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when in Rome (do as the Romans do)

A phrase used when one is agreeing to do what is customary or typical in a particular place or setting. I don't love cotton candy, but we are at a carnival. When in Rome, right?
See also: Roman, Rome

when in Rome do as the Romans do

Follow local custom, as in Kate said they'd all be wearing shorts or blue jeans to the outdoor wedding, so when in Rome-we'll do the same . This advice allegedly was Saint Ambrose's answer to Saint Augustine when asked whether they should fast on Saturday as Romans did, or not, as in Milan. It appeared in English by about 1530 and remains so well known that it is often shortened, as in the example.
See also: Roman, Rome