Q:

What are some physical traits and characteristics of Italian people?

A:

Physically Italians resemble their European neighbors, and they are said to be friendly, hospitable, generous, intelligent, good humored, gentle, well dressed, tasteful and family oriented. Some taller Italians with fair skin, blonde hair, and blue or green eyes are found in northern and central Italy, while those with brown eyes and sun-tanned complexions populate southern Italy and Sicily. Italians are lovers of food, conversation and their own culture.

Genetics of the entire Italian population have been influenced by various historic incursions from foreign invaders, including Greeks, Germanic tribes and Normans. Italian people are described as very warm toward those they know well, making their friends feel comfortable in a social setting. They like to stand close to the people they talk with and are likely to touch them in a purely friendly way, although this closeness may be disconcerting to someone accustomed to more personal space. Italians love to relax and socialize, especially around the table at home or in a restaurant where they can enjoy traditional Italian food. Lunch is typically a one-or-two-hour affair with a two-to-three course meal. Many activities halt for two hours during the day. Stores shut down and banks close. Around 2 p.m., people start to emerge from their houses and populate the streets again until dinnertime around 7:30 p.m.


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