The differences between the two are irritably told to you the moment you say a single word of Spanish to an Italian. They will say the Italian translation of the offending word and then, in a very loud, annoyed voice say: "_______ IS SPANISH!" You can see how this could be embarrassing. My mom once said "Buon año" to the hotel clerk in Milan, and he immediately said "ANO! AÑO IS SPANISH!" Then here in Aosta, an Englishman at a table next to ours said "Gracias" to the waiter. At once she replied, "GRAZIE! GRACIAS IS SPANISH!" I don't know what this is all about, but Italians seem to absolutely hate it when Spanish words are mistaken for Italian ones.
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