Common misconceptions about Italy

Published in: News 14/04/2017

There are some acknowledged facts about Italy that are simply wrong or not true anymore. Nobody in Italy drinks a cappuccino after a meal, eats pineapple on pizza or still drives an old Fiat 500. Rembember to click all the blue words, in order to listen to the right pronunciation in Italian

The end of the Italian moka pot 
When tourists come to Italy they always get disappointed because they do not find the red chequered tablecloths in every restaurant they go or an old Fiat 500 parked in every street. Lately, they will be disappointed also when they will not find anymore the traditional moka pot in every Italian household. That’s because Nespresso coffee machines (and competitors) are becoming more and more common in Italy, nowadays. Do not panic though, you will still see red chequered tablecloths, old Fiat 500 and coffee moka pot in every Hollywood film set in Italy. 

Drinking a cappuccino after a meal
In Italy you simply cannot order a cappuccino after a lunch or a dinner: have an espresso instead. Italians drink cappuccino in the morning for breakfast, usually with a cornetto (croissant), but, during the day, everybody goes with all the varieties of coffee that Italian bars offer: espresso which can be: corretto (with a drop of grappa or any other alcoholic beverage), doppio (double the size of a regular coffee), lungo (an espresso with more water, but still in a small cup), macchiato (with some warm milk in it), ristretto (a very very short coffee, just a shot).

The famous prosecco which is not always prosecco
Italians know that prosecco is a wine produced in nine areas stretching from the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, in Northern Italy. Precisely on the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. That’s why they would never enjoy a prosecco in a can, produced somewhere in the world. Remember also that not all the Italian sparkling white wines are proseccos. Read first, then drink.  

Pineapple on pizza
Pizza was born in Naples, Southern Italy, in 19th century. The real thing is far simpler than all the versions born afterwards around the world. The traditional recipe of pizza is simple: flour, water, yeast, salt, tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil leaves and extra virgin oil. Nowadays various  toppings have been added to the traditional recipe (Pizza capricciosaPizza margheritaPizza quattro stagioni... ), but what Italians still consider an outrage is pineapple on pizza.  

Eating pasta with ketchup
Italians (not all of them) love ketchup as long as it stays on French fries and doesn’t invade a pasta dish. If you want your spaghettis to be red, cook a good tomato sauce. If you are in a hurry, just soft fry for 10 minutes some cherry tomatoes cut in half, with extra virgin oil, salt and basil. You will never come back to ketchup again.

Pasta is never a side dish
Pasta, but also risotto of any kind, cannot be a side dish. Never. In Italy side dishes can be only vegetables or potatoes. If you are in Italy and they are serving you pasta as a side dish, it means that you are in one of the worst restaurants meant for tourists, one of those where Italians would never eat.

Pasta and chicken do not get along
Pasta with chicken sauce is not part of the Italian tradition. So, keep on cooking it if you like it, but simply acknowledge that this unusual dish must be an American recipe.

The Caesar salad is not Italian
Nothing to say against the Caesar salad, but it is not part of the Italian tradition, even if an Italian chef, Cesare Cradini, invented it in Los Angeles, in 1924. Nowadays it is well known in Italy as well, thanks to all the McDonalds’ spread in the whole country which offer it.

The weird story of Fettuccine Alfredo
This delicious dish (according to many), is far more known in the United States than In Italy. For a long time, we were sure it was an American recipe, but nowadays the truth has been reestablished: fettuccine Alfredo is an Italian recipe. It was created by Alfredo Di Lelio, a Roman restaurant owner, around 1920. But keep in mind that the real recipe is not like the American version, far too rich and creamy. The smooth sauce was originally made with butter and parmesan cheese, and some spoonful of salted boiling water (the same in which the fettuccine were boiled). 

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