Something which has confused me from the start in Italian is the formal way of talking to someone, which we don't use in English.
It's basically constructed in the same way as using the third person. So instead of saying "Hai capito?" you would formally say "Ha capito?".
If someone uses it with me I initially think they are talking to someone else and I look around to see who they're talking to, then realise it's *me*!
Yesterday I had to talk formally to someone. RE-SPEC-T was due you see. OH (showing little faith) said I bet you had problems using Lei aka the formal form, and I said "No, I just pretended I was talking to someone else". That makes it much easier. You look at the person you're talking to, but in your head you're really talking to the person next to him.
Even after years and years of knowing someone some people still use Lei. In some situations I can understand, for example in a work environment. But I've seen it used within the family, from daughter/son in-law to parents-in-law, which I find hard to understand when many years of marriage have passed by. I know it's to show respect, but I find it distancing and so could limit the kind rapport which will develop...Though when you start off with Lei I could understand it being difficult to change to "tu".