Italians Wear Scarves

It’s just a fact.  Italians wear scarves.  If you want to try and pass as an Italian, wear a scarf (and don’t wear white running shoes).  Not only do they wear scarves (“sciarpe,” not to be confused with “scarpe” – shoes), but they wear them “in style.”  Last time we were in Europe, we learned to tie our scarves the way that was in style back then.  It’s hard to explain, but basically you make a slip-knot and put your head through the center (see picture, below).

I went to Italy this year all prepared with many scarves packed and started my trip tying them the “euro” way we learned in ’08/’10.  Here I am my very first couple of days (I started the trip in Milan, where my plane landed – this is on the top of the Duomo):

It soon became apparent to me that wearing a scarf this way was no longer as chic.  Most of the Italians (and other Europeans) I saw now had their scarves basically wrapped around their neck several times, with little to no extra flowing down.  Here I am stylishly wearing a scarf I got in Italy:

Now when I say “Italians wear scarves” I am being very serious – women wear scarves, MEN wear scarves, and everyone wears scarves way past (to my liking [“secondo me”]) the temperature calls for scarves.  Of course, in the warmer weather, you can wear a thinner/smaller scarf, but you’re gonna wear a scarf nonetheless.  I remember one day in Bologna it was very warm out and I decided to be a rebel and NOT wear a scarf to school.  I felt naked!  I have even taken to occasionally wearing scarves back here in Albuquerque and it’s already in the 80’s (mid+ 20’s Celsius).  Now, I am not usually one to follow the crowd, but I get all happy at the thought that if I don’t say too much and I wear a scarf, people in Florence may actual mistake me for a “real” Italian (I am actually 1/8 Italian).   So, for now, I scarf on!

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  1. Braca! You look completely Italian, I do believe! And, you make the scarves look good, bella. 🙂

  2. Love the evolution of the way to wear your scarf! Scarves were always a big thing in Switzerland, too.

  3. It’s true…I have more scarves than shoes and I always bring back several with me. The ultimate accessory in Italy – you can never be too rich or have too many scarves!!! Toni

    • Ciao Toni! Thanks for reading and adding to my blog – I really enjoy this forum for connecting with others on a similar journey. Grazie!

  4. Ako

     /  July 19, 2012

    Now I know how to wear a scarf & look sytlish!

    • Ha! You always look stylish! Funny, though, people keep finding this post if they google for anything “Italian” and “scarves,” so I hope I have it right!

  5. Que triste! I’ve just had to break the news to Ken that’s he’s “so 2008.”

    • Wow, you’re way back in the blog now! If it makes you feel any better, I wrote that after spending about 6 weeks with stylish college kids in Bologna – here I notice people wearing them all sorts of ways. By the way, dig your Span-talian! (you sound like me and 1/2 my Italian class!)

  6. Davor

     /  January 23, 2015

    I giggled a lot while reading your post. My wife is Italian and I always tease her of the scarf overuse. I’m coming from ex-Yugoslavia and we always laughed at Italians wearing scarfs at ANY GIVEN TIME, men in particular. I live in Italy now for some time and seeing men wearing scarfs (even if not matched by rest of clothes..btw. did you notice a new trend – girls wearing winter boots in summer time, It’s terrible) is not a novelty anymore but I never felt the urge to put in on myself (excluding winter time). Why they do it is beyond me, insecurity perhaps? Or I simply do not understand the ‘italian’ way?

    • Thank you for visiting my blog and I’m glad it gave you a giggle! I haven’t seen the boot trend because (spoiler alert to later posts) I moved back to the U.S. I will keep an eye out on my next visit!

  7. I have taken to wearing scarves too after years of being in Italy, but I just can’t do it when it is hot.

  8. Ha! But it’s about fashion, not comfort 😉

  9. vera ersilia

     /  November 28, 2015

    Hi, I was born and grew up in Italy but spent my adult life in the U.S. I have always worn scarves of many kinds and still do. I have a very a large collection. In Summer it is nice to have a long and narrow one, folded over thru the length and simply worn over one shoulder draping down the front and back. Christine Lagarde wears them like that a lot. The style wrapped all around the neck started in France I think in the 70s … I saw it then and I began to do it too … There just is something about scarves that adds that touch of style. Of course in Italy it is so common that it has lost some of its charm. In the long-lost past men did not wear scarves the way they do now, but I think it is fun to see a politician in a pink scarf…!
    I am an old lady now : I have seen many things come and go – it used to be ‘impossible’ to go out in town without wearing gloves for instance … and every Spring a new hat or two was de riguer for the mid-season… But shoes are one of my favorite memories of Italy : so beautiful, so comfortable, one could walk for ours on heels without problems (of course I was a young woman then !!!) etc. etc. Go to Paris and enjoy it, remember that here in the U.S. it is the citizens that shoot each other in larger numbers than any terrorist is doing. Sad but true.
    I love your posts whenever they make their appearance !

  10. Reblogged this on New Mexico to Italy and commented:

    Ciao Readers and HAPPY FRIDAY! Since I am back from Italy and back to work I guess my blog will be still for a bit. But before then, I thought I’d re-blog the most-viewed post of all time (by more than 100%, though not sure why). I think I had the scarf-wearing (and confidence) down pretty well this time as two days in a row Italians approach he’d me in the grocery store and started conversations about things in Italian, NOT English! Have a nice Spring…..until next time!


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