A Journey through Culture – Being a First-Generation American

A Journey through Culture – Being a First-Generation American

As an Italian-American, first generation born, I’ve had the pleasure of having enjoyed the best of both worlds. Ergo, I feel like I have some authority on the differences between Italian and American culture. While both are wonderful to be a part of, there are some characteristics that I feel create a certain distinction.

They’re not necessarily bad characteristics, but they are unique in their conception.

So without further ado, here are some cultural differences between American and Italian culture that I’ve experienced myself!

What I Learned about the Differences between Italian and American Culture

Portion Sizes

It’s no secret that meals in America are much larger than the rest of the world. Whereas Americans like to enjoy their food to the fullest, Italians tend to have everything in moderation.


Whereas in America, even a 16-year old can start driving with a permit, the limits in America are a lot different. The driving age in Italy is 18, and it’s actually quite expensive to get a driver’s license.


There isn’t really a huge stigma around underage drinking in Italy. However, that’s because wine drinking is considered a tradition with meals. This is usually done to promote a certain idea around drinking responsibly so the child isn’t in a frenzy to get wasted.

Mode of Transportation

America uses many means of transportation such as the subway and taxi services etc. However, in Italy, you’re encouraged to navigate without a car, or better yet, walk. It gives people a feeling of independence when they’re able to simply take bike or walk in walking-only areas.


There’s nothing better than spending your afternoon roaming in an Italian market. With so much on offer, you get a unique experience, quite unlike what you would get while roaming in Whole Foods or Walmart. Although with the Farmer’s Market, America comes pretty close.

Ethnic Food

This is one part where America excels. Wherever you go, you’ll find some sort of restaurant catering to your every food whim, whether you’re yearning for Ethiopian, Chinese or Italian. On the other hand, perhaps because Italy itself has such focus on its cuisine, the country doesn’t really have as many American bistros, Chinese or Mexican restaurants. And what they do have can be expensive.


While there are many differences between Italy and America, I am proud to say that being a part of both countries is an honor for me. And I hope that you as a reader get the chance to experience the beauty and authenticity of both cultures as well!

About the Blogger:

Having garnered the nickname The Italian Guru by his family and friends, Christopher Carovillano is a learner who uses his past experiences to grow in mind and wisdom. As an Italian teacher, Christopher Carovillano strives to use what he learned from the language and culture to help others understand the Italian style of living.

This blog post was crafted by TheItalianGuru also known as RealItalianGuru. The author of this blog is Christopher Carovillano / Christopher V. Carovillano. The material in this blog is Copyright, with All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s