Italian vs Italian American: making friends

Una cafe?

 I am constantly asking the friends I have in Italy and the expats I have met along the way,  how to become part of the neighborhood when I do go Home to Italy.     

After 3 months in Sorrento on a sabbatical, I had met a number of people but unlike the American method of making new friends,   I was never able to break through that barrier:  formal vs familiar.
I was greeted in the market every week, spoke with the lovely woman at the bakery every day (sometimes long conversations) and even recognized families on the nightly passeggiata.

But there seemed to be a line that was never crossed…….   How many times in America have you met someone at work, at a town meeting or even in your neighborhood and invited them to stop by or to meet for coffee.    When I asked my expat friend in Florence, she admitted that the large expat community tended to spend time together.    After meeting a few of the members I was surprised because they ALL spoke Italian!    I am limited because I speak so poorly……

First I need to learn to cook!

But Lesley has given me some insight on how to cope with being an ‘Outsider”.   

How to make Italian friends?

First of all you must tell them about yourself, make them feel part of your ‘inner circle/family’

Then most importantly eat together, have a pizza together and invite your new friend around for coffee or a meal ( don’t try to impress by cooking Italian food, make something American like Apple Pie,

Italians love to learn about different cultures).

Always compliment Italians; their cooking, their friendliness, the things you love about Italy and try very hard to speak Italian, if you don’t make any effort to communicate in Italian your new friendship won’t survive.

How have you made new friends in Italy?    Yes it is easier to spend time with other foreigners and it is easier to speak English to get your point across  but Lesley  has some great points.   I miss so much because I can not have anything but a basic conversation with Italian.  However, they have been very kind to try to understand me and share their beautiful life….
Meet Lesley and Ron on your next trip to Puglia by staying with them at Villa Magnolia.    After you see the photos you may not want to leave….. 

One of my future posts will be ‘all the kind people I have met on my trips Home to Italy!”

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

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