Italians and progress

Very often, scolding Russia for some flaws and national peculiarities, we tend to row everything with the same brush, dumping in a heap both what really exists and what, as it seems to us, also exists.

For some reason, there is an opinion among many of my friends that our country is quite backward in terms of penetration of digital technologies and the development of communications and mobile networks.

In this regard, I would like to discuss with you today the issue of penetration of these very digital technologies in our country in comparison with the same Europe.

And for this I want to share with you my impressions on this topic that I received while in Italy. It's about paying by card.

Yes, it turns out that such a banal thing for us, which we have long taken for granted, is not so common in Europe as in our country.

And if in Rome the situation is even more or less, and you can pay by card quite often, then before visiting Naples I strongly advise you to stock up on cash, otherwise you risk being hungry.

It was an unpleasant discovery for me that most eateries, cafes and restaurants do not accept credit cards for payment. At all. You can pay in them only in cash. For example, one of the most popular pizzerias, where there are always huge queues – only cash.

Even in a supermarket, where most often you can pay by card, they will look askance and displeasure at you if you want to pay by card.

And if the amount turns out to be small, they can also express their dissatisfaction, saying that such a small amount could have been paid in cash.

Separately, it is worth noting the use of contactless payments, which often turns into a show with round eyes of the seller, who looks in surprise at the miracle of technology, which he did not know about. And we are not talking about some seedy small store, but about quite a large KiKa cosmetics store, where mascara was bought for his wife.

And in one supermarket I even had a small conflict with a cashier, who stubbornly kept telling me that to pay with a card you need the card itself and that you can't pay with a phone. He even raised his voice at me in response to a simple request for a try. And only after repeated persistent requests he allowed to attach the phone to the area of ​​the card reader on the terminal. After Samsung Pay did its job and allowed to pay for purchases, it was clear from the cashier that he was surprised, but anger did not allow him to show it openly, and he gave up the purchases in displeasure without saying anything.

Moreover, such situations arise constantly and in different places, and this is despite the fact that Italians are actively using the current flagship smartphones.

Now let's imagine that you, a tourist, taught by bitter experience, decide to get some cash and go to the nearest ATM. A fun but very slow quest in Italian awaits you. The ATM works slowly, very slowly. It took me over four minutes to withdraw the cash. And this is just to withdraw cash, without any additional manipulations. The picture is only a small part of the entire video. Nothing is slow.

This attitude is surprising to me. Sometimes you get the feeling that Italians are being forcibly pulled into the digital future, and they are actively resisting it.


Such trips make it very clear that talking about Russia as a backward country is nothing more than talk. At home, I never had any problems paying with a bank card. Moreover, almost everywhere you can pay by phone, and this does not cause any surprise among sellers, or even more so negative.

In light of the above, I would like to hear about your similar experience and your impressions in this regard. Have you ever destroyed your own and other people's stereotypes about “bastard” Russia and advanced Europe?

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