When you think of Italy, you probably think of its delicious food. But did you know there are many other traditions that make Italy the iconic place it is? Check out these time-honored Italian traditions so special you just might adopt them for your own life!
For Italians, family is the most important part of life. Italians are extremely close with not just their immediate family but their extended family as well. Italians spend most of their time with their families. Even as children grow, they are taught to stay close to their families—and, as they have their own children, to bring them into the larger family network. Sharing both joys and sorrows with family members is a staple of Italian culture.
Italians absolutely love music. They listen to music on holidays and at all family celebrations and special occasions. Italians especially love opera singing! Opera has its roots in Italy. Many famous operas—including “Aida,” “La Traviata” and “Pagliacci”—were written in Italian and are still performed in Italian today.
Most Italians are Roman Catholic. This isn’t so surprising considering that Vatican City—in Rome, Italy—is the heart of Catholicism. In fact, Roman Catholics make up 90 percent of the population in Italy! Italians go to church regularly, where they pray and share their traditions.
4. Holidays and celebrations
Italians embrace any reason to get together with family. They celebrate most Christian holidays, including Christmas and Easter. The Monday after Easter is usually celebrated with family picnics to mark spring’s arrival. Italians also observe Saints Day on November 1, when they decorate deceased family members’ graves with flowers.
Weddings also call for big celebrations in Italian culture. Italians have a church ceremony followed by a reception, where they rent a hall, play music, dance, eat special pastries and drink wine.
Baptisms are also a reason for celebration in Italy. All family members attend christenings as well as the receptions that follow.
Funerals in Italy are particularly moving. Candles are lit as all family members participate in the wake. A church mass is followed by family members accompanying their deceased loved one to their final resting place.
5. Architecture and art
In Italy, you’ll see some of the most famous architecture in the world, such as the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Italy is also home to the famous painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, done by Michelangelo. In Italy, you’ll also find many world-renowned fashion powerhouses, including Armani, Gucci, Benetton, Versace and Prada.
Learn anything new about Italian culture and traditions? These are just a few of the many things to love about Italy. Want to make some of these traditions your own? Imitation is the highest form of flattery!