Basic Etiquette for Not Insulting the Local Population of Portofino, Italy

When traveling to a foreign land not only is the language often different but customs and etiquette as well. Knowing the rules beforehand can keep visitors from making social blunders and upsetting the citizens of the host country.

Learn Some Phrases in Italian

Though many Italians have learned some English don’t assume that they speak the language fluently. Starting a conversation in Italian will show the locals that you respect their customs and traditions. Often once you begin to speak in Italian the locals will be more than happy to show off their English language skills and will converse freely with you. Phrases you should know:

· Parla Inglese? – Do you speak English?
· Grazie- Thank you
· Per favore/Per Piacere- Please
· Come sta?- How are you?
· Mi scusi- Excuse me
· Arrivederci/Ciao- Goodbye
· Buona Sera- Good evening
· Buon Giorno- Good morning

Polite Behavior

Italians don’t like vulgar behavior and being loud is considered rude. When you are in Portofino, Italy you are thought of as a guest and behaving politely is expected of you. Dressing inappropriately is another no-no. If you stroll the streets in beachwear or sweat suits, Portofino citizens will look upon you as sloppy. More likely than not you will also be refused entry into such venues as bars, museums, restaurants and churches or any other public place. You will be looked upon as a source of amusement. Clothing should be clean and sensible. The Italian people will avoid anyone that gives the appearance of being dirty or sloppy.

Putting one’s feet or shoes on chairs or tables is also frowned upon. The furniture will then be considered soiled or dirty and this is quite rude behavior. When you are out in public you are advised to wear a shirt and shoes at all times. Body noises such as burps or passing gas are deemed extremely rude as is drinking alcoholic beverages from a bottle and swearing loudly when in the public eye.

Be friendly and acknowledge those that you meet on the street, restaurants or bars with a smile and a buongiorno. Don’t be overly familiar with strangers but do recognize proprietors and others with a friendly greeting.

Having some knowledge about the social do’s and don’ts when in Portofino, Italy can save you a bit of embarrassment. Though you are not expected to be familiar with all the social graces, knowing what is rude and what is polite from the outset will make you a most welcome guest to Portofino, Italy.


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