How to Impress an Italian Girl

italiangirls1Travel opens you up to all kinds of new experiences, so it’s only natural that travelers are more susceptible to falling head over heels in love with people they meet on the road. Sometimes it’s another traveler in the hostel common room, but when you’re traveling in Italy it’s almost impossible not to fall in love (or at least what feels like love right then) with an Italian.

But what happens when you meet an Italian girl who you want to do more than make flirty eye contact with across a dimly-lit dance floor? What if you’d actually like to ask her to dinner and not feel the sting of rejection? If that’s the case then you need to know a few things about how to impress an Italian girl – some of this stuff will seem pretty straightforward, but other tips here may be surprising to you.

Pay Attention to Style

Italians are stylish, so what you wear counts for quite a bit when you’re being assessed by an Italian girl. Italian guys are snappy dressers, always paying attention to the latest fashions and what’s trendy – so in order to compete with them, you’ve got to do the same. There is absolutely such a thing as “too casual” when it comes to attire in Italy.

Travelers may have trouble keeping up with exactly what’s hot fashion-wise, but if you’re intent on getting past “ciao” with that pretty Italian girl, you’d do well to invest in a nice shirt or a new pair of pants. Be on the lookout for whatever seems to be in all the shop windows – either a particular cut or a particular color – and you’re on the right track.

And if you can’t justify spending money on some new duds, at the very least be certain your hair (including facial hair) is clean and well-trimmed.

>> For more tips, see my guide on what to wear in Italy.

Don’t Talk Politics

Just as is the case in any culture, there are certain subjects you don’t want to bring up in conversations until you know where the other person stands on the issue. In Italy, when you’re trying to impress an Italian girl, the main thing you want to steer clear of is politics.

Depending on the company you’re with, you’ll probably also want to avoid talking about religion – whether the Italian girl you’re chatting up seems religious or not, Italians as a general rule take religion very seriously (and the vast majority of them identify as Catholic). So even if you’re Catholic, too, it’s a subject best avoided until you know the person better.




Be Confident, but Don’t Forget Chivalry

italiangirls3As I noted recently, Italian women are confident creatures – but that doesn’t mean they like meek men. To impress an Italian girl, you’ve got to be sure of yourself, confident in your opinions, and not afraid to speak your mind.

In addition to that, however, you’ve also got to remember that chivalry remains a high priority in Italy – so plan on opening doors for that special lady and treating her as if she’s the center of your universe. And when you’re out on your date with her, be prepared to pay for everything. Oh, and if you get past the group date (outlined below) to a first date with just her alone, show up with flowers.

Don’t Ever Criticize Mom

The idea of the “mama’s boy” may be more stereotypically familiar in Italy, but throughout the country the Italian mama is something of a holy figure. Easily one of the worst things you could do when trying to impress an Italian girl would be to criticize anyone’s mother – yours, hers, or anyone else’s.

And then later, should you be lucky to get far enough into a relationship with an Italian girl to meet her family, it doesn’t matter if you ever hear her complain about her mother – you are not allowed to do the same (whether you’re just agreeing with her or not). It’s a sticky situation, sort of a “does this dress make me look fat” thing where there’s no right answer – but you’re still better off skirting the issue than expressing agreement when she bitches about her mother.

Oh, and since most Italian women aren’t looking for a “mama’s boy,” don’t talk too much about your own mother, either – especially if you still live at home.

First Date Comes After a Group Date

italiangirls2Italians typically go out on first dates in small groups, rather than just the two people in the would-be couple. So even if you ask an Italian girl if she’d like to meet up for an aperitivo don’t be surprised if she brings a couple close girlfriends along. (Which means you should be prepared to have a couple of your friends on call to join you as well.)

It’s not that she’s scared of being alone with you, it’s that there’s far less chance for awkward silences in a group – plus, this gives everyone the chance to see how they like not only the potential partner but also that person’s closest pals. After all, if you’ll be spending lots of time with the girl, you’ll also be spending lots of time with her friends. Getting a second or third date usually means she not only likes you, but she likes (and approves of) your friends, too.


Learn the Language

More and more Italians (especially younger generations) speak at least a little English these days, but knowing a little bit of the Italian language definitely won’t hurt your chances. Italians seem to know that their language isn’t exactly the most lucrative one to learn, so they’re usually touched by anyone who makes an effort to learn a few phrases. (And if you happen to speak French, I’m told that Italian women seem to like hearing a bit of français as well.)

To impress an Italian girl, get beyond the simple “ciao” and learn how to give her a compliment. Ask around to make sure you’re translating whatever compliment you want to deliver properly, but for the most part stumbling good-naturedly over a phrase you learned just for her is also pretty endearing. If she laughs at you in a not-so-nice way then she probably isn’t worth impressing anyway. Which leads me to…

Be Yourself

italiangirls4Despite all the pointers listed in this article, above all you want to be genuinely yourself when you’re attempting to impress an Italian girl. Aside from the fact that if you’re pretending to be someone you’re not in the early stages, that’s not going to end well when she finds out you’re someone else later on – Italians just tend to be more up-front when it comes to dating in general.

Even though “The Rules” was actually translated into Italian, it seems that either it wasn’t widely read – or Italians just ignored such strange head-game advice like “get a phone number but don’t call for three days.” If they like you, they’ll call. If they don’t, they’ll probably tell you they’re not interested so you don’t even have to wait for a call that may or may not ever come! Be ready for honesty, and be yourself in return.

Thanks to the following people for their help in answering the question “what does it take to impress an Italian girl?”

photos, top to bottom, by: Ed Yourdon, jonrawlinson, Ed Yourdon, Ed Yourdon

35 thoughts on “How to Impress an Italian Girl

  • meg

    Interesting article. Can you give pointers on how to impress an Italian guy?? I love Italian guys – they are gorgeous, stylish, chivalrous, sexy.

  • Ed Yourdon


    Great blogs — I was taken by surprise, and quite flattered, to see all of the photos that you decided to use. Rome is a very magical place, and as you clearly saw, it’s also a very romantic place. Alas, I wasn’t able to bring my wife along on that trip, so I was there alone … but I did try to capture the beauty that I saw all around me.

    Congratulations again on two great blogs. Let me know when you decide to concentrate on how to impress French men and women, and I’ll try to organize a trip to Paris… 🙂


  • Ed Yourdon


    Well, so much for Paris — but I’ll keep it in mind for any other cities I have a chance to visit in the months to come. What about U.S. cities? Specifically, what about New York? I live here in the Big Apple, and I’ve got literally thousands of “street photography” scenes…


    P.S. I’m going back to Rome again in May for a work assignment, and will hopefully have an extra day to wander around and get some more photographs…

  • Jessica Post author

    We haven’t tackled “how to impress a New Yorker,” but we do have a site dedicated to New York. Maybe we could chat about featuring some of your photos there. Send me an email and we can chat more about it: italy (at) whygo (dot) com


  • Tom

    Liked the article.

    Gonna start trying to grow some ‘del Piero’ sideburns. Or was he inspired by Prince?

  • Jessica Post author

    Y’know, the sideburns can’t hurt. Unless, of course, the girl you’re trying to impress isn’t a Juventina. 😉

  • Everywhereist

    This is adorable – though I must say, your second point isn’t ALWAYS valid. Quite a few folks over there LOVE Obama, and talking politics of that nature might score you some points. Also, showing that you know about international politics makes you worldly and cultured!

    Oh, and if you need some tips for women on how to discourage Italian men, I have a bit of experience with that. As a married girl who’s traveled in Italy without her husband, you learn a thing or two about how to communicate that you are OFF the market. 🙂

  • Jessica Post author

    Not every point on this list is always valid, of course – this was just meant to be a fun guideline to get started with.


  • zak

    hey! very interesting article..really like it..and i need your help Jessica about the dressing to wear according to Italian stylish..because i don’t know much about Italian fashions.So Please guide me Please..thanks…

  • Srauss

    Thanks for the tips i am just planning my next month vacation holidays where i can make friends this helps me a lots.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • prince6688

    Be well-groomed.,Have a great attitude. ,Show respect.Have good conversations.,Show interest in her – let her talk. ,Try flirting!She may look away and she might blush a little.,Respect her friends and their ideas and opinions,Have your friends be nice to her It’s a fantastic thing when your friends don’t make a total fool of you.,Be polite to her parents. ,Don’t criticize her. ,Be romantic, but not over the top. ,Start talking to her casually.,Be careful with what you say.,Be honest.,Be open.,Dont ignore her.,Don’t ever make fun of your friends around her If you do, it might make her think that you’re a jerk. Make her feel good.

  • Federico

    Can i give you some advice?
    I’m Italian and I can say that Italian girls are the most complicated and normally a foreign guy has no chance with an Italian girl…
    I don’t want disappoint you but Italy isn’t a destination for sex tourism an easy conquests…
    P.S. it is difficult for us Italian guys :\

  • giacomo

    Federico, I am Italian too, and you are absolutely wrong.
    About: “The voice of all italian girls”. Let me say that your opinion works for you, not for all gals.
    About “I’m told that Italian women seem to like hearing a bit of français as well”, well, I disagree. Don’t speak French, speak your language and not a foreign one. Above all, be yourself, even showing your limits, Italian girls will appreciate your honesty.

  • The Mechanic

    By dating an italian girl for 3 years I can say that they are very calculating and arrogant people. They say and pretend to be passionate, but deep down they are very cold and motivated by their own interests. You can do everything that is being described above and they will pretend to buy it. At the end you will realize that you’ve been a victim of the biggest heist played on you. This is not a personal rant, I’ve observed this with 3 different American-Italian girls – the pattern is the same. Good luck to anyone trying to impress an italian girl – you’ll be much better off using a marble statue 🙂

  • mmm

    Sounds like we Italian girls are very complicated, haha. French, oh no, don’t speak French men, speak your own language and we’ll understand you, Italians have many ways to speak ;D bye

  • Cicia

    By dating an italian girl for 3 years I can say that they are very calculating and arrogant people. They say and pretend to be passionate, but deep down they are very cold and motivated by their own interests. You can do everything that is being described above and they will pretend to buy it. At the end you will realize that you’ve been a victim of the biggest heist played on you. This is not a personal rant, I’ve observed this with 3 different American-Italian girls – the pattern is the same. Good luck to anyone trying to impress an italian girl – you’ll be much better off using a marble statue 🙂

    the mechanic, you can’t judge italian girls like that after knowing only one in your life!it’s simply absurd!!! and also to have a guide… we are different, one from an other! we come from different places even though our nation is Italy… this guide is nice, is pleasant to read but, as italian, I see that it’s not all true or better it depends…I can’t talk for all italian girls!=)

  • stuart gillies

    i’m “casual” friends with the family who own the local chipshop and one of their cousins is over working for a while. she is very attractive but doesn’t speak english and i only know a little italian. what kind of things should i be learning to say to her? i’d i’magine saying stuff like sei motto bella might be a bit embarrassing for her especially in front of family.

  • Michele

    Italian girls aren’t complicated at all. They just can’t afford waisting time with foreigners. Before turning 30 they have to get settled (sistematizzare). Italy is not an emancipated country like, say, the Netherlands or Sweden. If you are a foreign male, you are of no interest to an Italian women. They might fancy you but tremendous peer pressure will kill any chances you might have. An Italian women has to mind her reputation.

  • Gardening Expert Blog

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  • Lorenzo

    As an Italian guy I can only say that all I read made me laugh !
    No offence intended 🙂
    Wanna go on a date with any girl in the world?
    Be yourself, be polite, be open, respectul and be able to carry a real conversation. Of course good manners go along with a taken care appearence.
    Enjoy life, it’s more simple than we may expect…!

  • Lorenzo

    It’s scary how many clichés are packed in this article. «Italians as a general rule take religion very seriously» sounds even funny!

  • Jamie

    Sorry, but in my experience most of this article is rubbish. I have been out with an Italian girl and she didn’t invite a bunch of her friends along on our first date, nor did she pay high attention to style: she looked more like a hippy and certainly wasn’t fashionable! Just because there’s catwalks in Milan doesn’t mean that everyone dresses like a model. A bit stereotypical if you ask me. On top of all of this she totally enjoyed talking about political things, in fact she was the one who brought it up. I can’t recommend this article as it’s totally wrong in every way and doesn’t represent Italian women. Besides, all women are different no matter what nationality they are, so you can’t go tarring them all with the same brush like this. The only cliches you left out are all the ones involving the Godfather and the mafia!

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