Ciao etiquette

We are still traveling in Switzerland!  Through the magic of technology, I pre-recorded this post for you!  I hope to be back live tomorrow with pictures from our weekend!

Ciao is a great word here in Italy.  And I hear it hundreds of times in a day.  Even little kids greet each other using Ciao. It isn’t always pronounced “chow” as you might expect.  Instead, Ciao often has two syllables.  It’s drawn out a bit and pronounced “chow – ooo” with the accent on the first syllable. 

Now Ciao is said as a hello and as a good-bye – but only, now here’s the etiquette lesson, with friends and acquaintances.  It is considered rude to say Ciao to someone you don’t know or to someone you’ve just met.  For someone you don’t know, or to someone in a store, you should say “Buon Giorno” (Good Day) or “Buona Sera” (Good Evening).  And I’m still a little fuzzy on when evening starts.  Some people say Buona Sera as early as 1pm…  And often people chop off the Buon or Buona and they may just say “Giorno” or “Sera.” 

So it is nice when you reach the stage with an Italian when they immediately say Ciao to you.  And even better when they say “Ciao Karlo.”  Yes, they add the “o” as it is hard to end on a consonant here!

So Ciao!  Hopefully we’ll be back with pictures of Switzerland tomorrow!


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