The Bilingual WebZine of ART and CULTURE – Il Webzine dell'ARTE e della CULTURA

Posted by angela On January - 3 - 2013 44 Comments

Do you have a curiosity or a cultural question about America or Americans?  Write your question and your “possible answer” to that question in the “Leave a Reply” section.


Hai una curiosità culturale sull’America e sugli Americani?  Scrivici qui sotto la tua domanda e la tua “possibile risposta” a quella domanda, poi e clicca Reply.  



question mark american-flag

This is a bilingual blog, you can ask or answer in Italian or in English.

Questo è un blog bilingue, potete chiedere o rispondere sia in Italiano che in Inglese.

Chiunque volesse porre una domanda, dare una risposta o scrivere un commento è incoraggiato a farlo. Ne saremo felici. Ciao


44 Responses

  1. Gio says:

    Hi 🙂 What are the most important festival in usa?

  2. Rihana says:

    Why is prom so important for Americans?

  3. Mitko B says:

    What Americans think about Italy?

  4. leonardo l says:

    Come avete preso la rielezione di Obama ? positivamente o negativamente ?

  5. DAVIDE says:

    E’ vero che gli americani non hanno un forte legame per la famiglia come noi italiani?

  6. Giulnat says:

    How is considered the Italy in the USA ?

  7. Sdjo says:

    Quali sono le differenze tra gli abitanti del nord e del sud del paese?

  8. Nicolò M. says:

    Are there any particular diferences between the american cities?
    Because in Italy there are many diferences between the north and south’s cities.

  9. Gabriela says:

    We all know that the U.S.A has a multiracial culture. But we all hear about racist cases. Is racism common or are those rare cases???

  10. DaniloClooney says:

    I want to know if high schools in USA are really like they show us in movies?!

  11. Zebi. says:

    Why in Usa you can drive a car already at 16 years old? Why everybody can have a weapon in Usa?

  12. Giulnat says:

    Why in America you can drive a car already at 16 years?

    • Sandra L. says:

      That’s funny, because I was just in a restaurant in Italy where it said on the menu, “Deve essere da 16 a bere alcolici”. 🙂 My husband and I thought 16 was very young! In America, each state has different requirements regarding licenses, but usually you can earn your Driver’s Permit when you are 15 years old. With a Permit, you are considered “still a student” of driving and there are certain rules you have to follow to drive, often including a time limit that you need to have your Permit. After a Driver’s Permit, you could be eligible for a “Restricted License”. Again, special rules apply while you have your Restricted License. After that, many states allow you to receive your Full license and yes, 16 is the earliest you could receive it. I don’t know why the driving age is so young, I’m assuming it’s to allow the 16 year old to get to and from work/school. Americans just drive more.

    • Cristina R says:

      Why in USA there are big school, where the students are free as if they would be on holiday ?

  13. Andrew says:

    Why are the Americans very patriotic than the italians?

    • Sandra L. says:

      I don’t know IF Americans are more patriotic than Italians. Italians seem to be very proud of their culture as well. Patriotism in America was not always popular, however. I think September 11th helped bring our Nation together and patriotism resurfaced. When your country is at war, it’s citizens will hopefully rally to their flag.

  14. Giulnat says:

    All italians eat between 7-9 because they have an afternoon snack beetween 4-5:30.
    This happens for most of italian family, but some family can have dinner after or before the timeslot average.

  15. Nicolò M. says:

    What do you think about the weapons problem in U.S.A?

    • Sandra L. says:

      I’m from the Midwest, Chicago to be exact. There are very mixed and varying views about guns in the heartland of the US. We didn’t grow up with guns in our household and I lived in inner city Chicago as a child. In the Southern and Western part of the US however, more citizens are prone to support the Right to Bear Arms while the Eastern and Northern states will usually support gun control. The Right to Bear Arms, our 2nd Amendment, was created at a time when people owned slaves, women couldn’t own property and where guns where an integral part of Western Expansion. We live in a different time now and I don’t believe the ‘Right” or need still exists. Although I don’t think guns will ever disappear from our American culture, someday I hope we will at least be able to regulate their distribution and use in private ownership.

  16. Edoardo says:

    Ciao vorrei sapere realmente quali interventi ha fatto Obama per l’America, mi interessa saperlo perché attraverso i mass media è molto complicato capire come stanno realmente le cose e magari una risposta data da chi vive direttamente queste situazione è più facile farsi un’idea, grazie ciao a tutti

    • steven says:

      The press is very controversial at times, and usually does not go into details about programs. I can answer you by listing some of his accomplishments, that are objective, not just my opinion. First he passed the largest program for social services in the US since Medicare, in 1965, that the press calls Obamacare. It is difficult for a European to understand, but health care is not a right in the US, it is a privilege, and Obamacare goes a long way toward making health care a right for all Americans. He also passed an $800 million stimulus program that saved the US (and possibly the world) economy from going into a depression as severe as the 1930s. He also passed a law that guarantees equal pay for equal work to women and minorities. And he has steered the US foreign policy through a very difficult time, ending one useless war, and winding down a second one, while working very hard to mend America’s broken relationship with the Muslim world.

  17. Giuseppe I says:

    Not all italians eat dinner at 7/8 pm, in the South of Italy,all the family like mine used to have dinner at 9 30/10pm or sometimes later. What do you do insted of mid afternoon snack(5pm)?

    • angie says:

      I lived in Naples for 8 years and we never had dinner before 8:30 pm. My Neapolitan friends thought that we ate dinner very early, because they never sat down to eat before 9:30, like you said. But in America, people eat between 5:30 and 6:00 pm, therefore they usually don’t have snacks around that time. In England they have tea at 5:00 pm. Actually, in England they have tea all day long!!

      • Sandra Limjuco says:

        If an American eats dinner after 7pm, then yes, they may have a late afternoon snack (4 or 5pm). One thing about American that I am not finding true for Italy, is that America is not homogenous. We don’t have one answer for everyone because we are made up from so many different cultures and people. My family eats early, around 5-6pm, because we have small children and they go to bed early (7:30-8pm). But many of our friends in the States who don’t have children, often laugh at our early dinner time. There is never one answer for all Americans, which is one of the beautiful things about America. 🙂

    • Rosa Maria says:

      I think that we must have snack and dinner every day, because it’s right to eat 5 times a day. But eat too late, after 8.30 pm, it’s not good, overall for digestion and for sleeping well and have not nightmares too.

      • ELISA says:

        I’m italian and I suppose that every family has his time-table, so it’s difficult find one answer.
        In my family we usually eat after 8pm, but sometimes we eat 8:30-9pm because my parents finish to work late. It dependes

  18. Gabriela says:

    Is it hard for an Italian student to start studing in the USA? What could be the main problems?

  19. Cinzia says:

    Ieri sera ero ad una festa per Obama e una signora americana mi ha spiegato che questo presidente è odiatissimo da una parte degli americani. Lei sosteneva che lo odiano perchè sono razzisti e non sopportano l’idea di un capo afroamericano.
    Secondo voi e vero?

    • Sandra L. says:

      Ciao Cinzia,
      Si prega di perdonare il mio italiano, sto ancora imparando. 🙂 Sì, ci sono gli americani che odiano Obama perché è un uomo nero. Purtroppo, esiste ancora il razzismo in tutte le culture, compresa l’America. Ho partecipato a molte discussioni sul computer e ho letto molti commenti razzisti. Mi vergogno che il mio paese, e il nostro mondo, soffrano ancora di razzismo. Ma, ci sono molti più americani che non sono razzisti e giudicano una persona in base alle loro azioni. Obama è appassionatamente odiato da molti conservatori repubblicani americani, che l’hanno combattuto sul terreno dei programmi sociali che ha iniziato. Ma egli è anche amato da molti americani per questi programmi stessi. Come abbiamo visto, il 6 novembre, è stato ammirato da più americani rispetto a quelli che non sono d’accordo con la sua politica.

      Here is what I wanted to say in my own language:

      Hello Cinzia,
      Yes, there are Americans who hate Obama because he is a Black man. Unfortunately, there is still racism in all cultures, including America. I participated in discussions via social media and have read many racist comments. I am ashamed that my country, and our world, is still suffering from racism. But, there are more Americans that are not racist and judge a person based on their actions. Obama is very passionately disliked by many ultra-Conservative Republicans because of his ground breaking social programs. He is also loved by many Americans for these same programs. But, as we witnessed on November 6, he is admired by more Americans than those who do not agree with his politics.

  20. fabio says:

    In Italia, noi diamo molta importanza alle cose del passato, come l’arte, i bei palazzi e i monumenti e il cibo. Voi invece in America siete sempre proiettati al futuro e quindi all’avanguardia. Solo in America poteva nascere uno Steve Jobs.

    • steve says:

      Your question made me wish that in America we should learn to treasure the things we kind of brush to the side, such as art, architecture, slow food and even family. At least if we made a little progress in these areas we would be able to live richer, fuller and healthier lives.

  21. marina says:

    Perché gli americani mangiano il tacchino nel giorno del Ringraziamento?

    • Steven says:

      Governor Bradford sent the hunters out for the first Thanksgiving, and they returned with wild ducks and other game, including a deer. No one knows if they served turkey at the original feast between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims; but we do know that the Pilgrims called any wild bird a “turkey.”

      Il governatore Bradford mando’ fuori i cacciatori per la prima festa, che tornarono con delle anatre selvatiche ed altra cacciagione, compreso un cervo. Nessuno sa se ci fu anche il tacchino, ma e pur vero che il termine “tacchino” aveva il significato di “uccello selavtico” nell’inglese del ‘600.

  22. marina says:

    Las Vegas sembra agli Italiani una città artificiale, come gli americani la considerano e perché è stata creata una città per il divertimento?

    • Josh says:

      I think Las Vegas seems like an artificial city to us, too, but it is nevertheless a very compelling city – everyone wants to go there to try their luck at gambling, to see the big lights and crazy decorations, to watch the shows and to experience Vegas for themselves.

      I have no idea why it was created – but I imagine relaxed gambling laws and the opportunity to make money helped! It probably started much smaller and has grown to its present grandeur over the years.

  23. Sara says:

    Abito negli USA da qualche mese, ma non ho molti amici americani. I ragazzi che frequento all’università sono quasi tutti stranieri. Gli americani che ho conosciuto mi hanno detto che mi avrebbero chiamata, ma non si sono più fatti vivi. Perchè dicono che ti chiamano e poi non lo fanno?

    La mia possibile risposta:
    Non vogliono mischiarsi con gli stranieri. Sono gentili se li vedi in classe, ma poi fuori preferiscono stare tra di loro.

    • Amy says:

      I think that people in America say that they will call you or text you it is just a formality. We are afraid of being rude to someone’s face, but by not calling them, eventually they will realize you do not want to be friends or you are too busy for them

    • Megan says:

      I agree with what Amy said-that most Americans, like a lot people, don’t like to be offensive to your face, and instead of being direct, they might choose to avoid an uncomfortable social situation by saying they’ll call, but then don’t. Also I think some Americans will use the phrase ‘i’ll call you’ very generally, not really meaning that they’ll do so at a specific time or right away. The important thing to understand is that if someone says they’ll call you and then they don’t, don’t be quick to assume it’s because they don’t like you, and especially that they just don’t want to associate with foreigners. It might be because they were busy or forgot. If it happens repeatedly, move on to other friends and don’t worry about it. There are plenty of Americans who enjoy being friends with people of other cultures and won’t be flakey or superficial. Hope that helps!

      • Sandra Limjuco says:

        I am really glad you have asked this! As an American living in Italy, I am struggling with this also. I am on the other side of this question, I am guilty of saying, ‘I’ll call you” and then sometimes never do. I’ll give you my reasons and perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what Italians are thinking when they hear the phrase. For me, I say “I’ll call you” or “let’s get together” because I WANT to get together or call them. I intend to call them or meet, at some point in time. But until a date or specific time is attatched to the phrase, I will consider the date ‘tentative’. I have said to an Italian friend, “Let’s get together this weekend” but until we decide on an actual time and day, I don’t consider it an actual ‘date’ yet. I know I have upset my Italian friends when we don’t meet because it seems they actually thought we had an actual ‘date’ that weekend. But Americans say the phrase all the time to each other, and it doesn’t hold a lot of weight until the actual date and time is made. Usually no feelings are hurt, we understand we’re all busy. Americans are notorious for overbooking our schedules. Hope this helps!

  24. Carlo says:


    Perchè gli americani mangiano la cena alle 5,30? A che ora vanno a dormire la sera?

    La mia possibile risposta:

    Mangiano presto perchè non facendo un grande pranzo, come noi italiani, alle 5 hanno già fame.

    • Sandra L. says:

      Not all Americans eat dinner early. Most young Americans who do not have children, eat dinner around 7pm or later. But it is common for families with children to eat dinner between 5-6:30pm. Americans with children eat early so their children can go to bed early. Children typically go to bed between 7:30-9pm depending on the age of the child. Americans also don’t enjoy a mid-day break, reposo, like many Italians. Our lunches are also usually only 1/2 long and a lot smaller than the average Italian. A mid afternoon snack (5pm), aperitivo, is also uncommon in America.

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