How to Not Look Like a Tourist in Italy

My classmates and I decide to go to a neighboring town called Genzano for our first weekend in Ariccia. We scoured the various clothing stores in Genzano touching each item that we saw. There aren’t a lot of contemporary luxury stores or luxury stores of any kind for that matter in Aricca or Albano the next town over. Most of the stores in Alabano are stores that are priced fairly. As we strolled through Genzano a shop caught my eye with glamourous boots and bags, I knew it was pricey, but we didn’t go in the shop just yet. We continued our stroll through the affordable boutiques touching and trying on various items. After we finished our final walk through the corso, we decided to go back to the store that caught our attention. We walked into the expensive store and didn’t greet the sales associate. That was our first mistake, we continue to parade around the store gawking at the luxury items specifically merchandised on the display. I noticed the sales associate giving us a death glare as we picked over the items. I started to notice that everything we would touch the sales associate moved it back to its specific location, but I didn’t think anything of it. After parading around the store for 15 minutes we decided to leave dreaming over all the luxury pieces we saw. That following Monday we finally understood why we got those death glares, in Italian culture, it is accustomed to speaking to the sales associate when you walk in the shop and the most important rule is to always ask before touching an item on display. This interaction made me feel so disconnected with Italian culture becasue I thought touching items in the store was a normal practice to do anywhere. This interaction made me feel small and out of place even more so than I already was. From that moment on I never touched an item in store and without asking first.

Here I am at Villa d’Este