The 5 Biggest Differences Between Italy and the States

Blair Konczal is a student at Kansas State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Blair is currently studying abroad with ISA in Florence, Italy.

1. Lifestyle Pace – In the states I feel like I’m always on the go. I feel like I’m perfectly scheduled from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed without ever stopping to relax. Here in Italy you take your time to do everything. Heck, there is a time from 2-4 PM called “Siesta”. Literally all you do is nap. And napping is one of my specialties. You won’t find anyone on the streets, and stores close down. It’s awesome. Point Italy.

The beautiful city of Florence!

2. Eating – Back home meal time is just what it is. You eat to get some food in your system and it’s usually a pretty quick meal so you can continue on with your day. Here in Italy you sit down for 2 or even 3 hour meals, and just chat and eat. The waitress won’t even bring you your check until you’ve asked for it. They also drink coffee a lot at the end of their meals. And if you know me you know I love my caffeine. I can dig it. The down side of eating in Italy the water isn’t free. Unless you get it from the random fountains along the streets

Random water fountains that you find throughout Italy where it is free to fill up your water bottle or even use it like a regular water bottle

3. BLONDE – Holy cow guys I kid you not, I look like an alien here. I’m bright blonde and I stick out like a sore thumb, which can cause some unwanted attention. I mean I’ve gotten random roses from strangers for no reason! It’s not awful, but it is definitely something I’m getting used to.

The maze on the inside of the Colosseum

4. Walking – You walk EVERYWHERE. I’m from Kansas and you drive everywhere because nothing is close enough to walk to. I definitely like that about Italy. I get lost a lot, but it lets me really explore the city and I stumble upon fun and unique things all the time.

Typical street in Rome. Lots of walking not a lot of cars

5. Eye contact – I think this is the most interesting thing I’ve learned since I’ve been here. You do not make eye contact with guys on the street. In their culture if you make eye contact with them it pretty much means you like them! If you make eye contact you’re almost guaranteed to get a “ciao bella”. It’s something I’m working on, so basically I look really awkward trying not to make eye contact with people. And I don’t want to be staring down at the ground so I find myself staring up towards the sky much more…. which causes me to trip. A lot. Dang cobblestone streets.

If you want to know what I’m doing on a more regular basis be sure to check out my twitter @blairkonczal or check out my photos of my travels on Instagram @blairkonczal

5 thoughts

  1. This is a very interesting post and I really enjoyed reading it a lot. I’m going to Milan in a few weeks so it’s nice to know what I’m getting myself into :)

Leave a Reply