As of 2014, Italian culture puts family at the center of the social culture and provides financial and emotional support to all its members. In Italy, appearances are used to determine a person's social status, and first impressions are very important. In Italian cultural interactions, clothing and being fashionable are the basis for social judgement. This judgement also extends to the projected aura of the person, such as confidence.
A number of businesses in Italy are family-run, with a significant amount being small and mid-sized businesses. Some larger companies, such as Benetton, are also still run by a single family group. This tendency lends a more informal atmosphere to Italian business meetings as compared to other European countries. However, this creates a wariness when interacting with people outside a direct circle of close acquaintances. In northern Italy, only nuclear families tend to live together. In southern Italy, the reverse is true, with more extended family members living under one roof.
The influence of the Catholic Church in Italian culture is very high, with the country having the most churches per capita in the world. While average church attendance is low, symbols of the Catholic Church are prevalent throughout most of Italy. Symbols include religious icons and crosses in the lobby of buildings, as well as patron saints.