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My first time staying with an Italian family.

First of all, this is not my first time in Italy. However, this is going to be my first time staying with my Italian friend.

Has anyone else ever stayed with an Italian family? It would be a great help to get some advice! I'm not entirely sure what to expect or what they may expect from me?

I am landing in Munich because it is a closer drive to where he lives (Northern Italy). Is there anything I will need aside from my passport when crossing other borders?

Posted by
401 posts

Unless you are driving through Switzerland you won't be stopped at the borders as Italy and Germany are memebers of the EU.
As for visiting Italians, bring slippers or flip flops because a) the floor will probably be tile or marble and b) they have this thing about people walking around barefoot. It's just seen as weird and not very hygienic. Offer to remove your shoes when you come in.
And don't put your feet up on the furniture (not that you would, I'm just saying...)
And lastly, Italians in general are very tidy and VERY house proud, therefore keep your space tidy, put things away as best as you can.
Lastly, bring a gift for the family. Have fun! This is a great chance for you to improve your Italian!

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you very much for the advice! I really appreciate it! You've helped to put my mind at ease!

Posted by
14 posts

My daughter is in Italy right now staying with her boyfriend and his family. She took them a gift from the U.S. but also took peanut butter and cookie mix to make peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. (all she needed to add was eggs). She has made pancakes for them and made greenbean casserole. I told her to take them out to dinner but they absolutely refuse to let her pay for dinner! Hope you have a great time. E-mail me direct if you have other questions!

Posted by
111 posts

I stayed with the family of my best friend near Venice in Cavallino Treporti for about a week back in February. I agree with the other messages. They bought me a pair of slippers before I went there. The floors were tile and marble. The first time I met them I bought a bottle of wine for them and this time I brought her mom some chocolate from Frankfurt (had a 6 hr layover there). Her mom and dad spoke maybe a couple of words of English so it was fun trying to communicate.

Breakfast was usually not much, we had some juice and maybe some bread and there was plenty of pasta with the other meals! I think we had a caffe at the end of each dinner. I had 1 in the morning too. My friend and her mom cleaned every day I think and the place looked spotless to me. It was a great visit and for many reasons it is something I will never forget. I would try to help clean up after the meals but her mom would always say I was a guest and she would do it. Have was always really handy traveling around with my friend too so I never worried about communicating with anyone.

Posted by
74 posts
  1. Ask to see the house. Kind of weird, I know, but someone else touched on this - Italians are very house-proud, and asking for a tour is not only appropriate, but borderline disrespectful if you don't.

  2. be ready to eat! When you are being served, say stop ("basta") when you're a scoop away from what you really want -- because it is inevitable that you will get an additional scoop after you say when!

Posted by
277 posts

My family is from Modena in a little town of Mirandola. Having stayed there several times this is what I think you sould expect: No AC; Breakfast consists of rolls, coffee with non-refrigerated milk. Light lunch late in the day, and a huge late dinner. Wine and water is the preferred beverage. Bring a gift. I brought the true American gift: a variety of base balls, gloves, and bats. My family was the talk of the town and even had a game with the neighbors! Passports are not required as already mentioned.

Posted by
109 posts

We have an old family home in a remote village in central Italy where my retired parents spend summers and we visit when we can.
we bring pancake mix with real maple syrup to fix for the neighbor kids. they get a kick out of this for breakfast. the neighbor lady always asks for a few boxes of diet Jello-- go figure, I guess the diet type is not easy to find around there.
Do not expect large quantities of icy cold milk. Cool is probably the best you will find.
Do not expect large thick towels. They take too long to dry and Italians in general are very energy concious. We could learn something from them.
Expect lots of great food and wonderful hospitality.
have a great trip!