Italian flair: A guide to authentic Mediterranean style

The culture is a unique way of celebrating the small pleasures of everyday life. This attitude is reflected in the love of food, family relationships and community life. Italians value a slow and deliberate pace of life that allows them to enjoy life to the full, whether it’s the enthusiastic conversation of a cozy café or the charm of an evening stroll through the city squares.

This approach also extends to gastronomy, where food is not just a source of nourishment, but a source of pleasure and a community-building tool. Italian cuisine is more than just a set of ingredients and recipes; it combines the art of cooking, a passion for fresh ingredients, and a respect for tradition. Time spent at the family table is an opportunity to build relationships and pass on knowledge between generations.

In this context, Italian culture typically emphasizes the concept of ‘dolce vita’—the sweet life – which draws attention to the small beauties of life, even in the midst of everyday challenges. Italians often find time for relaxation and social interaction, which contributes to a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle. The Italian way of life is therefore not only linked to specific places or activities, but is an attitude that permeates every aspect of everyday life.

Italian flair: A guide to authentic Mediterranean style

Basics of Italian culture

Italian culture reflects the warmth of home, the richness of culinary delights, and the wide range of aesthetic expressions that are part of everyday life.

Family life

Italians have a family-centered outlook on life, characterized by strong bonds and support. The family is the foundation of the Italian bonding system, where large family gatherings take place at the heart of the community.


Italian gastronomy is world-famous for its rich and varied cuisine. The art of cooking with local ingredients and freshness is outstanding.

RegionTypical dish
Emilia-RomagnaParmigiano Reggiano cheese
TuscanyFiorentina steak

Art and beauty

The Italian passion for art and beauty applies to fine art, architecture and fashion. Italians are proud of their historical heritage, which includes world-famous artists and works of art.

  • Michelangelo: ceiling frescoes of the Sistine Chapel
  • Leonardo da Vinci: The Last Supper
  • Roman Colosseum: An architectural wonder of ancient Rome

Italian gastronomic traditions

Italian gastronomy includes special dishes made with local ingredients, pasta dishes, unique cheeses and the popular drink Aperol Spritz.

Special dishes

Many regions of Italian cuisine boast their own specialties, such as risotto from Lombardy, pecorino from Sardinia, a typical aged cheese, or the justly famous spaghetti carbonara. The dishes are prepared with an emphasis on freshness and the pleasure of eating.

Pasta dishes

The variety of shapes and flavor combinations of pasta dishes are deeply rooted in Italian culture. Pasta al dente, or pasta cooked just right, reflects their dedication to creating food with the perfect texture.

Local cheeses

The Italian cheese-making tradition includes many famous cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Mozzarella di Bufala and Gorgonzola. These cheeses offer various flavors and textures, enriching the taste of any dish.

The culture of Aperol Spritz

The popularity of Aperol Spritz permeates the apéritif culture of bars and terraces across the country. Often served with orange slices and olives, this refreshing drink is enjoyed with friends while eating and enjoying the taste of coffee.

Italian dishes are on the Onios menu.

Italian landscape and sites

Italy has a rich coastline, stunning archipelago and beautiful countryside, all intertwined with historic towns and cultural treasures.

Sea and coast

Italy boasts many coastal regions with crystal-clear waters, white sand and well-maintained beaches. Venice and its surroundings, for example, is a pearl of the Adriatic Sea, famous for its waterways and lagoons, while the Tyrrhenian coastline near Rome offers a relaxing retreat for those seeking the hustle and bustle of the capital.

  • Most popular coastal towns:
    • Rimini
    • Amalfi
    • Cinque Terre
    • Sorrento

Naples and the islands

Naples, a city in the shadow of the Vesuvius volcano, is well-known for its rich history and culinary traditions. Not far from Naples, you can explore Italy’s archipelagos, such as Capri and Ischia, which attract tourists with their exceptional natural beauty and sea opportunities.

  • Outstanding islands:
    • Capri
    • Ischia
    • Sicily
    • Sardegna

The charms of Tuscany and Florence

Tuscany, with its rolling green hills, vineyards and olive groves, is a postcard in the heart of the Italian countryside. Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, combines the wonders of art and architecture while retaining its rural charm. The region of Tuscany and its capital, Florence, is an essential stop for any tourist visiting Italy.

  • Attractions in Tuscany:
    • Pisa and the leaning tower
    • Historic center of Siena
    • Chianti wine region
    • The natural beauty of Val d’Orcia

Living the Italian summer

The Italian summer experience includes lively events and relaxing time on the beach. Summer in Italy is a time to relax and enjoy the local culture.

Summer events

Festivals and cultural events are an essential part of summer in Italy. In Friuli Venezia Giulia, there are many events that offer a taste of the Italian way of life.

  • Fieste de la Mar: a celebration of the sea and fishing in Grado.
  • Jazz & Wine of Peace Festival: Celebrating the harmony of wine and jazz in nearby Cormons.
  • Regata Storica: a series of historic rowing races in Venice.

These summer events allow visitors to immerse themselves in Italian traditions and enjoy the summer season.

Beaches and relaxation in Grado

The town of Grado, a jewel on the Adriatic coast, is the perfect combination of beach and relaxation.

Beaches in GradoServices
Spiaggia PrincipaleSun umbrellas, deck chairs, water sports facilities
Costa AzzurraQuiet, family-friendly environment
I RagniWilderness section, fewer tourists

Grado is the perfect place for relaxation and sunbathing, where you can make the most of every minute of summer with the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea and its fine sandy beaches.

The small pleasures of life in Italy

Community spaces are a key element of the Italian way of life. Cafés, bars and piazzas are all conducive to meeting lovers and friends, to relaxed conversation and to the experience of walking around the city.

Visit cafés and bars

Italian cafés and bars are the hub of everyday life. Here, people start the day sipping an espresso perfectly prepared by the barista, or gather after work for an un caffè or aperitivo. It’s also where personal conversations and new loves often blossom.

  • Types of coffee:
    • Espresso
    • Cappuccino
    • Latte
  • Topics for discussion:
    • Politics
    • Football
    • Culture

The piazza experience

The piazza is the open space where Italians like to spend time and enjoy the atmosphere of urban tranquility. A stroll through the piazza offers a quieter moment of bustling city life, where everyday worries can be put aside. The terraces of bars and benches at the edge of the piazza provide the perfect place for deep conversation or people-watching. In the evenings, live music performances are often organized to add to the love of life that pervades the space.

  • Market features:
    • Community gatherings
    • Cultural events
    • Rest and relaxation
  • Sources of tranquility:
    • Splashing fountains
    • Observing children’s play
    • Performers’ shows

Italy in art and literature

Italy has left a deep mark on the world of art and literature. Its historic sites and vibrant culture are an inspiration for filmmakers and writers alike.

Films that show the beauty of Italy

  • La Dolce Vita(Sweet Life)
     Directed by Federico Fellini
     Story: A journalist searches for the meaning of life on the streets of glamorous and decadent Rome.
     Location: Anzio, Rome

Example films:

Film titleDirectorDescriptionLocation
Room with a viewJames IvoryEnglish woman in Italy in the 1900s.Florence, Fiesole
The Italian jobPeter CollinsonBrilliant gold heist and chase on the streets of Italy.Torino

Books that describe the lives of Italians

Italy is famous for its rich social life, and many books reflect this. These works describe the everyday life, customs and characteristics of Italian society.

Example books:

  • History of the Eternal City
    By Titus Livius
     Feature: History and myths of ancient Rome
  • The fountain of youth
    Written by Pasquale Festa Campanile
    Summary: An aging man’s struggle with old age and the joy of life in Italy