A Brit in Italy: 5 Things we do in the UK that would be considered a sin in Italy

Italian and British culture are not exactly the same; let’s discover some of the most common differences with Beth !!!

  1. Cocktails with meals

Cocktail culture in the UK & USA is pretty famous all over the world, but we take it to an extent that every Italian would gasp in horror at. We drink pina coladas with steak, long island iced teas with carbonara, strawberry mojitos with hot-dogs… any combination you can think of, we probably do it! Coming to Italy, I’ve learnt that there are certain drinking rules, e.g., white wine with fish, beer with pizza, red wine with red meat. These were all new to me, but I promise I now abide by your ‘laws’!


  1. Going out with wet hair

The infamous colpo d’aria is spoken about every day around the country, but many don’t know that it’s just an old wives’ tale! Of course, if you are already sick and you expose yourself to the cold, it could make it worse. But there’s no evidence that suggests going outside with wet hair can produce a virus or bacteria… which is why in the UK, you’ll see many people outside with wet hair. Plus, it rains so often that you’re bound to end up soaking wet anyway!


  1. Walking barefoot everywhere

Although the UK is famous for its terrible weather, the country just doesn’t seem to be as dusty as Italy. It is extremely common for us to walk around the house with no shoes or socks on, especially as most of our rooms have carpets. Additionally, those who live in the countryside or who have gardens can walk around barefoot even outside! As a child I spent most of my time with no shoes on, but of course you shouldn’t expect to see people barefoot in public. I think we can all agree that those who take their shoes off on airplanes are the worst!


  1. Drinking coffee at all hours (including with dinner)

This one is no longer a shock to most Italians, but yes… we drink cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, every coffee you can think of at all times of the day! Irish coffees (hot coffee with cream and whisky) are very popular after dinner, and it’s normal for us to have coffee with meals. This of course includes the full English breakfast, but I think you can let us off the hook for that one!


  1. Not saying hello/goodbye to everyone

When entering or leaving a party in the UK, we usually just say a sweeping hello/goodbye to the room, or to anyone who needs to know where we are. In Italy, however, I’ve learnt that it’s rude to leave someone out when greetings are involved. Hugs and kisses must be given to everyone! If you visit the UK, feel free to pull an Irish exit… we promise we won’t mind!


A Brit in Italy || Vocabulary

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

Relationship Idioms

Idioms are groups of words that don’t always make sense literally. By using the following ones, you will sound a lot more like a native speaker!
Learn our Relationship Idioms and try the quiz below.

Two peas in a pod

Do you have a best friend or someone you have everything in common with? Maybe you just like to spend all your time with them? If that’s the case, you’re probably like two peas in a pod! We can use this idiom to describe people who are very close, but also people who are very similar in terms of personality.

E.g. Me and my sister hang out all the time and we have the exact same sense of humour – we’re like two peas in a pod!

 Hit it off

If you’ve ever become friends with someone straight after meeting them, then you guys definitely hit it off! We use this phrase to express the instant connection you have with certain people after only knowing them for a short amount of time. It’s definitely not something that happens often, but when it does it’s a great feeling!

E.g. I met Sarah at work 3 years ago. We got put on a project together and hit it off right away. We’ve been best friends ever since!

To have a soft spot

We all have someone in our lives who we are particularly fond of, whether they’re a friend, family member, or even a stranger! If you have a soft spot for someone, it means you like them more than others – whether you have a reason for this or not.

E.g. I love all my family, but I have a real soft spot for my youngest sister. She’s just so cute!

 Get off on the wrong foot

Unfortunately this idiom is mostly negative. If you get off on the wrong foot with someone, you started the relationship in a bad way. This could potentially rectify itself, or it could be a reason you still don’t like that person.

E.g. I definitely got off on the wrong foot with David when we had that argument about politics, but after getting to know him I’ve realised he’s actually a great guy.

 Get on with

This is an idiom that’s worked its way into our everyday vernacular, and is used very commonly by English speakers in every type of situation. If you get on with someone, it simply means you like them and you have a decent relationship with them. Of course, this can also be used in the negative to suggest you don’t like someone. We can even extend this idiom to get on like a house on fire, which means you have an incredible relationship with them!

E.g. I don’t really get on with my boyfriend’s friends, we just don’t share the same interests. I get on like a house on fire with his sister though – she’s awesome!

Relationship Idioms Quiz

Complete the sentences with the correct idiom.

The Lion and the Mouse – Learn English with Fables

Here is another Aesop’s Fable for you to read in English. Read the whole thing without stopping to check words, then try the definitions quiz below.

A Lion was sleeping in the forest, with his huge head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse found him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose. Waking up from his nap, the Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the tiny creature to kill her.

“Spare me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will I will reward you.”

The Lion was very amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.

Some days later, while stalking his prey in the forest, the Lion was caught in a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The Mouse knew the voice and quickly found the Lion struggling in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that held the lion, she chewed it until it broke, and soon the Lion was free.

“You laughed when I said I would reward you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”

A kindness is never wasted.

Adapted from: http://www.read.gov/aesop/007.html


The Lion and the Mouse | Definitions Quiz

Try to find the definition of the words in bold.

The Lion and the Mouse | True or False

Indicate which sentences are true and which ones are false.