in ,

20 annoyances of an Italophile on holiday in France

Look at him, that italophile on that French campsite (image: Midjourney)

In an ideal world you would travel to Italy every year. What am I saying? Then you would probably have lived there for a long time. At least for part of the year. But we don't live in an ideal world and then it may just be that you as an Italophile end up on a French campsite during your summer holiday. And I can tell you from my own experience: that is quite a shock. Just read along.

  1. Out of habit you answer in the shop with Yup, if you actually Yes should say. The same applies to thanks if it please must be and good morning if it Hello must be. That confusion! How awful!
  2. The French understand it (I think), but it is clearly not really appreciated if you order something in Italian.
  3. Salami Danois – Danish 'salami' at the Carrefour? And mozzarella and pasta with French flags on the packaging.
  4. Incidentally, the pasta section of the supermarket only contains macaroni and spaghetti (and come on, maybe fusilli).
  5. In any case, you can no longer find anything that you always buy in Italy.
  6. Gelato suddenly hot ice?!? Mamma mia!
  7. One scoop (boule) costs € 2,50 by the way 😱
  8. In your rental tent / mobile home / chalet / apartment you will not find a moka pot anywhere (in fact, not even coffee cups, just (tea) glasses). Of course we had just brought the Bialetti from home.
  9. If you order a cappuccino in a café, you will receive a coffee with whipped cream on top. Or worse: a baby cappuccino made with chocolate milk. Weird guys, those Gauls.
  10. What do you actually eat in France if you can't eat all those tasty Italian things?
  11. You don't just eat a cake on a terrace because it's someone's birthday. Then they give you a strange look (a dessert at this hour?) and eventually refer you to the bakery.
  12. You stand between the Dutch and Belgians (80% have a gray or black Skoda, by the way) who all go on holiday to France every year and talk very lyrically about 'that typical French atmosphere'.
  13. Campsite mates ask you if you also have campsites in Italy with 'that real French atmosphere'. Go away!
  14. Instead of € 2,50 for a lummel of one watermelon, you pay € 6 for a measly copy from the supermarket.
  15. The cucumbers and tomatoes are outrageously expensive, and that in the middle of summer! (Definitely have to import them from Italy.)
  16. A pizza Margherita (small) costs € 10,50 instead of € 5.
  17. Where are the tasty Italian drinks! Admittedly, you can get Aperol Spritz for €9 a glass.
  18. In the camping shop they have 13 different types of baguette (flute, baguette, campagne, tradition etc.), but no trace of one cornetto con crema or other breakfast treats. Just those eternal chocolate rolls and croissants with nothing and no filling. In the village bakery they have cakes, but no breakfast sandwiches.
  19. Oh yes, in France you have the 'tight swimsuit obligation' for men, but in Italy you (sometimes) have to wear a swimming cap on. What do you prefer?
  20. France is quite similar to Italy in many ways, but something is still missing. It's a bit like getting your hands on the AliExpress version of Italy. Italophiles know what I mean, don't they?

As an Italophile, you have probably also been to France. Let me know what you noticed about Italy!

Written by Edward Hendriks

I came to Italy for the first time almost 25 years ago and have been returning every year since then (usually several times a year). In everyday life I am copywriter. When I spent a month in Naples in the spring of 2009, the ideas for a mafia thriller surfaced and I started this web magazine in the summer of that same year. The thriller 'Blood Money' was finally released in 2012. I have now published three thrillers and am working on new manuscripts. Together with a number of enthusiastic other Italophiles I continue to blog for This is Italy.


Give a reaction

The email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

  1. Hahaha… nicely written. I'm not on a campsite, but in an apartment in Banyuls. Most points, especially the numbers 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 17 and 20, are very recognizable. As an Italian, there are two things that stand out to me. 1) as an aperitif they have either Pastis, or Ricard (apparently the same) or a glass of wine. Nothing else. Yes, a glass of typical French beer (ahem). Of all types of Amaro (cynar, campari, ramazotti, etc.) they have never heard of this. A real French cultural phenomenon: the aperitif. 2) They do everything at the wrong time: get up, have lunch, dinner and go to sleep. Well.

    • Totally agree!

      Very limited writing. Packed with convictions of the writer himself. Doesn't invite you to read 1 of his thrillers. Research is probably not his strongest part of writing a book 😛

  2. My experience in France: when you arrive at a restaurant with two little girls, the waiter sighs and rolls his eyes to the sky, when you do the same in Italy he comes running and they don't know what to do to get those two to go. to have their own way, succo di mela, cushion on the chair to sit higher, laughing, joking, stroking the hair, etc.

Piazza Aurelio Saffi, the central square of Forlì

Forlì, modest town in the Romagna

Pax: a fascinating historical narrative by Tom Holland (photo: Edward Hendriks)

PAX: War and Peace in the Golden Age of Rome - Tom Holland