Differences between Italian vs American culture

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Italian culture is different than American culture in many ways. Italians are more family-oriented and their food is very diverse, while Americans are often less close with their families and eat the same foods over and over. The Italian language has twelve letters that English does not have, like “j” which stands for a consonant sound like the “ch” in chair or “g” as in go. These differences make Italy seem like an entirely different world where time slows down to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. 

The word “culture” is an abstract term that can be difficult to define. It’s best described as the shared attitudes and behaviors of a particular group of people. If we’re talking about national culture, then we’re referring to all those things that make up a country: what they eat, how they dress, what holidays they celebrate – it’s all part of their culture! So when you encounter someone from Italy for example, you’ll notice some stark differences in the way he or she lives compared with someone living in America. 

Comparison between Italian and American culture

Parameters of ComparisonItalianculture  
FormalMore formalLess formal
SpeakSpeak with handsAmericans do not
FriendlyMore friendlyLess friendly
FamilyItalian culture is family-orientedAmerican culture is more individualistic
ReligiousItalians are less likely to be religiousMore religious

What is Italian culture?

Italian culture is very diverse, but that’s what makes it so interesting! It ranges from the Northern Italian cities of Milan and Turin to the Southern regions of Sicily and Sardinia. Italians are known for their great food, drink, fashion, art, language, and sports teams. There are many different dialects in Italy which can sometimes make it difficult to communicate with people outside of your region. However, there are also some similarities shared among all Italians such as love for family time and festivals like Saint Anthony’s Day on June 13th or San Gennaro Festival in Naples on September 19th. 

Italian culture is often thought of as one of the most romantic in the world. From the food to the art, Italian culture has something for everyone. But what are the specific elements that make up this rich and diverse culture? In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key aspects of Italian culture and how they’ve evolved. We’ll also take a look at some of Italy’s best-known contributions to global culture. So sit back, relax, and let’s take a closer look at Italian culture.

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What is American culture?

American culture is a complex mix of different aspects that are often difficult to define. As the country’s population continues to diversify, it becomes more and more challenging to pinpoint what American culture is in its entirety. 

American culture can be defined by the values one holds dear, the food one eats, their religious beliefs or lack thereof, and so much more. The United States has been home to many cultures over time which has influenced how we see ourselves as Americans today. There are so many aspects of what makes up this very diverse nation of ours and no two people will ever agree on all these factors because after all America is made up of individuals who each bring something uniquely theirs into our shared space.

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10 Differences between Italian and American culture

1. The Italian culture is more formal while the American culture is less formal.

2. Italians speak with their hands and Americans do not.

3. In Italy, you can’t touch someone without their permission unless it’s a family member or close friend; in America, people are more open to touching others they don’t know.

4. Italians typically drink wine at lunchtime during the weekdays and eat pizza for dinner on Friday nights; Americans typically have sandwiches for lunch and tacos for dinner on Friday nights.

5. In Italy, when you go out to eat there is an expectation that everyone will order something different so everyone can try what each other has ordered; in America, there is no such expectation.

6. Italians greet one another by kissing both cheeks – this greeting isn’t customary in the United States.

7. Italian culture is family-oriented while American culture is more individualistic.

8. Italians are less likely to be religious than Americans, and many Italians don’t believe in God.

9. The workweek in Italy starts on Monday at 8 am while the workday in America starts at 9 am.

10. In Italy, people take their time with meals and usually eat three times a day; however, Americans tend to eat two or three times per day because they’re busy with work.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Italian culture

1. Italy has the most Nobel laureates in all of Europe.

2. The Italian culture is one of the oldest and most influential cultures in Western Europe.

3. Italians have a unique taste for fashion – they are among the world’s best-dressed people.

4. In Italy, it is customary to greet someone with a kiss on each cheek when you meet them for the first time.

5. There are over 600 dialects spoken throughout Italy, but only four official languages – English, French, German and Spanish.

6. One out of every five Italians speaks fluent English because there are so many American movies shown on TV in Italy – this makes studying abroad more accessible than ever before.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of American culture

1. The average American will spend 10% of their income on food.

2. Americans love to drink coffee – the average person drinks 3 cups a day.

3. In America, you can find over 1 million different types of candy in grocery stores.

4. Over half of all homes have at least one pet living inside them. 

5. There are more than 300 million cars on American roads today.

6. As many as 45% of adults in the US suffer from insomnia or some other sleep disorder.


Italian culture is much more relaxed than American culture. While Americans are busy working, Italians take time off to enjoy life and spend time with their family. They also have a much different diet that focuses on fresh vegetables and pasta dishes rather than hamburgers or fried chicken like many people in America do. Italian even use the word “dolce far niente,” which means “sweet doing nothing.” This phrase captures the laid-back philosophy of this country beautifully! Being able to slow down and appreciate what you already have can make all the difference when it comes to happiness- something I think we could all learn from our European counterparts.


Resource 01: https://www.livescience.com/44376-italian-culture.html
Resource 02: https://harrisburg.psu.edu/international-student-support-services/guide-american-culture-etiquette

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