25 Signs You Grew Up in an Italian Household

25 Signs You Grew Up in an Italian Household


I grew up in Middletown, Connecticut, the official sister city of Melili, Sicily, in Italy. I grew up living with my grandparents and my mother, all of whom are mostly Italian. These are the telltale signs you grew up in a traditional Italian household like I did.

1. Your last name ends in a vowel.

My family name is Talevi. My best friend's is Bibisi. You get the idea.

2. You talk with your hands.

Are you even Italian if you don't use hand gestures for every sentence that comes out of your mouth?

3. You never say no to food.

Even if you’re not hungry, you eat anyways. Italians hold the value that when a guest enters the house, he or she must eat. If you reject food when it is offered to you, it is perceived as rude. This means that even if you don’t come into the house hungry, when Nonna offers you a home cooked meal, you eat it. And if you are offered seconds, you better take that too. You never leave an Italian household hungry. The interaction will go something like this.

4. Everyone yells in your house.

No one is angry. That's just how we talk.

5. Dinner discussions revolve around food.

You talk about what you ate earlier that day, and what your next meal is going to be. It's disgusting, really.

6. Everyone talks at the same time.

There is never a quiet moment at your family dinner table. Everyone just talks over each other, and everyone tries to be the loudest. You really have to shout if you want to get a word in.

7. You literally have two thousand cousins.

And aunts, and uncles, etc. How are there so many?

8. Family gatherings are a circus.

When you get the family together for reunions or holidays, it's so loud that you can't even hear yourself think. You're better off stuffing your face with food than trying to yell over everyone else.

9. There are at least four men named Joe in the family.

10. "Mangia!"

"Eat!" You're not leaving this table until you finish your plate, so you better "mangia!"

11. Bread is acceptable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Italian bread is part of every meal: toast for breakfast, meatball grinder for lunch, and pasta with bread dipped in sauce for dinner. Bonus points if it's garlic bread.

12. Parmesan cheese goes on everything.

13. Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti night.

On Wednesdays, we don't wear white.

14. Everyone in the family has dark hair and eyes.

If not, you're accused of being the mailman's child.

15. Pastina cures all.

Pastina is Italian penicillin! Sick? Eat pastina. Headache? Eat pastina. Going into labor? Eat pastina.

16. Your family pet likes pasta.

There's nothing like Nonna's homemade sauce! She wants everyone to eat her homecooked meals, even the dog.

17. Don't even think about bringing home a boy who's not Italian.

We don't call ourselves thick-headed guineas for nothing.

18. You were taught to leave the house lights on it so it looks like someone is home in order to deter robbers.

Bulletproof logic right there. Have you ever met an Italian with a home security system?

19. "Capiche?"

You've never heard your parents say, "do I make myself clear" at the end of a sentence. Only "Capiche?" It means, "understand?" and is almost always accompanied by the go-to Italian hand gesture (See #2).

20. All hail the Italian horn.

It protects you from the Evil Eye.

21. You've gotten the Sicilian silent treatment at least once.

If you're lucky enough to be Sicilian as well as Italian, you know that your family is capable of straight-up ignoring your existence for the rest of your life. We take grudges to the grave.

22. You've been called "stunad!"


23. Cannolis are the ultimate dessert.

24. "Just a bite" never means just a bite.

If you ask for a little bit of something, you're going to get a ton of it. You can say "that's good," but Nonna is going to keep scooping food onto your plate.

25. When you go out to eat, you go to Italian restaurants.

But not Olive Garden because that's not Italian.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Popular Right Now

3 Popular Instant Coffee Brands That You Will Probably End Up Settling For When Starbucks Is Just Too Expensive

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Coffee is energizing, aromatic (structurally, as well), and pairs nicely with a book at the end of the day. Or in the morning. Or during the post-exam-dash-back-home-to-drink-more-coffee in that one hour break, I have between classes. Anytime is a good time to drink coffee. At least it is for me.

But being a caffeine addict, on top of having a small food budget and busy schedule, means I normally "settle" for the instant, just-add-water variety. I tried several brands until I finally encountered one that was acceptable to me.

Yes, I know I am a spoiled coffee snob.

Here are my thoughts on three popular and low-cost brands of instant coffee on the market.

1. Folgers

Leaves a slimy texture reminiscent of hair conditioner. The scent coming off a cup of Folgers conjures up images of old batteries. My opinion is especially significant, considering the fact that I have fewer-than-average taste buds on my tongue- meaning that I should theoretically be less sensitive to bitter, strong flavors than the average person.

The oily black residue this solution leaves behind makes me feel uncomfortable. However, this brand is usually the cheapest in my grocery store, and I'm sure adding tons of cream and sugar will cover up any of the flavors.

2. Maxwell House

Has an unoffensive yet unremarkable flavor, doesn't have much body in the flavor. Smells like cardboard pieces that have been boiled in water, with a hint of a coffee taste. Pairs nicely with a bagel though.

3. Nescafe Taster's Choice

I've stuck with this one because the flavor just falls short of richness. Also, adding triple the amount of the suggested coffee-to-water ratio makes for a hearty coffee with the proper bitterness that I'm accustomed to. This instant coffee brand is generally more expensive than the other two, though.

Despite my words, which partially come from a grumpiness induced by sleep deprivation- without instant coffee, I would be half as competent as I am now (for what that's worth).

Also, everyone obviously has different flavor perceptions. So take my criticism with a grain of instant coffee.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Official Ranking Of Villanova's Dining Halls

The Exchange was my biggest discovery of first semester.

One of the biggest adjustments for most college freshman is eating at dining halls and learning to eat what is offered. I’ve come to appreciate Villanova’s dining options, because there is no denying that there is an option for everyone. So whether you are a prospective Villanovan or an alumnus, I’m sure you’ll find this list to speak the truth.

1. The Exchange

This place was without a doubt my biggest discovery of first semester. Since I am not a business student, this incredible eatery in Bartley was foreign to me at first. The Exchange offers made-to-order fresh sandwiches and hot dinners of delicious dishes. You can always find this spot crowded at lunchtime and the tables around it packed. The downside of the Exchange is that they only accept food points or the Exchange upgrade meal plan. So if you enjoy this spot, make sure to save up your points!

2. Café Nova

A popular lunch option for most students, Café Nova offers different stations to cater to many different tastes. From burrito bowls, to sandwiches, to pizzas, this dining option is among my favorites, as it’s usually quick to get your meal and consistently delicious. The outdoor seating at Cova is also a plus during the spring and fall. As for meal plans, Cova accept MPEs only, but doesn’t require a specific upgrade like The Exchange.

3. The Spit

Located on the freshman South Campus, the Spit is one of Nova’s all-you-can-eat dining halls. The Spit offers the same daily hot meals as The Pit, but what sets it apart is the pasta, deli, and stir-fry stations each night for those who aren’t interested in the hot meal. The quesadillas and made-to-order pasta are just some of the reasons why sophomores find themselves missing The Spit immediately. There is also a ton of study space that makes it a popular spot late at night for students to socialize and get work done as well as hold events.

4. The Pit

The main all-you-can-eat dining option on main campus is The Pit, located in the basement of Dougherty Hall. The Pit often offers better desserts than The Spit, but other than that it cannot compare to the immense food stations at its counterpart. While definitely a good option for someone on main campus all day, The Pit’s selections are limited to the hot meal of the day and maybe one food station like a stir-fry bar. A plus is that The Pit’s salad bar is often stocked and full of choices!

5. Belle Air Terrace

Ranking as my least favorite option, Belle Air Terrace is more of a fast food location. They offer an all day breakfast line as well as a deli line and a hot food line with burgers, fries, and chicken. This is not my go-to spot mostly because I find the options to be more limited than the other dining halls. Students do enjoy this spot, however, because it has giant TV screens showing sports games and is housed in our student center.

Related Content

Facebook Comments