Having just been outside of Canada for the first time, I decided to document my travels. I went to Italy to see the world my partner grew up in and to meet his friends and family. That said, Italy is a very beautiful place. To Canadians, or perhaps even to North Americans in general, there are a few things you will find disconcerting. These are simply observations and not meant to be rules. My intent is not to offend anyone, but to provide a humouristic view.

Quite Simple: DO NOT DRIVE. Why? Everyone drives like they own the road. Speed limits? Yes, but no one cares. It is common for people to pass each other when we wouldn't even dare, like at a red light or on an exit ramp.
The food is quite amazing. If you've never had fresh, homemade, right-out-of-the-pot gnocchi you haven't lived. Always be sure to have friends bring you to an hosteria. We had the pleasure of going to one in a town near Jesi. There was so much food and wine, we were there for hours. Typically, most meals consist of 4 courses (appetizers (usually small, bitesize things, or veggies.)pastas, meats, desserts.) Do not forget to have the special wine made from Cherries. MMM so delicious.
To North-American standards, most men appear effeminate. The Italian culture is steeped in masculinity, but the idea is completely different. This leads to the failure of gaydar.
The roads are amazing. They have super-high bridges that go from one mountain to the next. You're driving on a some-odd-hundred foot bridge between two mountain tops. Don't look down.
Most showers are quite small and have limited water pressure. Some showers aren't enclosed by even a shower curtain. You have to sit on the edge of the tub (which is often to small to take a bath in) and wash off sections of your body.
In Italy, everyone can take part in the National Sport. "Find the thing-a-ma-jig to flush the toilet" is an exciting game everyone can play, from senior to toddler. The button can be a button on the wall, or disguised as a tile, a lever on the floor, a chain, embedded in the lid of the tank, or my favourite, a button in the U-bend of the pipe that goes from the overhead reservoir into the wall. It is not uncommon to have to pay to use public toilets. Some train stations even have a double electronic door enterance and exit (Basically, only one person can fit between the two doors, the first door must close fully prior to the second one opening. There is a button you have to press prior to exiting to open the first exit door. The number of exits cannot exceed the number of entries. I imagine some foolish person who presses the button, but decides to primp his hair and getting locked inside. All this for 500 Lire.)
A stereotypically-straight-man's dream. Tonnes of scantily clad women, who do little more than play with their hair, adorn the MC of most programs. Nudity is nothing. I saw a naked woman in a United Colours of Benetton ad. I saw a woman stip for 3 hosts during prime time. I thought I saw it all on Bleu Nuit.
The women control everything. The men are content to work and hand over their paychecks and let the women take care of everything. It can be hard to get your male friends out at night when the wife would rather have him do nothing with her. The wife always wins. The women are often more outgoing than their North American counterparts.

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