Growing up Italian means so much more than eating pasta, drinking wine and enjoying cannolis. For us Italians, it is all about the family and the strong connection that we have with one another that truly represents our heritage. Of course, we LOVE the food, but to us, family is the most important thing there is. Although we try to explain this to our friends, they will never fully understand what it means to be Italian. Here are 15 things only us Italians can relate to!
1. Sundays are for family dinners
Don’t even think about making plans on a Sunday because you know you will be spending it at Nonna’s house for family dinner.
2. Always being asked if your family is in the Mafia
After telling someone you are Italian one of the first questions you get is, “So is your family in the Mafia?”
3. WE TALK SO LOUD
I don’t know why but we can’t communicate without yelling at each other! Most of our friends/guests get overwhelemed, but we are so used to it that we don’t even realize how loud we talk.
4. Nonna’s cookies are your favorite cookies
You always look forward to holidays and special family events because you know Nonna will have all of your favorite cookies there!
5. You have family members with the same name
There are at least 3 or more people with the same name (usually John or Joe) in your family, so you have to get creative and figure out nicknames for each of them.
6. We eat bread with every meal
We LOVE carbs. No matter the meal, you can always expect there to be fresh, home cooked bread. (And you usually have to stop yourself from eating all of it!)
7. Mystery family relatives
Whenever you get to Nonna’s house and there are people there that you don’t know, you start to feel anxious and grab your cousins to try to figure out who they are because you are too embarrassed to introduce yourself. Leave it to Nonna or Nonno to finally introduce you, and fill you in on how you are related.
8. It takes 30 minutes to say goodbye to the family
Saying goodbye to the family is a very looooong process. You slowly start to make your way around the room, giving everyone a hug and kiss goodbye, but are more than likely to be stopped by a few family members to talk. Once you FINALLY say goodbye to everyone (Nonno and Nonna are always the last ones), Nonna is chasing after you with the leftovers she packed for you to bring home. Then finally, you are on your way!
9. You can expect an interrogation whenever you bring a guest to a family event
Whether you are bringing your bestie, roommate, neighbor, boyfriend or girlfriend to a family event, you can expect the WHOLE family to interrogate your guest. First your guest will have to face your dad, then your Nonno and Nonna, aunts and uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, etc. It is an ongoing process that will probably take the whole time. And you know, you will get interrogated, too.
10. You NEVER show up to Nonna’s house full
The second you walk in the door, Nonna will greet you with a big hug and kiss and ask you what you’d like to eat. Don’t even think about saying ‘nothing’ or ‘I’m not hungry’ because she will feed you anyways, and even send you home with a little food care package.
11. You are ALWAYS talking with your hands
Not only do we talk loud, but we also talk with our hands to really emphasize what we are trying to say. Most of our friends make fun of how we talk, but hey, we can’t help it! This is something only Italians get.
12. Family Bocce Ball competitions in the backyard
While Nonna is inside finishing up dinner, the rest of the family is out back hanging out and playing endless games of Bocce. There is always a competition among the cousins to see who can beat Nonno (aka the Bocce Champ!)
13. Family connections
Looking for someone to fix your car? Need a babysitter? Don’t worry, there’s bound to be at least one family member that ‘knows somebody’ that can help!
14. Refusing to eat at Olive Garden, Bucca di Bepo or other ‘Italian Restaurants’
Let’s face it, nothing is better than Nonna’s cooking, so why even bother going out to eat at an Italian restaurant? Only Italians get this.
15. You know your family is crazy, but you still love them anyways!
At the end of the day, your family is your best friends and you feel so lucky to have them in your life. 🙂