The Right Way | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


A couple of days ago, Joanne Mathis interviewed me on her BlogTalkRadio show for a talk on the “Taste of Italy” as the launch for my 2013 three trips packages to Italy based on my three books. The trips are in the making in conjunction with various establishments in Italy. Soon, I will be ready to take registrations.

Some parts of the radio talk were really funny, as most of the time happens when talking about Italy, a country, which thrives with free-spirit people and lives on not so many rules. During my next radio talk in October, with Joanne Mathis again, I will highlight some of the things and customs not very proper for foreigners and other useful tips for travelers to Italy.
We were really laughing on the show and having a good time on what Italians consider the “right way”.

• In Italy the woman walks on the right side of the man and inside of the sidewalk near the building and not near the street. It’s an old custom to protect the woman from dangers, still used today.

• To drive in Italy one must think and act like a racecar driver. Accidents are fatal on freeways, where speed limit is not respected much, but are rare in the cities, because our cities were built in the Middle Ages, therefore streets are truly small, often have only one or two lanes, but one must know how to get disentangled to avoid causing a huge traffic jam. Driving through an intersection, one must give the right away, meaning must yield to cars coming from the right, unless otherwise noted by street signals.

• At a dinner party, the man of the house always sits at one of the head table and the wife on the opposite head table. The wife changes her seat to the right of the men of the house when there are special guests. In this case, usually the male special guest sits at the opposite head table across from the man of the house and his wife on his right. In the Middle Age, the women’s place was set at the right of the men as a form of respect and to receive morsels of food the man cut for her and presented on the tip of a knife. Women did not cut their own food. Mind you this was when tableware did not exist yet.

• In Italy we stir coffee to the right, clockwise.

• Woman sleeping with man: she usually sleeps towards the wall and not towards the entry door to the room, often her place falls on the right side of her man.
• When a woman is in the bus, metro, or in a taxi with a man, the man gets off first to help the woman getting off, just in case her heels get caught in something, or some absent-minded person pushes her out.

• When we greet people, we kiss on both cheeks, starting with the right cheek, so it is my right cheek to your right cheek and then left to left.

Italy is a very modern country and women are also living a very modern, hectic life as everywhere in the world, but certain things have remained untouched. The respect toward women and wanting to protect them is very high.

If you like to listen to my radio talk and laugh with us, it will take only 40 minutes of your time. Enjoy it:


Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola will host three trips a year to Italy based on her three books with the intention of showing Italy with the eyes of a designer born in those parts and let people experience the ”wheel of emotions” in the non-commercial Italy beaten down by massive tourism. Valentina will guide the tours through art, architecture, food, shopping and special adventures organized for people who want to live it up! Valentina’s third book is in the printing process. ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors will be soon on Amazon with her others two books:





8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. island traveler
    Sep 02, 2012 @ 06:06:21

    Wow! I didn’t know that. In my culture we kiss on the cheek too when we meet friends and family but It doesn’t matter which cheek to start. Thanks for sharing all these. Great post!



  2. Marianne
    Sep 01, 2012 @ 10:10:52

    Valentina, what a wonderful post! I love Italy, and I’m going to listen to your radio talk later today.



  3. bigsmileu1
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 03:01:53

    I love all the Italian customs, Valentina. I stir my coffee to the right. The custom of the woman walking closest to the wall on the street is one I touch on with my students when I am teaching them Romeo & Juliet. It is so interesting to hear customs from other cultures. Congratulations on your interview! You are a celebrity!! Jamie 🙂



  4. Amy
    Aug 29, 2012 @ 20:23:30

    Thank you so much for the “right way”! Very nice, elegant way, love it.



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