September 17, 2011

The double kiss

Still to this day, I cannot seem to get the double kiss down properly. I have almost smooched several people (who I wouldn't want to kiss) straight on the lips because I can never remember to "Go Right First". I always lean in to say hello and kiss on the left side. To add matters worse, I noticed last night that I also add the kissing sound "Mwah!" when I am greeting or saying goodbye to people. I will have to investigate further to see if this offends people here in Italy. For me, I think its pretty darn funny. 

There are so many different rules here, so its hard to keep them all straight. Do I double kiss everytime? Or only with people you have met before? To strangers? Or is a sturdy handshake good enough for your first encounter. What I have been told is that it is common to double kiss a friend that you haven't seen in a long time, but you wouldn't necessarily double kiss a total stranger. 

Also, I think its amazing that the men double kiss their friends, and it ain't no big deal! Can you imagine two American guys doing this in public? Nope! Bravo to the Italian men for being okay with being intimate gestures, especially in public.

Bacio tutti!


Fern Driscoll said...

Better stay out of the Netherlands for a while - they do a *triple* kiss there!

marybeth said...


who cares what's correct? A kiss is a kiss!

I miss Firenze! This year (and next) I've been living part-time in Zagarolo, a village SE of Rome.

Lindy Lou said...

It's not really 'intimate' though is it? It's just saying hi the Italian way!

Christy said...

Very true about Holland! That was actually my first experience when visiting a friend when I was 16. I was shocked when her gorgeous cousin kissed me three times! I thought I was special :)

Lindylou, you are probably correct - Italians do not see it as intimate, just regular :) I love it !

Marybeth, GREAT to hear from you! Come see us in Firenze, or I might have to invite myself to Zagarolo!

Why Rome? said...

I love it! I have a hard time with the double kiss greeting too. I'm a hugger. I always want to just hug everyone, not kiss them. And I'm like you, if I do kiss them, I find myself either making or almost making the 'mwah' kiss sound. So funny!

Fragolina said...

well here, in lebanon, we dont kiss people we see for the first time, people we dont know, just handshakes. and we kiss 3 times friends and relatives and cousins.same between men.

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