Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Talking with your hands

Talking with your hands
It’s no secret that Italians use their hands a lot when they talk. In fact, the average Italian uses 250 hand gestures a day. Whether to re-enforce a point, or express the way they are feeling, decoding the gesture can add a new level of understanding to what is being said. Here are a few pointers on some of the more popular ones.
Tapping the side of the head – “Are you mad?”
Making an artichoke with the hands – “I can’t believe it!”
Rubbing finger into cheek – “Delicious”
Pulling finger forwards below chin – “Whatever. I don’t care.”
Index finger of both hands together and pointing down – “Those guys are up to something.”
Index finger rotates clockwise in a circle – “See you later.”