American tourists have their own ways of dealing with a heat wave. And Europeans don’t always understand that

“There is a stark contrast between the way Americans and Europeans deal with the heat wave,” said American Chloe Madison this summer. While eating lunch under the hot midday sun in Positano, a charming town on the Amalfi Coast, she and her boyfriend Colin Pinello needed some ice water. In their homeland of the United States, a large jug of water filled with ice cubes becomes a norm once you are sitting in a restaurant when it’s hot. You don’t even have to ask for it.

If not in Italy. While the Europeans around them seemed unfazed by the temperatures, the Americans felt dehydrated. “Water was something we had to keep asking for,” Madison said. And when they asked for ice cream, they got “only a few cubes”.

People in the United States were deeply shocked about this situation New York times I reported it and brought in an etiquette specialist. Vivien Neri, director of the Swiss Institute at Villa Biervaux, agrees: “Ice cubes are not uncommon in Europe.” “Sometimes restaurants are obligated to serve tap water, but they still charge money for it because they have to wash the bottle and glass.”

With American tourists returning to Europe in droves this summer and record-breaking heat waves here, American sensitivities about keeping cool are at odds with European standards.

Ice cubes aside, Americans struggle with the question of what to wear. Even in the heat, the comfortable shorts, T-shirts, and slippers that some people in the United States wear to dinner or the theatre, may not be a good idea.

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Some fashion missteps stand out – beachwear on a city street, shorts and T-shirts in a fancy restaurant. The cost can be more than just looking sloppy: fancy restaurants and even bars can keep you from dressing casual. Just ask at Knokke.

Stefano Lodi, manager of the Brunelleschi Hotel in Florence, says he turns people away from the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant every summer because they arrive in shorts (despite instructions to the contrary on the booking confirmation). To the surprise of many Americans, other tourist sites, such as churches, actually have a dress code: no shorts, no T-shirts. Sportswear or athletic shoes are also out of the question.

For Americans who want to be “Europeans among Europeans” all the way New York times More tips. Ex: beware of it Small talk And ask personal questions to strangers. Do not be surprised that many Europeans still smoke in public places. And finally, the usual advice for Americans: “Be less noisy.”

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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