In America we regard all exceptions with a strong sense of suspicion.
It's not that we Americans don't break the rules. It's that we have a deep-seated fear that, if rule-breaking is actually allowed in some semi-official way, all hell will break loose. Rule-breaking is like a crack in a dam in the American mind - it starts as a trickle and soon you'll need scuba gear. It all seems reasonable and maintainable at first, but then things began to slip out of control, and before you know it - mayhem.
What's more, a person in an authority position who makes exceptions to the rules is perceived as personally weak, and is in imminent danger of being pressured, manipulated, or made a laughing stock by the crushing hordes of would-be rule breakers. Teachers who don't crack down on student rule breaking will soon be walked all over and humiliated. Parents who have unruly small children don't stand a chance when the kids get to high school.
Italians simply don't feel the same way about rules and authority. A prime example are school teachers, who frequently stand at the helm of unruly classrooms without dolling out punishments or even trying to get everyone to sit down, but whose self-esteem is somehow unscathed. Or pharmacists. Italian pharmacists will probably give you prescription medication if, say, you drag your sick kid in and explain convincingly that your paediatrician is on vacation.
The American feelings about the danger of exceptions apparently come from our Anglo-Saxon roots, because they are perfectly summarised in this episode of the British cartoon Peppa Pig. In it, Grandpa pig dangerously allows the two-year-old children to cut the line of older kids and go first on the slide. It's a reasonable exception. But obviously since Grandpa Pig has now demonstrated his weak and pliable approach to authority, he can't possibly rein in his exception-making, and soon this leads to an avalanche of rule-breaking and disaster. It ends with children openly heckling and spitting at Grandpa Pig. Luckily Mummy Pig arrives and reinstates the rules, and the children stop being animals and go happily off to play. Does this sound like it was almost Lord of the Flies (Piggy...)? Yeah cause that was British, too...