Do Italians have middle names? Or, our landlord calls me Maria

This is a ‘things that are different’ post. It’s not very big! We’ve only been here a month so our knowledge of things is still pretty minimal. But: things that are crazy and different at first become the new normal pretty quickly. So I reckon I won’t even notice this stuff soon.

So just three things:

Squat toilets are the first on the list, and something I hadn’t expected to find. I haven’t come across a lot of them, but it’s always a surprise (and a displeasure) when I do. I’m not a fan of public toilets at the best of times, but when you have to stand on one, it gets you even closer than is pleasant. There is even one in our building, randomly. I opened a previously-unnoticed unlocked door when I was putting my new (to me) bike away and there it was. I think that room is mostly used to house stair cleaning supplies.

Midday closing. At 12 everything, bar cafes/restaurants and some supermarkets, close for the lunch break. Most reopen around 2, though some wont until 4. Even bread shops and bakery type places shut down, too. This one makes sleeping in on a Saturday a little difficult if there are shopping related chores to be done.

Middle names! This is actually a thing about us the Italians seem to find confusing, that possibly we have two first names but then actually don’t. I asked google to clarify, opinion seemed split between Italians definitely having middle names and having no idea what they are. Our landlord has used this confusion to his advantage, and calls me by the Italian version of my middle name (which is Marie). (It’s strange living in a country that doesn’t use an H much, and doesn’t pronounce it when it does. Personalised product stands (for pens, notepads, etc) exclude it entirely, like H names don’t even exist!)


4 thoughts on “Do Italians have middle names? Or, our landlord calls me Maria

  1. Hi, I’m just a random person commenting on your blog)…They don’t have middle names, at least not officially. You can give a child one or more middle names (I think my husband has six!) but they are not official and do not appear on official documents.

    • Hi Karen! How rude of me, I never responded to thank you for your comment. That’s a crazy amount of middle names that your husband has! We still have to clarify our names sometimes, especially because my surname is a little hidden in my passport.

  2. Ditto. My husband has two middle names but they don’t appear on any of his legal documents. I think it is a religious thing. But I feel your pain, I get called Maria sometimes too as my middle name is Marie 🙂
    Welcome to the craziest country in Europe and btw, I have a huge fear of slipping into that gross hole they call toilets too, lol

    • I am still struggling with those toilets! To be honest, I’m not even sure if I should be facing forwards or backwards when using them. The are not my favourite.

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