This is a collection of the many stereotypes I've collected throughout my travels and my research on the Italian culture... I reject the idea that any of them are true.
Northerners think southerners are lazy
Southerners call the people in the North crucco (kraut or "German").
The North blames all the economic problems on the South.
The South thinks that the North keeps most government money for Northern projects.
People in the South think Northerners have no sense of culture.
People in the North think of all Southern men as sexist pigs.
Southerners think Northern men are all Mama's boys.
People in the North are amazed at a smart Southerner--"Pretty smart, for a Southerner"
Southerners think people in the North have no religion.
Northerners think Southerns are religious fanatics.
In the North, they spend money like crazy.
In the South, they are tight with their money... really cheap.
Northerners only think about one thing--making money.
Southerners have no idea how to save or invest their money.
Northerners love Madonna's music.
Southerners are madly in love with the Madonna.
In the North, most have seen the film the Exorcist.
In the South, most families know of someone who has had an Exorcism.
Northerners are so fast-paced, they hardly have time for their families and friends.
Southerners spend too much time glued to their families.
Northern men will slap their wives in public and no one will bat an eyelash.
Southern men will simply grunt or give a look to get their women to do their bidding.
In the North, they eat far too much steak and beans.
In the South, all they eat is fish and weeds.
In the North, hospitality means meeting a friend for a quick drink.
In the South, hospitality means cooking and laying out a 4 hour meal for new friends.
In the North, pets are treated like the animals that they really are or like fashion accessories.
In the South, pets are extended members of the family.
In the North, people dress like peacocks, and strut around the same way.
In the South, people dress as if they can't afford anything better.
In the North, men are so vain, they clean their own shoes, and often won't let anyone else touch them.
In the South, women clean the men's shoes as part of their wifely duties.
In the North, they rarely will take time to stop and say hello to a friend passing on the street.
In the South, they will assault someone on the street with incessant chatting, ignoring the fact that the person might be busy.
Many Northerners are agnostic or atheist.
Many Southerns light candles, have shrines in their bedrooms, wear medallions or crosses and will carry talismans to ward off the malocchio (bad luck).
Many racist people in the North still refer to Southerners in derogatory terms... as “terroni”. One Northern recently explained what a "terroni" was--“Dirt people–they are Africans."
By contrast, the people of the South refer to Northerners as Polentone (polenta eaters) or Mangiafagioli (bean-eaters), mild slurs at best.
When traveling throughout Italy, we discovered a definite difference between North and South. In general, Northern Italians reminded me of more fast-paced New Yorkers as opposed to the more laid-back lifestyle and attitudes of Rural America. This is not to say that we didn't find many nice people in both the North and South, and that we didn't find some real jerks in both regions as well. People are people. Stereotypes are ridiculous. Take people for what they are--how they present themselves.
A supposed wise man once said, "You've gotta take the good with the bad". No thanks. I'll look for the good people, no matter where I am and will always reject the bad. I've heard that Northerners refer to the South as the "Mezzogiorno". This word basically means high-noon, when the sun is at its highest and brightest. Northerners use it to describe the sunnier and sweltering South. I will remind all Italians that the same sun shines on all of them. It's no brighter or darker in the North or the South. Same sun... Same people... Same heat...