In any country you go to, there's a long list of unwritten rules which it's wise to figure out quickly to avoid offence or embarrassment. And Italy has more of its fair share of such rules. From how to order your coffee
to which pasta shapes to pair with which sauces
, from hand gestures
to using 'tu' and 'Lei', trying to fit in with the Italians can be a minefield. And one of the customs with the highest potential for embarrassment is the cheek kiss.
Newcomers are faced with the 'to kiss or not to kiss' dilemma each time they meet someone new, and unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules as in some other countries. That means there's a strong likelihood of accidentally kissing someone on the lips, bashing noses, or otherwise marking yourself out as an awkward foreigner.