What’s the meaning of “Paese che vai usanza che trovi”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Paese che vai usanza che trovi along with its pronunciation. If you like to travel to foreign places, this proverb is for you!

Let’s start! Iniziamo!


Paese che vai usanza che trovi

Meaning of the proverb

Paese che vai usanza che trovi can literally be translated as “country you go, custom you find”. Its meaning is roughly equivalent to the English idiom when in Rome, do as the Romans do, so it’s used to mean that every country has its own customs and you should respect them and not judge them when you travel there.

Linguistically, this idiom can be broken down into…

  • Paese (with a capital P, it means “nation”; with a lowercase p, it means “village” or “town”)
  • che vai (“that you go”, from the verb andare)
  • usanza (custom, synonym of tradizione, tradition)
  • che trovi (“that you find”, from the verb trovare)
worldmap in green

Vivo in un piccolo paese.
I live in a small town.

Quanti Paesi ci sono nel continente europeo?
How many countries are there on the European continent?


Pronunciation of Paese che vai usanza che trovi in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Paese che vai usanza che trovi
When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Ogni Paese ha le proprie tradizioni che vanno rispettate. Paese che vai, usanza che trovi!
Every country has its own traditions that should be respected. When in Rome, do as the Romans do!


Where does Paese che vai usanza che trovi come from?

This proverb has no exact origin, but its use can be traced back for centuries. It was true in ancient times because traditions were much more diverse than they are today. Globalization over the years has “flattened” our customs so that many countries now share a number of traditions.

people holding hands around a small globe

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Paese che vai usanza che trovi!


What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the proverb Paese che vai usanza che trovi is in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

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