Italy – Culture Smart! The Essential Guide To Customs & Culture [Book Review]

There is a kindle edition – that I recommend – and a paper version. The latest version comes in pocket size, and this is another smart idea of the author considering that the original book was aimed for travelers and tourists.
You can’t find information about how to buy a real estate in Italy or how to start an Italian company, in fact it’s not a business book, but an “Essential Guide to Customs and Culture” of Italy, as cited in the subtitle. The price is good for both in the kindle and paper version. I have read the whole book in a lazy Sunday afternoon, the style is straight and simple, not to mention entertaining. And for the history enthusiasts – like me – there is also a briefing on Italian ancient and modern events.

If you ask me what’s wrong about this book, I can honestly reply “Nothing. Buy it”. If you ask me again, I would probably warn you about the stereotype of the “typical Italian” sometimes included in the book.

I was born in Italy but left the country the first time when I was 16, lived in 5 different countries, and worked for short periods in more than 20. Thus, I am always suspicious about stereotypes. Believe me, there is no typical Italian, as there is no typical American, or French or Chinese either. But in Italy this diversity can be stronger. Until a few generation ago, each part of Italy was conquered or under the influence of very different cultures (Spanish in the South, the Pope in the Center, Austria in the North-East, French in the North-West, etc).

Said that, Italy Culture Smart provides an excellent description of very common Italian traits. If you agree that not all the Italians have all the common characteristics, then this is the book for you. Read it, enjoy it, and drop me an email about what has been your experience in Italy. I will be happy to reply.


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