Most of Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions were evident in Ciampini’s environment. These affirm the typical Italian culture in one of the most vital parts of an Italian’s diet: gelato!
Power distance often varies between gelaterias. Many place their servers several feet higher than the customers. This creates a strong power distance between the workers and the consumers. Although at Ciampini there is no elevation distance, there is still power distance in the way that there is a large barrier between the well-dressed server and the customer. The server would have to leave through the backroom to enter the main room, and no customer could reach the gelato unless served. This is typical of Italian culture to distinguish between status. The server is to be treated with utmost respect, even at a small gelateria.
A customer’s experience is highly individualized. You do not order family-style for the entire party. Each customer orders and pays individually. However, most customers are not only. The customers I witnessed were in groups of at least 3-5. This highlights the fact that Italian culture is individualized, but collectivism is still important in community.
Masculinity was not evident in Ciampini. The sophisticated setting was not necessarily feminine, but it was not aggressive or masculine like Italian culture often portrays. It was professional, but in a subtle, classy way.
Uncertainty avoidance was not abundantly evident at Ciampini. There is little risk to be taken at a gelateria or cafe like this, so maybe that is why it is popular. If it is a “safe” to go for siesta, customers may be more likely to return to their favorite spot. They can even bring their pup along for the treat. That being said…
Long-term orientation was apparent in accordance to typical Italian culture. Ciampini customers did not seem like they were trying the gelateria for the first time. It was like a niche for working professionals during their siesta. They were not trying to find the best, newest gelato spot. They knew they could rely on Ciampini for their classic gelato.
How often do you think the average Italian gets gelato? It seems like such a daily occurrence for most, but I don’t understand how they cannot be overweight as a result!