7 Italian Superstitions for Friday the 13th

It’s Friday the 13th
but don’t worry!

Did you know that the number “13” is considered lucky in Italy? Unless that is how many people you have seated at one table – better invite #14, and quick! Want to wish someone good luck? Tell them: In bocca al lupo! But make sure they respond by saying: Crepi!

To celebrate this lucky day, here are 7 more Italian superstitions to watch out for:

1. Unlike the number 13, the number 17 is considered bad luck.

cat2. In Italy, if a black cat crosses your path, it is bad luck. Wait until someone else crosses its path first!

3. Never place a hat on a bed – not only is it associated with bad luck, but also death.

4. Instead of knocking on wood, tocca ferro or touch iron!

5. Bread must never be placed upside down or else bad luck will follow. This is especially true on fishing boats, where upside down bread means no fish, or worse.

6. Don’t spill olive oil or salt! Both are extremely bad luck. If you happen to spill wine, dab some behind your ear to ward off any back luck.3793288383_2201f904fb_z

7. NEVER give sharp objects, such as a knife, as a gift. If you do, it could ruin your friendship. If you must give something sharp as a gift, also include a coin which can be returned to you to “pay” for the present (and thus, saving your friendship).

What are some of your superstitions? Share with us in the comments below!

Sources: Life in Italy; Veni Vidi Vino; Italian America Magazine, Winter 2012 ; Italy Magazine

23 thoughts on “7 Italian Superstitions for Friday the 13th

  1. As a Sicilian myself, I grew up with these exact 7 mentioned superstitions……and I told my children about them….the laughed…..can’t wait to show them this article

  2. Never have the foot of the bed opposite a door. It signifies death. They carry you out feet first when you die.

  3. I don’t believe in superstitions. Whatever will be will be. It just happens to be a coincidence that Friday, the 13th happens to be lucky for me.

  4. Never tell your bad dreams before breakfast, or they will come true!
    If you buy a new pair of shoes, when you bring them home, NEVER place them on a table….bad luck!
    A bird on your windowsill means a death.
    Those are some superstitions I was raised on.

  5. i know all the above mentioned- i’ll add to the list- parsley must be planted from seed its bad luck to transplant parsley.
    wearing red helps to ward off the malocchio. pregnant women should avoid looking at people with deformities try to avoid going to wakes and no horror movies.

  6. Never sweep (or vacuum) after midnight or you will lose your riches. I was told this on New Years Eve when trying to clean up confetti from floors. Also ditto on hats on bed,shoes on table,birds in house.

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