Here in Italy people act courteous, friendly, and helpful. We are nice to you if you are stranger or not. :) Life in Italy is easier than in the US I've been told. In conversations we tend to touch but it only means friendship. Do Americans, Canadians, or Brits do the same? It crossed my mind.
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Well, I'm from Spain, but I live in the US, and when I came here I was extremely surprised about how friendly people are, even as a stranger and foreigner, they treat you like if you were their friends. I'm also in Chicago, a big city, and you know that people in big cities tend to be more rude, but I've encountered the opposite, especially in stores and restaurants, the service is amazing.
It is true that Americans value their personal space more than Europeans. I remember when I started meeting people, I went for the kiss on the cheeks, European style, but people stepped back like "the fuck?" but then realized that it's a European thing, so they just laugh it off. Unless you're friends with that person, they don't tend to touch you.
In my experience, Americans are more friendlier and more helpful than Europeans, and I've been to England, Italy, and lived in Spain, so I can compare it to at least 3 of the biggest countries in Europe.2