Laura Fraser
photo of Laura Fraser   an italian affair  

Never order a cappuccino or latte after breakfast in Italy. Only children drink milk after breakfast.

Always greet people in shops when you arrive and thank them when you leave.

Never touch the merchandise yourself, and only try things on if you're serious about buying.

Never put parmesan or another cheese on a dish that contains fish.

Don't wear running shoes unless you're actually running.

Don't wear shorts unless you're at the beach.

Don't worry about being a little late.

Never start the risotto before the guests arrive.

Don't snack between meals, and don't have a big breakfast.

Drink coffee (espresso) standing at the bar in quick sips. Repeat several times a day.

Don't complain about secondhand smoke.

Don't be in a hurry to do anything.

Never eat chocolate in the summer, unless it's gelato.

Always wear sexy clothes if you're going to ride on a motorcycle.

Always wear makeup, high heels, and red lipstick at the bank if you don't want to wait in line.

Remember that flirting is a national pastime, and don't take it too seriously.

It's fatal to drive too slowly on the autostrada.

Never order pasta and risotto at the same meal.

Never drink as much grappa as you think you can and still feel fine the next day.

You won't.

Don't expect ham and eggs for breakfast.

Never take more on a train than you can run with.

Don't believe that a rapido is a quick train, and avoid the locale like the plague.

Don't think that just because people are yelling that they're having an argument.

Just because a man is wearing a wedding ring, don't assume he's unavailable.

Always tell locals that where they live is the most beautiful place you've ever been.

Don't expect shops to be open at lunchtime.

Always be willing to invite another person or three to dinner at the last minute.

Don't expect Italians will ever write to you.

Don't expect Italians to tell you they're arriving until they call you from the airport.

Always eat your pasta al dente.

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