Yes, Italians are superstitious. Forgive us. We know it could make no sense, we know it can seem silly, we know it's not rational. But, as we say, "Non è vero ma ci credo" (It's not true but I believe in it"), considering life is already complicated, why taking the risk of the bad luck when we can try to escape it?
Here you find our most famous superstitions and what to do - when possibile- to avoid the bad luck, that we call SFORTUNA, SFIGA, IELLA ( the famous MALOCCHIO is a totally different matter, but it could be the cause of our bad luck).
In general, the gestures that are always welcome against the back luck are the sign of the HORNS (saying TIE'), touching something made of IRON and men use to touch their TESTICLES.
NUMBER 17: bad luck (13 good luck)
FRIDAY, 17th: the most scaring day of the year. Anything you need to do, don't do it in that day.
A BLACK CAT (GATTO NERO) CROSSING THE STREET. One of the worst things that can happen to you. Even those not believing in the good or bad luck feel a sense of anxiety when it happens.
SOLUTION: make three steps backward. Yes. Even if you are driving, stop the car, get out and do it, before reaching the point the poor cat decided to cross your road (some use to split instead).
POUR THE SALT (ON THE FLOOR or on the table): Another catastrophe.
SOLUTION: pour a little salt on your back.
PASSING UNDER A LADDER (SCALA) : Do your best to avoid it!
BREAKING A MIRROR (SPECCHIO): 7 years of bad luck ( better handle them with care!!!)
BE 13 AT THE TABLE: no way. Invite one more person. End of the story. Or you could set the table for the "14th missing" person...but why taking the risk?
WHEN 4 OR MORE PEOPLE MEET AND THEY SHAKE THEIR HANDS NEVER CROSS THEM.
SPILLING THE OIL ON THE FLOOR is a sign of misfortune.
OPEN AN UMBRELLA (OMBRELLO) INSIDE A ROOM: Never!!!!
WHEN YOU SET THE TABLE, PAY ATTENTION THAT THE FORK AND THE KNIFE ARE NOT CROSSED
DON'T PLACE YOUR HAT (CAPPELLO) ON THE BED
WHEN GIVING A WALLET (PORTAFOGLIO) AS A PRESENT always put a cent in it.
NEVER GIVE SOMEBODY A HANDKERCHIEF (FAZZOLETTO) AS A PRESENT: It brings tears.
DON'T SWEEP (SCOPARE) A WOMAN'S FEET or she won't get married
ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE YEAR THE FIRST PERSON YOU MEET SHOULD BE OF THE OPPOSITE GENDER.
IF YOU MEET AN HEARSE (CARRO FUNEBRE) AND IT'S EMPTY: touch something made of iron
AND WHEN GETTING MARRIED?
THE BRIDE HAS TO WEAR
-SOMETHING NEW -SOMETHING OLD - SOMETHING USED -SOMETHING LENT - SOMETHING BLUE
WHAT BRINGS GOOD LUCK? HERE YOU GO!
FERRO DI CAVALLO
Go to the Blog to read more Article about the Italian Culture & Language
or find out our Gestures!