I was raised in Italy, and I often see tourists doing things I wish they wouldn't.
Try to learn some basic Italian words and don't eat your spaghetti with a fork and spoon.
Be careful when driving e-scooters and don't vandalize our monuments.
I have the privilege to live in Rome, Italy's capital, and a pilgrimage destination for tourists worldwide.
Many of us love sharing our culture and history with others, but we don't like it when tourists act disrespectfully to our country and people.
Here are a few annoying things I see tourists do when they visit Italy.
Toss their tableside manners to the wayside
Throwing salad and fries in a carefully curated pasta dish with no regard for the original dish's aesthetics or taste isn't cool. By doing so — or even by salting food before you try it — you'll never know what the dish was meant to be like.
Another low-stakes dinner-table crime to avoid is cutting up spaghetti or twirling it with a spoon instead of around the fork.
Please eat respectfully when dining at local restaurants.
Rent vehicles they can't drive
It can be dangerous to drive in a city you aren't familiar with, especially if you're in a vehicle you're not entirely comfortable handling.
E-scooters, which are popular in many major cities, can be especially dangerous and it's infuriating when people abandon them in the middle of a walkway or park them where they're not supposed to.
Also, remember that driving a scooter isn't the same as driving a scooter in Rome, which can have uneven payment and get congested with visitors.
Disrespect their surroundings — and the people who live here
If you wouldn't litter and toss bottles in the street at home, don't do it here. Also, please stop destroying and vandalizing our historical monuments.
Although Italy is a popular tourist destination, it's also home to many people. Mind your volume when you're out late at night and respect your surroundings.
Avoid bringing up Italian stereotypes, too. It's great that you watched "The Godfather" but it's not an accurate depiction of everyone in Italy. And, no, we're not all intertwined with the mafia.
Don't even attempt to say the most basic Italian words
Italian is a difficult language and I don't expect the average tourist to be able to speak it. Still, a few basic words are handy.
At the very least, please attempt to say grazie (thank you) correctly. Don't ignore the last vowel. It's not "gra-tzi", it's "grah-tsi-eh."
That's all we ask. Grazie!
Demand dishes that aren't actually Italian at local restaurants
I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but no matter what Olive Garden may serve worldwide, chicken Parmesan isn't an authentic Italian recipe. Garlic bread? I've never heard of it on national soil.
When you come here, try our authentic local recipes instead of sticking with the basics you can get elsewhere.
Fail to do proper research before tagging locations and posing with monuments
I often see tourists' posts on social media that are captioned with incorrect info or geotagged in the wrong location. Don't do this. It takes just a few minutes to make sure you know where you are and to learn a little bit about it.
Also, use your discretion before you pose for funny photos or film random TikTok dances in front of monuments and memorials — it's pretty inconsiderate.
Museums also aren't a playground and you should respect the history they contain and the people there. Take selfies with the artwork if allowed, but don't affect other visitors' ability to enjoy the exhibit.
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