The Peculiar Beliefs of Italians

Antonia R.Antonia R.

There are several noteworthy beliefs in Italy, not seen in any other country. Some Italian superstitions have long been forgotten, while others they continue to believe in even today.

For residents of this country, it is not Friday the 13th that brings misfortune but Friday the 17th. 17 has been considered an unlucky number since Antiquity, for it was believed to symbolize death. Often, it was even written on the tombstones of the deceased.

When you make a toast in Italy, you need to be extremely careful not to cross arms with anyone at the table. You must look into the eyes of the person you're clinking glasses with and you shouldn't forget anyone at the table.

Otherwise, the Italians believe, expect 7 years of horrible sex.

Italians also believe in the evil eye, which they call malocchio. To shield themselves from envy and evil, when someone gives them the evil eye, they make a sign similar to a bull's horns with their hand, in order to direct the negative energy toward the ground.


Another belief states that if you're walking hand-in-hand with your partner and come across a street lamp, both of you need to go around it on the same side, otherwise a breakup is guaranteed.

It's also considered bad luck if you place a picture of your beloved next to your bed.

Italians believe that if you climb up the Leaning Tower of Pisa while you're still in college, you'll never graduate.

When 2 people say the exact same words, they must touch their nose, the belief is that otherwise they'll never find love and get married.

The number 13 is seen as bad luck according to Italian beliefs as well. This legend originates from the Biblical Last Supper, where the betrayer Judas was the 13th guest. For this reason, Italians avoid seating 13 people at one table, believing that one of them will suffer misfortune.