Similar to most of the world, Italy utilizes the sistema metrico decimale (decimal metric system). This is mostly a matter of multiplying or dividing by 10, 100, or 1000. However, even a system that is simple in principle can be difficult to grasp if you are unfamiliar with it.
Fruits and vegetables are sold in chilogrammi (kilograms), which are a little more than two pounds. A “chilo” is divided into a thousand grammi (grams), which is used for weighing lighter objects (flour, sugar, paperclips, etc.).
If you want to buy latte (milk) or benzina (gasoline), the unit of measure is il litro (the liter). It takes 3,78 litri to make a gallon (be aware the Italian language uses a comma in numbers, whereas the United States uses a period). When getting gas, you can ask for il pieno (a full tank) or you can buy a specific amount.
The basic measure of distance is il metro (the meter), which is a little more than a yard. A meter is divided by 100 centimetri (centimeters). A thousand meters make un chilometro (a kilometer), which is used to indicate long distances. Un miglio (a mile) is approximately 1600 meters, more than one and a half a kilometer.
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