[[caption-width-right:259:"[[VisualPun Be handy]], be Italian!"]]
If you have an Italian character (or a character with Italian origins) and you want to point it out clearly, you're probably going to have him/her gesticulate every time he/she says something relevant.
However, it's not just a [[NationalStereotypes stereotype]].
Exaggerations apart, this trope is a case of TruthInTelevision. It isn't strictly Italian, though, the custom being common around the Mediterranean (Greeks, Lebanese, Spaniards and Egyptians are all widely noted for their fondness for gesticulation), owing to a long history of trade and other interaction between peoples who speak different languages (gestures can get a message across well even with the most limited of speech). Note though that not only movies wildly exaggerate the whole thing but actually, most Italians don't gesticulate ''at all''; needless to say, [[BerserkButton this trope tends to annoy them quite a lot]].
Not necessarily related to UsefulNotes/SignedLanguage.
[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]
* The Italy brothers from ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''. Particularly Italy Veneciano (North Italy).
* Averted in ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'' where the mannerisms of the cyborg girls and their handlers resemble [[WeAllLiveInAmerica Japanese reserve rather than Italian expresssiveness]].
[[folder: Film ]]
* Italian comedies are full of this trope.
* Happens a lot, of course, in virtually any movie about [[TheMafia the Italian Mafia]].
* In ''Film/MissionImpossibleIII'', we see this outside the Vatican.
* The main character of ''Film/EatPrayLove'' is told that Italian is spoken with the hands.
* In ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'', the three American soldiers who have to impersonate Italians (without speaking a word of it) at a Nazi party punctuate every sentence with arm gestures. [[MagnificentBastard The guy they're trying to fool]] isn't (primarily because of his own mastery of the language), but goes along with the act since it's so funny.
[[folder: Literature ]]
* ''EarthTheBook'', on the development of verbal language:
--> As our '''larynxes''' descended, we were able to make sounds with our mouths in new and far more expressive ways. Verbal '''language''' soon overtook physical gesturing as the primary means of communication for all human beings except Italians.
* ''DaveBarry[='=]s [[BlatantLies Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need]]'' claims that the Dutch speak "Dutch, English, French, German, Flemish and Frantic Arm Gestures".
* The very first time PercyJackson spots siblings Bianca and Nico di Angelo from across a room, he notes they're doing this. However, it doesn't seem to be a habit (neither of them are ever mentioned to do it again) and might only have been because they were arguing.
[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* This happens in the "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3iAqxNpQ-A Italian Class]]" sketch in ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''. When the Italians taking the class speak on their own, they gesture while talking.
* ''Series/LookAroundYou'' has one video end with "In the next programmen we will look at: Italians". Showing a man with electrodes all over his body and yes, gesticulating wildly.
* It is part of the OTT stereotype that Captain Bertorelli does this a lot in ''Series/AlloAllo''.
* ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': Bree Hodge gesticulates while trying to impress some Italian clients of her catering agency.
* ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies'': Jethro was dating an Italian woman and claimed he knew Italian because he could make the gesture pictured.
* In a ''SaturdayNightLive'' sketch, January Jones as a HouseWife from TheFifties advises viewers that if Italians come to your party, give them enough space to talk with their hands.
* During their trip to Italy on ''ILoveLucy'', Lucy assures Ethel that she knows enough Italian to get by, by demonstrating the different hand gestures she's learned--including the ones for "wonderful", "who knows?", and "get me a large pizza". The latter gesture is then used by two different Italians later in the episode.
[[folder: Music ]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aogz162O5pE The 12 Guido Days of Christmas]] has item #10 being "ten new hand gestures."
[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Mario and Luigi can do this as part of their gestures whenever they [[SpeakingSimlish "talk"]] in the ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi Mario & Luigi]]'' games.
[[folder: Web Original ]]
* The meme Philosoraptor once contained the question, "If an Italian is missing an arm, can we say he has speech impediment"?
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FVIqSTJK6I This]] video is about Italian gestures as seen by the English.
[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Chef Luigi Risotto and, on a lesser grade, Fat Tony from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
--> '''Legs:''' What are you doing? I talk with that hand!
** When getting kicked out of Fat Tony's mob by Tony's son Michael, Homer asks "Can I still talk with my hands?" and Michael tells him he can't.
* This trope occurs every time an Italian character appears in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''.
** It was itself directly parodied when Peter grew a mustache and thought he could speak Italian - by speaking gibberish and gesticulating.
* WesternAnimation/FlavioTheGoat does this at times.
[[folder: Real Life ]]
* In Italy itself, Southern Italians (and especially Neapolitans) are the ones said to be gesticulating, unlike Central and Northern Italians. Also, some gestures vary from zone to zone.
* In Argentina, there has been a massive cultural influence from Italian immigrants, including food and language. Gesture language included, and to this date a lot of Italian hand gestures have been adopted.