Making friends in Italy

on Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Making friends in Italy isn't like in the United States. Italians tend to be suspicious of people they do not know, especially if they are a foreigner. They have their "clicks", and tend not to move outside their social circle unless they have to. In the three years I've been here, I have one friend, not including my husband's friends. My friend has told me the same, that it is difficult to make friends. Some people have the attitude of "I don't know you, so you mean nothing to me."

In many, if not all, aspects of life here, whether it be social, business etc., it is all about who you know. Especially if you need to get things done. Connections and how you look are very important. I remember the first time I had to visit the neurologist, I had to dress up.

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Jason Dollar said...

A lot of factors might contribute to this coldness. For example, many people are weary of terrorism, in big and small forms. Lots of folks have been scammed and otherwise. The suspicious feelings sometimes are justified.

This is one of the major reasons I love being a member of a church. Yes, of course, it too can be click-ish, but it is not suppose to. Not only is a church commanded to fellowship and open up to one another, but also to reach out to the downtrodden and poor. The church is the eternal alternative to the click.

Ann said...

Italy is an old country, especially compared to America. I think their "coldness" is just a part of their culture, nothing to do with terrorism. I respect your christian beliefs, but something that is not me. I feel that the fellowhship and openess with one another, and reaching out to others you mentioned should happen also outside the church, in everyday society. We're all equals on this earth, we're all human beings, no matter what their religious beliefs. Just because one is not a christian does not make them less of a person.

Phippogriff said...

Hey Ann...thanx for stopping by there and leaving a comment....yeah i guess what you are seeing there is the outcome of the xenophobic fear all cultures have in varying degrees.....I can see that happening here in India too...though we are in sync with the globalisation wave we still have a long way to go...and see that at the end of the day all are equal on human level.

Ann said...

As far as the xenophobic phear, you hit the nail right on the head on that one. People living here that are not of Italian origins, is such a "new" concept to some people. Or they give the impression that Italy is the center of the world, and the Italian culture is the only "true" culture.

Maria Bonita said...

Ciao Ann
Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.
As far as I know Italians are not soooo cold as you may think.
They are very nice people, actually.
Give them more time.
Europe culture is different from yours.
Not better not worse.
Good luck, girl!

Ann said...

I know that European culture is just different, not better or worse. In my opinion it is more difficult to make friends here compared to the States. Even one of my husband's friends (Italian)daughter told me the same thing. Even for her, making new friends is difficult, and she's from here.

aNNabaNAna said...

i'm feeling more or less the same here in the netherlands. when i was working in hong kong, it took me only a week to make a bunch of friends, through friend's party or friend's friend's party, to go partying and drinking with. that's how you meet people.

but here in the netherlands?? one time a friend told me that she's throwing a house party, when i thought she would invite me to drop by, she said this instead, "i would like to invite you, but my friends don't know you and they would feel uncomfortable. sorry"

need i say more??

lalla said...

i'm sorry you think so!!!

xoKissesxo said...

I think it’s cool that you lived in Italy. I lived there too, for four years, and I totally understand what you’re saying about the whole clique’s thing that they have there. Italians definitely don’t like foreigners that’s for sure. But I don’t understand what you mean about having to dress up for everything. When I lived there we didn’t have to dress up for everything, especially a neurologist, don’t you just take off your clothes and put on one of those cloth thinga-ma-jiggers. Italy to me was laid back and relaxing and the way you made Italy sound, it seems up tight and not really a place you’d want to visit when really it is. I’m sorry you didn’t make friends though. Bringing food to neighbors always worked for our family. I mean none of us really had a friendship but we still had this thing where we acknowledged each other, and said hi. But if you’re still living there don’t ever give any snacks to the kids if milk is in it. We made that mistake once. I guess it’s in there culture for young ones not to consume milk, either that or the little guy was allergic. All in all though, one friend is most definitely better than none, and I think the atmosphere over there is enough for you not to have friends, but I guess I was never in your situation so I wouldn’t know. Best of luck making more friends!

Anonymous said...

Sorry this is such a delayed comment! I'm thinking about going to Italy, and am reading through your blogs, trying to glean some insight. In the movies they make it seem as if the Italian people are very warm and open, but you say different here. Thanks for the heads up. I will keep reading!