Italian Men: The Unofficial Guide

Italian Men: The Unofficial Guide for Wives and Girlfriends

Congratulations, you’ve landed yourself the coveted Italian man, the epitome of a Latin lover. I wouldn’t call this a rude awakening per se, but if you’re a foreign signorina with no Italian roots, you may run into quite a few stark cultural differences in your relationship with Mr. Perfetto. This is nobody’s fault, it is simply the contrast between upbringing and expectations in Italy. Of course, this article is based on my personal experience of being the WAG of a born-and-raised Italian man for the last seven years, and based on discussions with Italian girlfriends of Italian men.

Here are a few pointers as to what Italian men expect (or “appreciate”) from their main squeeze:

Italian Men: The Unofficial Guide

Take pride in your appearance.

Unless you live in Milan, this doesn’t have to mean dressing to the nines every day. It simply means your Italian man will probably not be entirely impressed if you wear your gym clothes out to aperitivo hour with his buddies. Italy is known for fashion for a reason because Italians pay attention to dressing and it can almost be considered an art. So become an artist, ladies. And try to get used to high heels–your Italian man loves them.

Let a man be a man.

You’re a fierce, independent woman, I know that. You can fix your own flat and you bring in your own dough, but every now and then, let your Italian man wear the pants. Chivalry is not dead in Italy and the men like to take care of their WAGs so don’t scoff if he offers to carry heavy objects, fix the car, or pay the bill. Also don’t hesitate to ask for advice, Italian men love to give advice on everything from which handbag goes best with your outfit to how to make your lasagna recipe even better (although it will never be as good as his mother’s).

Take it back to the old school.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at things), gender roles are still quite prevalent in Italy. So in addition to getting your man to do to “manly” tasks, you guessed it…they typically like you to take care of tasks traditionally done by women fifty years ago. Some examples are cooking like you won Master Chef Italy, ironing dish towels, and cleaning like a mad woman. Another “old school” point is that Italian men don’t particularly like women who curse frequently; I’ve never heard one bad word come out of my future mother-in-law’s mouth. Other examples of highly coveted behaviours are baking a cake to bring to a dinner party or helping to clean up after (along with all the other WAGs). I know it might sound ridiculous, but the aforementioned examples are literally things that I’ve experienced first-hand.

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Housewives of Italy.

In Italy, you have to be able to do it all–work and keep a perfect house, all while looking like Sofia Loren circa late 1950s. I applaud all you WAGs out there, I truly do. A lot of Italian men are heinous neat-freaks and perfectionists when it comes to their house. This is due to the fact that their mothers, and grandmothers, and great-great grandmothers took great pride in their homes and therefore your Italian man has grown up in an impeccably kept household and expects the same for his own.

Watch your wine.

While in other countries, men may not care in the slightest if you enjoy a little too much out in public, in Italy, both men and women tend to keep themselves under control while drinking. In all my experience with Italy, I have never ever seen an Italian girl drunkingly stumble in her Ferragamos. 

Mother is always right.

We all love our mums, but I don’t think anyone loves their mamma as much as an Italian man. The stereotype is the absolute truth. How does this apply to a WAG though? You have to get used to getting slotted into second place in many situations and accepting unsolicited advice from your Italian man’s mother. Many WAGs may take offense to this and I know that it can cause a lot of tension in the relationship, so…you’ve been warned. There’s no strategy to change this situation, it’s just something that needs to be acknowledged and accepted as graciously as possible.   This was a bit of a controversial discussion, I know, so do take my observations with a grain of salt and humor and feel free to comment if you’ve had your own experience being the WAG of an Italian man! If you enjoyed this article, check out my blog post How to Snag (and Keep) an Italian man.

Italian Men: The Unofficial Guide

Have you dated Italian men? Want to hear about your experience. Email [email protected] for details.


About Jasmine Mah

Jasmine MahJasmine is a former pharmacist, foodie, and fashionista from Alberta, Canada living the sweet life in Bergamo, Italy. A city girl with a country heart, she currently curates all things fabulous and Italian on her blog Questa Dolce Vita and enjoys drinking wine in her spare time.

7 thoughts on “Italian Men: The Unofficial Guide

  1. Betty
    August 3, 2017
    Reply

    Hello jasmine I’m current date and in love with an Italian man my home is US we already been thought some of your discussion his let me knew about his mom and the appear look means a lot to him but all around guy I don’t worry about money or not important he take care of that my part is keeping him happy his mom say that all the time but I just be myself around his family because I love him deeply

  2. March 22, 2017
    Reply

    Hello jasmine ,
    Just stumbled on pinkpangea.com accidentally trying go research Italian men likes/dating from a Canadian ?? point of view in the dating scene. And came up on you being mentioned in an article.
    Bravo to you girl! Proud Albertian I am
    Take care Cyndip

    • Jasmine Mah
      Jasmine Mah
      March 23, 2017
      Reply

      Hey Cyndi! Thanks for leaving a message, you’re from Alberta as well?!! Would love to hear your story, stop over at my blog at http://www.questadolcevita.com and send me a message there!

  3. Jasmine Mah
    Jasmine Mah
    July 7, 2015
    Reply

    Hey Bonnie! Wow thanks for reading, sounds like my mom to push my articles around hehe. I’ve been trying to write about more unique topics and this was definitely one of them. But really truly, it makes me happy to know you enjoy my writing as I certainly enjoy the process myself- my mom will also tell you that I am a huge lover of books and loved Language Arts in school, I probably would’ve pursued that (amongst other things) had I not done pharmacy. I have vino every day so not a problem! Enjoy Edmonton (which is evidently getting quite a bit of hype lately, being tooted as Canada’s next great city…!).

    • Charles Rumfolo
      April 2, 2017
      Reply

      Hey there cutie…you didn’t have to move to Italy to date an Italian guy..?

      • April 3, 2017
        Reply

        No, that’s true, it happened by chance!

  4. Bonnie Pryor
    July 7, 2015
    Reply

    Hi Jasmine – your Mom keeps sending me your articles and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading everything you write. It’s an interesting perspective that I definitely wouldn’t have known about if you hadn’t been where you are and how you describe it! You’ve defintely found a great way to inform this Canadian (whose never been to Italy) on a few “do’s and don’ts” that I would never had known about. At least when I finally do get to Italy (someday in the future I hope) I won’t look too much the “rube”. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep enjoying your stories (and the pictures of the food). Have a glass of vino for me and say hello to that gorgeous fiancee of yours. Take care. Bonnie

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