9 Things That Make Italy Unique

When people talk about Italy, the first things that come to mind are pasta, pizza, shopping in one of the world fashion capitals, Milan, and mesmerizing UNESCO Heritage sites. But locals would say that Italy is much more than these things — it’s here that you may find some things and traditions you’d never see in other countries. Did you know, for example, that Italians toss out their furniture on Christmas Eve or about its haunted and cursed islands?

We at Bright Side have collected some interesting things and traditions in Italy you’ve probably never heard about.

1. Wearing red lingerie to attract luck

Italian people don’t only choose festival outfits to celebrate the New Year, but they also make sure their lingerie is of a certain red hue. Here, both males and females wear red underwear on the eve of the new year, as this color is considered to attract luck. You may find the same tradition in various Latin countries, however, people there wear yellow lingerie instead of red. In those local cultures, yellow is believed to bring love and happiness.

2. Tossing furniture out of the window

On New Year’s Eve, people in some countries try to complete their last tasks, like, for example, buying any gifts that are left on their list. But Italians have a very unusual tradition on this day: they throw pots, pans, and even furniture out of windows. This act symbolizes getting rid of the old to open the door for a fresh start.

3. The cursed island of Isola della Gaiola

One of the minor islands of Naples, Isola della Gaiola, is undoubtedly beautiful but creepy. Locals call it a cursed island because of the numerous deaths of its owners. Its first habitant who lived a solitary existence just disappeared one day without any cues, its next owner died from a heart attack, and another, from suicide. And these are only some cases. After all these events, the island is currently uninhabited and desolate.

4. Eating dinner late

Italians eat dinner quite late, and a lot of restaurants don’t even open until 7-7:30 p.m. Depending on the region, people here eat around 9 p.m. Such a tendency can be explained by the fact that Italians have a long 2-hour break in the middle of the working day, so they also dine late.

5. Peeling the fruit before eating it

People in Italy commonly don’t eat fruit, like apples, pears, and peaches, with the skin. Instead, they first peel it off, which most foreigners find unusual. The explanation for this is that Italians want to eat healthy food and think that the pesticides applied to it are not properly removed, even after washing.

6. No eggs for breakfast

Fried eggs with bacon, bread, and butter might seem like a perfect breakfast if you’re not Italian. However, local people prefer to eat something sweet in the morning, like cereal or a biscuit, fruit, and espresso. As Italians themselves say, “You want eggs for breakfast? Try London.”

7. The spooky island of Poveglia

In Italy, you may not only see the world’s most ancient sites but also a haunted island. The island of Poveglia is known as an “Island of Ghosts” due to its twisted history. For more than 100 years, the place has been used as a quarantine station for plague sufferers. Around 160,000 people are believed to have been cremated here. Now the island is officially prohibited from tourist visits.

8. 17 is an unlucky number.

While in most countries, the number “13” is considered to be an unlucky number, for Italians, it’s “17.” This is because rearranging the Roman numeral, XVII, can create the word, “VIXI,” which is translated from Latin as “my life is over.” Due to this, even some hotels here don’t have a seventeenth floor.

9. Staying fashionable, even while shopping for groceries

On the Internet, you may find a lot of articles related to how to dress like an Italian woman, and it’s not surprising since Milano is considered one of the fashion capitals of the world. Here, both males and females follow fashion trends and stay classy no matter what the situation is. Even when heading to grocery stores, Italian women look fabulous and glamourous!

Can you share some unique things about your country?

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