, through wine flowing, it's probably best not to bring up Croatia's assistance of the Nazis. "It's over," says Kramarc. "We're no interested in it anymore."

Unlike in other Mediterranean areas, right here it's NOT taken into consideration okay to ask personal questions around income or marital status.


A nation with nude beaches, pilgrimage destinations, Muslim enclaves, and a conservative rural southern will obviously have a wide selection of standards concerning women's dress.

On beaches in the phibìc and throughout most of the center of the country, going topless is agree in every areas—and full nudity is permitted in designated spots. But when traveling in the south, closer come Montenegro, a quick skirt can reason commotion.

Also keep in mind that there's an island in the otherwise freewheeling north, Vrbnik—where many of the essential Croatian bishops were born—that continues to be a tight-knit religious community. Certainly don't go topless there, and when not on the beach, store your shoulders covered.

When deciding whether to take your shoes off, clock what everyone else is doing and also then monitor suit. It could go either way, though shoes come off more often below than in the joined States.


When you need a gift for a dinner party, flowers space a for sure bet; ask prior to you bring wine. As in other Mediterranean countries, avoid red flower (love) and also chrysanthemums (death). Consider pastries, which are plentiful in Croatia.

It's essential never to say correct the an initial time you're available something—whether it's an offer to treat for dinner or a gift or food (unless, that course, you're currently seated in ~ the table and the plate's walk around, in which case you need to pass it to women and older guest first). Together demurrals used to go ago and forth for quite a while, however these days, states Croatia take trip specialist Wanda Radetti, that Tasteful Croatian Journeys, "people don't have as much time, which way you deserve to say correctly the 2nd time."

Arrive as much as 15 minutes late, yet don't i think you're in southern Europe. Croatians have tendency to be much more punctual 보다 their Greek, Balkan, and also southern Italian neighbors.

Let your hold take your coat and seat you. It's respectful to defer to him, and it allows him come pamper girlfriend a bit and also direct traffic in his own home.

You don't have to clean your plate, and shouldn't unless you desire to be offered multiple extra helpings. Yet generally, Croatians don't ingredient themselves or your guests.

While Croatians are more reserved than Italians, don't expect lot quiet time during the enjoy the meal (in contrast to Italy; see web page 88). "It is very challenging to talk with a complete mouth," states protocol officer Mavrinac, "but there room ways."

When offering something indigenous an assortment (sweets, cigars), host out the whole array and let the other human being pick. It's impolite to pick for them.

Etiquette 101: Turkey

What's taboo in a country that straddles Europe and Asia, Islam and secularism? it really relies on whom you ask. Because that a landscape fundamentalist, it's alcohol, pork, and also unveiled women. Also for plenty of secularists, it's pointing out politics (especially as they relate to Iraq, Armenia, Europe, and also Greece). Provided this diversity that opinion, it's often better to play that safe, also in the big cities—but don't forget come live the up. Simply follow your host's lead . . . And also a couple of simple rules.


Turkish Coffee

This thick well-known brew v sediment at the bottom is offered at the really end of the meal, ~ desserts and also pastry have actually been consumed. As with raki, you'll frequently get a glass the water ~ above the side. Alternate sips of coffee through sips that water—and remember not to drink the sediment.


At team meals, the head of the household or the honored guest is always served first. If you space the guest, score point out by insisting that the most senior person in ~ the table it is in served prior to you./p>

When dining out, order your meal before your drink—your waiter will certainly come ago and take drink orders while the food is gift cooked./p>

You can eat chicken with your fingers quite than through a fork and knife. This specifically goes for chicken wings./p>

Don't ask because that something to be passed to you if you can reach the yourself.

Ask for more food if you're still hungry; it's a compliment.

Separate dishes and also serving spoons will typically be detailed with mezes. Don't dig into the communal food through your fork unless everyone rather is doing so and also you're amongst close friends.

In specific parts that the country, burping is thought about a compliment, however it's much better to be safe and also refrain.

Mezes and also Muhabbet

Muhabbet is the Turkish native for long conversations over a communal table v friends. Such prolonged multi-course meals can frequently consist completely of mezes, a wide range of appetizers, and also are more common in a less formal meyhane, the rough tantamount of a Greek taverna. It's the only means to eat because that Serhan Güngör, a Turkish tour overview who's consulted for BBC's Mediterranean Escapes and also who offered a couple of pointers. Courses are interspersed with bouts of smoking cigarettes (there are very couple of nonsmoking areas in all but the nicest Turkish restaurants) and also sips that raki (pronounced ra-KEE), one anise-based drink no too various from ouzo yet meant to be spend throughout the meal.


Don't suggest the sole of her foot toward anyone. It signifies that you disagree v him.

Be careful: Crossing your legs if seated and also in conversation with someone the a greater status can be thought rude.

The hostess may offer to placed on your coat as you're leaving a restaurant or home. It's a polite gesture, yet you are expected to take it from her and also put that on yourself.

Don't put your hands on your hips or in your pockets when talking to people; the is considered disrespectful or taken together a authorize that you are angry.

Placing her thumb in between your an initial two fingers is the Turkish "middle finger." and also beware: our okay sign signifies come Turks that someone is homosexual.

Two things not to bring up: George W. Bush and the Armenian controversy. There's a diversity of beliefs regarding religion and also politics here, but these two are universal ill points.

Turks tend to be very an individual even during a very first meeting. They might stand fairly close to you when they talk—don't back up.

When top top the road, female chauffeurs have the appropriate of method and frequently do not yield to masculine drivers.

You might use a toothpick in ~ the end of the meal, however cover her mouth while doing so.


Handshakes are ideal when meeting a new acquaintance, despite friends and also relations in Turkey generally greet one one more with one or 2 kisses ~ above the cheek. The exemption is the elderly: show respect through kissing their appropriate hand and also then placing the hand on your forehead.

Always greet the most senior person in the room first.

Shoes are usually removed prior to entering a home. If girlfriend are readily available slippers to put on over your socks, expropriate them. You'll be specifically educated to leave your shoes top top if the circumstances call for it, but Turks won't constantly ask friend to remove them—which doesn't mean they won't be placed out if friend don't.

Flowers are not commonly given to master in Turkey. And also be careful around bringing alcohol, since a great number the Turks don't drink (particularly devout Muslims). Pastries or chocolates space the appropriate gift. If friend can regulate it, badem ezmesi, a delicacy made with crushed walnuts, is a lover treat.

Punctuality is not taken very seriously—especially in traffic-clogged Istanbul—but human being are not as lax as in various other Mediterranean cultures. If you're going come be also slightly late for a meeting, speak to ahead. If you're visiting someone's home, shoot for less than 20 minute late.

When addressing those through whom you've end up being somewhat familiar, that is most typical to use the an initial name adhered to by words Bey because that men and also Hanim for women. So john Smith would certainly be man Bey.


Modesty and Islam

In a country that's possibly two-thirds secular and one-third spiritual (the government is more Islamic 보다 the populace), it's not always easy to delineate which standards are acceptable. Ankara, in Turkey's an ext conservative east, is almost as secular together Istanbul. In Cappadocia, tourist in bikinis coexist with completely covered neighborhood women. Close to the black Sea in the northeast, married women go uncovered but don't mix through men. To be on the safe side, a few simple rules need to cover friend (sometimes literally!):

When visiting mosques, cover her legs listed below the knee (long capris are minimally acceptable) and medium-length sleeves. Head scarves in mosques room optional yet respectful, and also there are constantly spare persons inside. Shoes must be removed.

In the countryside, guys should not technique women, also to ask because that directions.

Shorts are okay on or near the coast only, however this isn't necessarily a religious thing: "In Turkey, like almost everywhere else in Europe, the large cities have big-city dress codes," claims Serhan Güngör.

Don't compliment a man's mam on her appearance uneven you know the family members quite well or they are plainly urban and also secular.

You'd it is in hard-pressed to find a completely dry city (other 보다 a rural village), but outside the largest cities plenty of restaurants carry out not serve alcohol.

Men and also women don't usually kiss each other on the cheek, although people of the very same sex do.

Women have to dress relatively modestly because that solitary walks with Istanbul—for the reason you'd perform so as soon as alone in brand-new York or Rome so late at night.

In hammams, males never totally expose us to other men; towels will certainly be provided. Even throughout a massage, don't take yours off. Females don't have the same taboo.

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Condé Nast Traveler does not carry out medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any type of information released by Condé Nast Traveler is not intended together a instead of for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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