Here are ten ways they are similar:
Words and language
They have lots of vocabulary in common – because the languages come from the Latin eg “sud” for”south”. Being French translators, we can often guess the meaning of signs in Italian.
They both like very expensive pastry and croissant-like things which are outrageously pricy, and they eat these things for breakfast!
Both countries grow very delicious tomatoes, unlike the pallid, crunchy drink of water types we have in the UK.
On the road
There are some real nutcase drivers on French roads, and even more on Italian roads (mostly on motorbikes). Translators spend a lot of time helping foreign drivers who have accidents on French or Italian roads!
Both the French and the Italians are predominantly Roman Catholics and even small villages often have churches which resemble cathedrals!
Culture and attitude
The Italians and the French both have many heartfelt songs about love – and it’s the words and story that really matters – eg the opera.
The French and the Italians are equally proud of their food and their wine.
Identity and politics
Both the Italians and the French describe their flag as the 3-coloured flag – the tricolore, spelled the same (but pronounced differently).
Both France and Italy are relatively recent republics.
In both France and Italy, local government (commune – the same in both languages) power is often vested in the local mayor who can have significant decision-making power and responsibility even in small towns.
And here is a very important 11th – the French and the Italians enjoy much more sunshine than the Brits!
More differences between the French and the English
Something which always puzzles us when we are travelling around in France is the number of dogs you see hanging around without a lead, including in towns.
Several times we have seen really quite young puppies (no more than 3 months) obediently following their French owners while they trot along the street. Quite often you see a French dogs, NOT TIED UP, sitting quietly outside a shop. They are waiting patiently for their owner to make his/her purchases and come out. I really don’t understand how they manage this. I know some dogs are amenable in this way in the UK but you don’t see so many owners confidently expecting them to abide by the rules of the road/pavement. We have had two labradors. The last one could be 100% trusted to walk alongside you and not run off, whatever the temptation. The current one, however, is given to taking unreasonable dislikes – extending to murderous intent! – to other dogs on a pretty random basis and has been known to shoot off ignoring frantic calls to come back when attracted by, say, a squirrel or any kind of food.
Dogs welcome in restaurants
The other thing which is quite different between French and English dog owners is that you quite often see French dogs sitting in restaurants and cafes, even sometimes at the table! Shops in the UK (food or otherwise) nearly all have signs forbidding entrance by dogs except guide dogs. Does this mean that French owners are more inclined to see their pets as equal family members, in the same way as they see them being entitled to wander around the street without being on a lead?
There are many differences between the French and the English. This includes how they train their dogs and teabags with strings on.
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