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Visiting Italy? Here Are Five Vital Hand Gestures You Should Know About

Travelers Today       By    JC Santos

Updated: Feb 01, 2017 03:07 AM EST

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It is likely those who watched "The Godfather" or other Italian movies noticed that aside from the music in their voices, they have hand gestures that complement their speaking voices. Italian body language is equally expressive as their vocals and travelers who want to communicate in an Italian manner could learn these five common gestures that help enrich one's travels.

According to CNN, one of these is the "Ntze," which it describes "looks like a yes" but "actually means no." The news website describes it as a "reverse nod" -- the opposite of the typical English gesture of nodding for agreement -- with the significant characteristic of a backward head movement with the "ntze" sound. Watch the nods; travelers can be misread in Italy.

A hand gesture that is similar to the common Japanese photo gesture of a peace sign near one's cheek is -- in Italy -- a gesture that says one has had a great meal or one had eaten exquisitely. Travelers should watch their photo gestures -- the gesture looks adorable in photos but can look silly and hilarious for locals.

Placing one's hand across one side of their shoulder in the motion of a reverse slap is a gesture of anger or disappointment. This one is fairly easy for travelers to avoid as most humans tend to place their arms across their hip or their legs when they are pleased -- and often cross their arms or ball their hands into fists when angry.

Speaking of fists, avoid balling up hands when scratching one's head especially if talking to a local. According to Keep Calm and Travel, that is an Italian gesture that indicates the person spoken to is stubborn. But it is a great way to indicate impatience against a close Italian friend.

Lastly, travelers in Sicily should avoid pointing towards one single eye even if not intentional. The Mafia of Sicily use this gesture -- known as "Occhio" -- to warn their targets that "they are watching." To avoid garnering attention, use this gesture sparingly.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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italian gestures, italian hand gestures, gestures hands, italian gestures learning
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