Tip #1: Point and grunt.
Tip #2: Always have Google Translate open on your phone and a copy of the “Alfabeto Fonetico” in your wallet. My name spelled out this way is Torino-Otranto-Napoli-Imola. Domodossola-Empoli-Bologna-Empoli-Livorno-Livorno-Ancona.
Tip #3: Never make eye contact on public transportation – it invites people to speak to you.
Tip #4: Don’t engage in conversations with Italians under the age of 5…it’s just soo00 humiliating.
Tip #5: Avoid initiating phone calls – send emails or text messages because you’re less likely to sound stupid in writing.
Tip #6: If you must answer the phone, pretend you’ve got a bad connection. “Pronto? Mi senti? Mi senti? Boh” and then hang up.
Tip #7: Respond to questions (even if you don’t understand them) with phrases such as “Certo” (sure), “Si, Si” (yes, yes), “Va bene” (okay) and “Ho capito” (understood) as you start to walk away. People won’t think you’re rude – just late for an appointment.
Tip #8: When all else fails…talk with your hands.
And speaking of speaking Italian..I recently participated in a podcast with Cher Hale, the brains behind the “Iceberg Project.
What’s the Iceberg Project,?
The Iceberg Project is based on the theory that most of what you learn about culture when visiting a new country without speaking the language is just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about The Iceberg Project go to click here
by Toni DeBella