Learning to be Patient in Italy


Haylee Hollingsworth is a student at Oklahoma State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Rome, Italy

One of the first things I noticed since arriving in Rome has been how the Italians perceive time differently than Americans. Italian time is much slower than in the states. “You have to learn to be patient if you want to live in Rome,” said the owner of Homebaked, an expat living in Rome. Personally, I am not a very patient person. Below are three everyday events that have taught me to be patient in Italy.

1. Dinner

Most restaurants in the US try and get you in and out as soon as possible. In Italy, it is the exact opposite. Dinners in Italy are an experience and can last between 2-4 hours. For Americans who are used to quick dinners, this will test your patience. The wait staff do not come and check in on you like in the US; they expect you to get their attention if you need something. The bill is never given until you ask. Even though this can be frustrating at first, you will quickly come to find that dinners in Italy are one of the best things about this wonderful country.


2. Transportation

Transportation in Rome, buses specifically, have been one the more difficult parts for me. Having lived in London, where the transportation is very well organized, has made it even more difficult. Sometimes the bus will come on time, but other times it will arrive 30 minutes late, or it won’t even come at all. Even though this can mess up plans and force you to walk, I have found that walking allows you to discover more of this beautiful city.


3. Ordering Coffee

Ordering  a coffee in Italy can be frustrating and time consuming if you do not  know what you are doing. The number one tip I can give is to be patient when doing this  for the first time. Go straight to the bar, no matter how many people are already standing drinking their coffee, and put in your order. My go-to order since I have been here is a cappuccino but only in the mornings. Italians think it,s gross if you drink coffee with milk in the afternoon. Coffee in Italy is incomparable. Once you learn to be patient and master ordering coffee here, it will make your mornings all the better.

Coffee bar across the street from my apartment
Coffee bar across the street from my apartment

In the few short weeks I have been living in Rome, I have already learned valuable lessons regarding patience. I have come to appreciate the Italian way of life. I look forward to the rest of my time here  in Italy and all the other lessons I am sure to learn!

The world awaits…discover it.

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