What you need to know before dating an Italian woman

When I met my future husband he thought marrying an Italian woman would somehow be good from a  “man point of view”, after all Italian women are thought to be more traditional, passionate and can generally make good wives.

When we first met 12 years ago he was ecstatic. He loved the fact that he could learn to speak Italian, he could have free holidays in Italy, eat and drink lots of delicious bowls of pasta and mix with life-loving happy-go-lucky Italian people who always seem to know how to live life to the full.

In other words he thought he had won the lottery.

The novelty soon wore off when he realized  that “there was no free lunch” so to speak. Everything comes at a price. So what are the pros and cons of marrying an Italian? Here is what you can roughly expect.

–  Italian women love their food in fact they are obsessed with it. So yes, do expect beautifully cooked dinners with matching fine wines. Italians are born cooks and have a natural approach to food as they often learn to cook and love food from a young age.

Sofia Loren spaghetti

– The fridge will always be well stocked up: Be assured, you are never going to starve: if she hosts a dinner party there will always be plenty of food as her main worry will be that there is never going to be enough. That’s why if she hosts for 4 people it will always be enough for 12.

Italian women love being stylish which means looking good even only to pop out for a loaf of bread at the supermarket. How you look is very important in Italian culture. If you dress well you are more presentable, smarter and you look more reliable too.

Having said that Italian women feel entitled to x-ray their man before he goes out lecturing him on what to wear and how to wear it. In my case it is not just myself as even my mother puts her : “You won’t let him go out dressed  like that, will you?!”


They have family values: they love children, have strong family bonds and they generally make good mothers.

dolce and gabbana kids collection adversting campaign

– They certainly enjoy their wine but they generally don’t get drunk for the sake of it. Wine is seen as an accompaniment to food not as something to have fun with. Italians basically don’t drink without food and while in many countries it is more socially acceptable in Italy it is frowned upon. So if you are going on a date with an Italian make sure you don’t slip up by getting drunk on your first night as she won’t be very impressed.

photo by Stephen P. Lewis

– No point arguing, no matter how well you do, she will often criticize your cooking: “Get out of the kitchen darling”! Even if you are just doing some prep work it will never be good enough. Sorry but this is true and this is me.

5) Italian women vibrate with passion, they are loud and easily excitable. My husband often blurts out: “please don’t shout!”. I often don’t care and carry on being what I am. I cannot help it and frankly I like it. If there is something I am happy with then I need to express it.

dolce_gabbana - Source: Fashion gone Rogue

-As soon as you marry an Italian you become part of the big family: brothers, nonne, cousins and second cousins will come and greet you with dozens of kisses and firm handshakes and will soon be part of your life. They will do anything for you but beware, if there is something they don’t like they won’t hesitate to let you know.

Oh and you better know this:  at the table they will never understand the meaning of the word NO and after the third helping they will still keep saying to you: “Mangia! Mangia”, EAT! EAT!


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16 Responses to What you need to know before dating an Italian woman

  1. Christopher Williamson

    I’m sure there is far more to it than that!

    • Alida

      Quite likely! 🙂

  2. Christopher Williamson

    He’s a lucky man!

    • Alida


  3. Diana

    yay – what a fun post. I have been starting two posts…one on Italian women and one on Italian men for about 6 months now. But as I start to write, I struggle a bit because Italians in general are – kinda complicated people. Complex. Right when you think you know them….boom…they do something that surprises you! Anyway…I have to say that I love the Italian women. They have always been so kind, helpful and patient with me. Now in our little town and even in the big city of Milano. One thing I am always a little envious of is their confidence. They always seem so confident. I am kind of shy and always fearful I am going to make a mistake. They seem so sure of themselves. And even if they make a mistake are not too bothered by it and happily move on. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this attitude. Anyway…great post…sei una bellissima donna italiana!

    • Alida

      What you are saying about Italian women being confident is interesting but in my opinion it is just a different way of expressing themselves and their feelings. Not sure about them being more confident than you are though. It is nice that you have made so many nice friends there and that you have embraced the Italian culture so well. Brava!

  4. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    This post is fantastic…I love the fact that your words are so correct…I laughed at when you said that your husband tells you to stop shouting. We do that as well, but I always say. “I’m Italian, that is how we communicate, get over it.” That is the correct answer. You surely got it right..love the photos as well. Thanks for a fun post and people that are Italian will understand what you mean totally…Have a great day..
    Hugs.. Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Thank you Dottie, we seem to have many things in common 🙂

  5. Elisabetta

    I absolutely loved this post and had a great big grin on my face from start to finish. Yes, this is the essence of being an Italian woman! E viva!!
    Look forward to a similar post on the Italian alpha male! 🙂

  6. La cucina di Molly

    Che bel post, è tutto vero quello che hai scritto, lo condivido! Un abbraccio!

    • Alida

      Grazie cara.

  7. Margherita

    Boh secondo me questa cosa del cibo sta diventando troppo uno stereotipo! Tra tutte le mie amiche (io sono di Roma) non ce n’è una che ami cucinare (mangiare sì ma quando si vive da soli e ci si deve cucinare ogni giorno da sé passa quasi la voglia… per questo è bello stare a casa ahah anche se poi l’indipendenza è meglio), in realtà conosco invece parecchi ragazzi che hanno fatto l’alberghiero e a cui quindi (apparentemente) piace cucinare.
    Forse le generazioni precedenti erano diverse, la mia sa cucinare le cose di base ma in linea di massima non si mette a fare grandi pranzi/cene se non in casi particolari. Abbiamo di meglio da fare (cosa non si sa).

    • Alida

      Ciao cara Margherita,
      Grazie per il tuo commento, molto interessante!
      Si e’ vero i tempi sono cambiati, le donne studiano adesso e poi lavorando il tempo da dedicare alla cucina e’ veramente poco almeno che non sia una vera passione o un hobby. L’unica cosa che ho notato avendo vissuto in Gran Bretagna da quasi 20 anni e che le donne italiane comunque cucinano di piu’ rispetto alle inglesi. Magari cuciniamo le cose di base, una pasta veloce o un secondo rapidissimo pero’ cuciniamo e compriamo meno cibi pronti rispetto ad un inglese.
      A me e’sempre piaciuto cucinare fin da piccola anche se devo dire che ho iniziato a cucinare veramente quando ho avuto i bambini e ho smesso di lavorare a tempo pieno. Quando ero single era molto diverso e come dici tu si hanno altre cose da fare.
      Salutami Roma.. come vorrei essere li!

  8. Rocky

    Date, fall in love with and marry a wonderful Italian woman if you can handle them, but be nice and gentle to them. I hit the lottery of life when I did. Italian women are everything you said and more. Siciliano are the best. Firey, spicy, loud, romantic, loyal, intelligent, beautiful, and full of life. Love my Rocco.

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