Expand your social circle in Italy

Hello everyone,

Moving to Italy means leaving one's family and friends behind. Creating a circle of friends or joining an existing one should therefore be paramount in order to fight loneliness in your host country.

But how can one develop a social network in Italy? Where and how to meet people there?

How easy is it to meet locals? What about cultural specificities?

Share your advice and experience!

Many thanks in advance,


Go to bars at morning and drink some coffee. Italians will approach you themselves.

Hi how are you? I couldn't understand your message do you want to ask me something or you want to tell me something thanks

Ciao, come stai? Non riuscivo a capire il tuo messaggio vuoi chiedermi qualcosa o se si vuole dirmi qualcosa grazie

My experience,  In the North..especially in Piemonte,  is as follows:    it's nearly impossible to make friends.  The Piemontese, are cold, unfriendly and unsociable.  They are sad-faced little people, with a strange accent, who always look unhappy.  They  can't even bring themselves to say Buon giorno.  The South is very different,  i.e. , people are open, warm and welcoming.  Can't wait to get away from North Italy  and return to the South,  where there are real people.

Not in North Italy they won't approach you..not even to say Good morning!  The  only thing that approaches you in North Italy..especially in an African clandestino with a cap asking for a handout.

For me it's still a nightmare and i don't know how i can go about it. I feel alot of homesick and am just counting months to go home.

Hello Priscilla,

It's a nice topic about how to fit in in Italy as a new expat. In my own experience, I would like to do as follows:

1. Join a free Italian class for beginners, usually organized by some associations to meet some volunteer Italian teachers. Some of them are newly graduates. Some of them are retired teachers or the laid-off staff. Invite them to your Facebook. Each of them has a list of friends.

2. Attend the local fairs and different kinds of activities, being a part of with the help of a newly made Italian friend who speak English.

3. Find an association to accept you as a volunteer to teach your native language.

4. Visit an English-speaking church to meet some people, who will introduce you some other friends or inform you some upcoming events in the local area.

So far, I can only think of these few ways of making new friends and get involved in local life.

By the way, I'd like to meet you personally if possible. I know the chance is very small, but it does no harm to ask.

Best regards,


Where are there any English-speaking churches in Italy?

That's because it's the North.  If you  go to the South..and the farther South the'd find it to be different.

nighty :

For me it's still a nightmare and i don't know how i can go about it. I feel alot of homesick and am just counting months to go home.

That's because it's the North.  If you  go to the South..and the farther South the'd find it to be different.

I've traveled a lot to Italy over the years, and I've lived and worked over here. One of the biggest mistakes I see Americans and Brits make - primarily because they are the two largest expat/visitor contingents - is that they stick to their own countrypeople. I've made a helluva lot of Italian friends over here - it's smart to do for the very salient reason that...wait for it...they're Italian! They're HERE! And they rarely leave.

Another reason I'm particularly drawn to having Italian friends is that I am in business and have been in a position to help a lot of Italian folks. And they are supremely appreciative. It gives us something to talk about, to bond over.

Lastly, and most importantly, Italians are rarely pretentious or overbearing. They go out of their way to make you comfortable, even not letting you use your Italian so they can use their English on you!

Bottom line: If you don't make Italian friends, how the hell are you getting invited to dinner?

In Genova

My blog this week is about my  struggle in Italian language class here in italy.  Somewhat comical,somewhat stressful,....but if you intend to enroll in a class to learn italian it would be good to read my blog. Then you can make a better choice and possibly save money and time.  Dave

Moderated by Priscilla 2 years ago
Reason : i invite you to register your blog in the blog directory

Hi PD,

Love your blog. I've been coming to Italy for 40 years, and have lived here off and on over the last 20. Luckily for me, I didn't have to take a class to learn Italian. My "classroom" was the Route 21 bus in Bologna. What works for me is immersion and, even without knowing you, I can tell you for a fact that I am worse than you at learning languages. I also hired a guy (who later became a friend) to squire me around. As you know, the unemployment rate in Italy is closer to 35% than the published 19%. I personally know many professionals and ex-business owners who are now driving taxis and picking up trash. It's very sad, so in my own way, I'm helping the economy.

I check out schools from time to time and I've found what you've found to varying degrees. I think that most schools think they have to make hay by covering as much stuff as possible because most of their students are not ex-pats, but tourists.

I have lived and worked all over the world and, when I semi-retired, I started teaching English, Engineering, Business Management and Math in Italy. One thing I incorporated in my teaching was good old fashioned practice. It works in the military, it works in business, and it works in the classroom. Twice a week, I take my classes on "walk-arounds." Supermarkets, businesses, even the streets we're walking become our classroom. And, to echo your thoughts, my Italian students say that they don't get this in THEIR schools.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for commenting.  The school got me my first long term visa, and gave me some basics, but otherwise it was a waste.  They were only concerned with gaining profits, and not interested in what they were teaching or who taught it. 
It was much worse than I wrote, but I have to be careful not to go too far in case the school might take some legal action.  Besides, I don't want to think I hate Italy because I do not.  I have lived here for 7 years and this is where i will pass on.  I am 68, retired teacher from America. 
I also take use of meeting people, as you.  I go out every day and write parts of my blog and talk to people.  Many are curious....astounded that i am American  and living here.  I get a lot of "why?" 
Again, thanks....
Dave Lester

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