Dating Italian Men: A Local’s Guide to Dating in Italy

Dating Italian men is certainly an appealing concept. Italians are generally known for being warm, welcoming, and passionate people.

Better yet, people of Mediterranean heritage are arguably among the most attractive in the world. Dating Italian men makes a prominent feature on many female travellers to-do lists when travelling to Italy.

Dating in Italy seems just as appealing as a trip to the Colosseum, or uncovering where to eat the best pizza in Naples. A British or American guy may invite you over to Netflix and chill.

But an Italian man will offer to teach you to cook carbonara while you drink exquisite local wine. Or maybe he will invite you on a late-night picnic by the sea. As far as romance and charm factors go, Italian men, top the leaderboards.

Dating Italian Men

Italian men and dating in Italy

Dating Italian men can be a different experience depending on whether you are dating an Italian American man in the west, or you are dating an Italian in his home country. Culture and tradition are things that have an influence on someone’s outlook and dating attitudes. But so too does the country that they have been bought up in.

It is important to remember that it is not possible to generalise an entire demographic of people. Regardless of whether they are Italian, Greek, British, Turkish, etc.

Everyone is different. Not all Italian men behave in the same way, and they definitely don’t have a hive mind. However, if you are curious to know what its like dating an Italian guy, hopefully this article will give you some insight and food for thought.

Things to Know About Dating in Italy

Dating Italian men
Dating Italian men

You should be open-minded when dating Italian men, as with dating men from anywhere. A person’s upbringing, personal values, and education play a huge role in their views of relationships.

That being said, there are some common cultural traits. These are discussed here.

Who am I to speak about dating Italian men? I am Anglo-Italian and spent several years living and teaching English in Italy before moving to Greece.

If you are planning a trip to Italy, you might be curious about what Italian men are like and where to find them. This post has you covered!

Going on dates with Italian men

Dating Italian men isn’t all that different from dating men from other European and western countries. For a first date, it is typical to go out for dinner and drinks or for dinner and a movie.

If you are dating Italian men in Italy, rather than men of Italian descent elsewhere, the guy you are dating will likely put a lot of thought and consideration into showing you something unique. For instance, he will try and take you somewhere that you can sample the typical cuisine of that village, or take you to his favourite offbeat area that most tourists don’t see. 

Since Italian men are often quite romantic, you may find that they do things that may seem almost extravagant or movie-like by western standards. For instance, they may pack a picnic with local delicacies to enjoy al fresco style in a park, or they may drive you to a hilltop in the city so that you can see the view or watch a gorgeous sunset.

It is important not to romanticize foreign countries and to still use the same common sense when dating in Italy as you would elsewhere. But generally, Italian men are brought up to believe that they should be gentlemen when wooing and dating women.

This is, in part, because Italian women often play very hard to get and expect men to chase after and impress them. So, Italian men will be true gentlemen, picking the woman up and dropping her back home, opening car doors for her, pulling out chairs, etc.

Italian dating is often more traditional 

In some ways, dating Italian men can feel old-fashioned. However in others, it can make a very welcome change compared to dating in western countries.

In Italy, if you like someone, you pursue them and when you start speaking or meeting, you give your attention to them and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work out, nothing is lost, you go your separate ways.

People do use dating apps in large cities like Milan and Rome, but still, the modern dating culture in Italy isn’t quite like what it is in western cities like say, New York or London. In London, you may find that everyone is on Tinder and they have dates with 3-4 different people in any given week. 

There is always someone shinier, more exciting, and more adventurous just a swipe away and with a seemingly infinite number of options, it seems like nobody truly wants to settle down. This can actually be detrimental to your self-esteem if you wonder why people haven’t called you back. Besides, who really has the time to dedicate so many of their free evenings to going on dates?

In Italy, there is more of a one-at-a-time approach. This is great because it doesn’t make you feel like you are a contestant on The Bachelor and one of 8 options that someone is considering! 

If you are spending a lot of time with someone and seeing each other regularly, you can generally assume that they are the only person that they are dating. Still, it pays to communicate with the people that you date.

(If you can be intimate with them, you can have a conversation with them about your expectations, right?) But in Italy, you usually don’t have to be worried about exclusivity as you do elsewhere. 

What are you doing now?

Italian men and women are often fun and spontaneous. When it comes to online dating, there isn’t really a culture of speaking to someone for extended periods of time and making vague plans for the future ahead.

If you have matched with someone on a dating app, or you have met someone attractive while you are out and about, why wait? It is not uncommon to match with someone, exchange a few pleasantries, and then make a plan to go out for dinner or drinks. You will never really know if there is a spark unless you meet them and hang out in person right?

Italian men are stylish and fashion-conscious

Italian men often put a lot of thought and consideration into what outfit they are going to wear each day and want to present themselves as stylish and attractive. This is particularly the case with men from Northern Italy.

Again, this is a generalisation but it is a generalisation that does hold quite a bit of truth to it. It can be refreshing to meet men who are in touch with their feminine side and don’t consider there to be anything embarrassing about discussing clothing brands, tailoring, trends, etc.

Italian men will often dress sleek and sophisticatedly. Most Italians consider luxury items and accessories as a worthwhile investment and will have the occasional Designer belt/manbag/shoes/sunglasses in their wardrobe. Italian men will effortlessly colour-coordinate their outfits for the day and will often be able to recognize a store or brand by a style or cut of clothing.

Italian men are aware of their appeal

It is worth noting that many Italian men, particularly those still in their motherland, are aware that many foreign women find them charming. They take great pride in their Casanova reputation and believe that women find them utterly irresistible.

Sadly, some men do have less than respectable views about western women. A fair few of them have had experiences with western girls. They meet them while the girls are vacationing in Italy and have a summer romance whereby the girls are enthralled by their charm and exotic appearance.

So, many may believe that western girls will jump into bed with them immediately. That is not to say that casual dating is bad.

Not at all. You do you. Just be mindful of how genuine the charm actually is when your new Mediterranean beau tells you how captivated he is by you.

Italian men are family orientated

Dating Italian men

Italians are very family-orientated and close, even with non-immediate members of their extended family. The nice thing about dating Italian men is that they are generally very thoughtful and inclusive.

Italians will typically go to great efforts to try and make you feel welcome by introducing you to their friends and family. This is the rule, not the exception.

Views on intercultural dating are worth noting too. Most Italians are open to dating outside of their culture. This is very different to say, neighbouring Greece, where doing so is something of a taboo.

Sure, there may be the occasional older relative that is less than thrilled about a “foreign” influence, but it is not typical. The same could be said about people from anywhere. Italian families are usually happy if their son brings home “una bella ragazza” regardless of where she is from.

How to meet Italian men

Dating Italian men

It is relatively easy to meet and date Italian men in Italy. Firstly, Italians are often more forward than their western counterparts.

If you spend any amount of time in Italy, you will probably meet a few friendly locals with very little effort. More than likely, you will be approached once or twice.

Tinder exists in Italy. However, it is not very widely used.

This is mostly seen as a hookup app, and most of the men using it are looking for fun with tourists, not long-term relationships. That may or may not be what you are looking for.

The best way of dating Italian men, if you are looking for something with substance, is to try and meet people the old-fashioned way.

Plenty of events are hosted on sites like Meetup and Couchsurfing. Head to a social event or a language exchange and see who you may meet.

Italian men are mammas boys

Italian men are known for their strong bonds with their mothers. It doesn’t matter if Giuseppe is 40 years of age, his Mum is still likely to be popping around to his place every couple of days with trays full of home-baked pies and leftover food.

Besides, she needs to come to his place regularly so that she can do his laundry! Italian men are still treated like little darling children by their mothers up until they marry.

The strong bond that Italian men have with their mothers can be offputting for some. This is very different from western culture whereby men are typically more independent.

Italian men who have lived overseas or grown-up outside of Italy may not be so dependent on their mothers. It is worth understanding what someone’s views on gender roles are before you seriously get involved with them.

Does your love interest expect that women should do all of the cooking and domestic tasks around the house? Or do they think everything should be equal in a romantic partnership?

Location, location, location!

You may notice a difference in how often you get approached, and in men’s attitudes and personalities, depending on where in Italy they are from. The culture between Northern Italy and Southern Italy is very different.

The north of Italy is more comparable to Northern and Western Europe. Meanwhile, Southern Italy feels much more Mediterranean. You compare the culture here to that of Greece.

Italian men in the south are even less apprehensive about approaching women. Furthermore, they may find you even more interesting as this part of the country sees fewer tourists.

Are Italian men womanisers?

Dating in Italy
Dating in Italy

It is no secret that Italian men can be flirtatious. Indeed, the general stereotype of an Italian man is that of Casanova – a charming, attractive man with many lovers.

But this is a negative stereotype and generalisation. Values around faithfulness, women, etc vary from person to person.

Are all British men perfect partners that never cheat or disrespect their wives and partners? I don’t think so.

Many Italians are in committed relationships and cannot imagine doing something to hurt their partners. It is offensive to suggest that someone’s culture or ethnicity influences their morals.

A cultural exchange

Dating in Italy
Dating in Italy

Dating Italian men is an opportunity to learn far more about Italian culture, food, and life than you ever could on a two-week Italy itinerary. He can introduce you to new dishes, drinks, musicians, and movies.

You can teach him about your country too, and have fun learning about the differences in each other’s backgrounds and upbringings. If you are dating an Italian in Italy, they can also take you to hidden restaurants and bars that you would have otherwise never found.

Are Italian men jealous?

One negative stereotype of Italian men, along with the assumption that all Italian men are infidels, is that men can be possessive and jealous. A research study conducted by the University of Pisa confirmed this to be true based on the population sample that they interviewed and analysed.

But again, this is something that you cannot generalise. Many Italians have large groups of friends of both sexes and often go out for dinner, drinks, and coffee almost every night of the week. 

A little jealousy in any relationship can be normal and healthy but you should never romanticize controlling, jealous behavior as it simply being indicative of someone caring about you. Know the warning signs and do not stay in a relationship with someone who is controlling, tells you you cannot go out, or constantly needs to know your whereabouts, whatever their culture/race may be.


In Naples and Southern Italy especially, you are likely to hear breathy mutterings of “Bellissima” from the men that walk by. It can be a little unnerving and strange.

Are you supposed to continue on as if you never heard it? It seems that way, and these men are purely showing their appreciation for female beauty.

There are rude and kind people everywhere. In general, travelling through Italy is something of a confidence boost.

It is not usually a creepy, uncomfortable approach from Italian men. Even if the locals do not approach you with a cheesy chat-up line, their comments of “bellissima!” or “Ciao Bella!”, are seldom ill-intentioned. Their glances and prolonged looks are more of a compliment and appreciation for beauty, rather than anything untoward.

FAQs about Dating Italian Men 

Do you still have any burning questions about meeting and dating Italian men? Hopefully, you will find the answers you are looking for below. 

What are Italian men attracted to?

Every man has a different ¨type¨ that they are attracted to and the same rings true of Italian men. No two men are the same.

Some men may like tall women, whereas some prefer short. Some prefer dark-haired women and others prefer blondes. It all comes down to the individual rather than this demographic of men as a whole.

Italian women are usually feminine and take a lot of care in their appearance, with an interest in fashion. In terms of physical appearance, most tend to have dark hair and dark features.

Southern Italian women tend to have a more olive skin tone than women from the north of Italy. Some Italian men may prefer to date women from a culture similar to their own and may prefer Italian beauty standards because that is what they have grown up around their entire lives.

Others may find foreign women exotic and unusual. Blonde hair and blue eyes are not common in Italy and there are definitely those men that find it very appealing. It all comes down to the individual.

How do Italian men flirt?

Italian men usually flirt by making compliments and nice comments on anything from your personality, intelligence, sense of style, or your appearance. In Italy, it is not uncommon for a man to stop you on the street to tell you that he likes your dress.

Sometimes, flirtatious comments in Italy can seem over the top to the extent that they are almost humorous. (E.g. someone approaching you to tell you that your legs are the eighth wonder of the world, or that your eyes are so blue that they remind them of the depths of the ocean.) Still, men generally have good intentions with this and just want to say something complimentary. 

How do Italian men kiss?

When you greet people for the first time in Italy, it is common to kiss them on both their cheeks. Both Italian men and women do this and the gesture is known as ‘il bacetto’.

You will find that people greet people in this way whether you meet them in a formal context, or you are just introduced to a friend of a friend in a coffee shop. When it comes to more passionate kisses, well, there is a reason why Italian men are so globally renowned for being good lovers.

What’s dating like in Italy?

Dating in Italy is like a more traditional version of dating in the west. When people are interested in each other, they will go on dates, explore new restaurants, hang out at coffee shops, and take little weekend getaways together.

People often date people that they meet in real life – either out at bars or via mutual friends, rather than via online dating apps. However, the latter is becoming increasingly common.

Men and women still play traditional roles when it comes to the Italian dating scene. So, for instance, the man is expected to chase the woman, at least in the early stages. He will be the one doing most of the initiating, texting, and organising dates. 

Parting Words

Dating Italian men
Dating Italian men

Have you had any experience dating Italian men? Alternatively, have you had any comical encounters with the locals while travelling in Italy?

I would love to hear your perspective! If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below. You might also enjoy reading these quotes about Italy.

Safe travels! Andiamo! Melissa xo


Alice Cooper is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.


  1. Haha! I love these stories. I’m blonde and was told Italian men have a thing for blondes (since we aren’t common there I guess?) and I ended up meeting a leather craftsmen while I was in Assisi. He didn’t think I was too old, but I could definitely tell he thought he was charming 🙂

  2. Well, this is just a bunch of pathetic short stories, because you actually did not date anyone. Even the title is wrong.

    The only argument I do agree with is the warmer approach of southern Italians, the true stallions of the peninsula.

    I am Canadian and every time I went visiting Italy , I really did date a man there, and I can tell that , well, that’s the Stallion experience you did not try.

    I ended up married to a Man from Puglia, gentle father during the day and…still stallion!

    Next time travel wiser and stick the titles to the content.


    1. Actually “Jen” I had a Neapolitan boyfriend for a good while. I just chose for this post to be light-hearted and to focus on the humor aspect. In any case, I am sorry that your life is so empty that you feel the need to send nasty messages to strangers on the internet. Hope you find a more positive and productive way to spend your time! Hugs! xo

  3. hahah lol. i loved this article so much. my favorite was number 1, both 3’s and 4. it is very disappointing that people have to be pinned down to certain traits just because of these stereotypical characteristics. Not everyone is like that, it really does just depend on the person. Thank you so much!

  4. I was so happy to read this. I moved to Italy several months ago and thought it was “just me” when 90% of the Italian men I met would invite me to their house literally the first day we met. I’d say around 5% in the first few days and the their 5 lived with their parents and would often ask to come to MY house (not happening).
    Needless to say, I haven’t had any luck with the men here and I’ve decided to stick to foreigners. I know not all men here are the same but apparently I just attract the ones who are all the same lol.

    1. Hey Naa! Oh my gosh me too ha. I just generally attract a lot of odd people wherever I go I think, like some kind of beacon lol. There are some very nice Italian men though! I actually met the loveliest guy when I lived in Naples and we just hit it off straight away, but unfortunately I met him right before I was due to go travelling around the Middle East for several months – terrible timing! We kept in touch for a while and I intended to go back eventually but I ended up moving to Greece – what could have been! Whereabouts in Italy are you living? 🙂

  5. I met an Italian guy and we dated. However, he forced me to slept with him on our third date. It was uncomfortable but I like him so I just go with it. and then after the deed, I asked him when was he got tested for STD, for me it was like for safety. Am I wrong to do this. because it seems like he got angry at me. and he now treats me differently.
    What can I do to win him back?
    thank you.

  6. Hi, its my first time here, but i enjoyed reading these. I just got curious because i just recently broke up with a Southern Italian guy from Naples a few days ago. Just want to ask though if its normal for a Southern Italian to be so jealous, and overly suspicious?? He prohibits me having male friends on FB just to cite an example.

  7. Hallo!!i am now starting relationship with an Italian man, I am scared now. hhh i don’t want to go with the wrong person, i am younger than him and i am hoping to love each other forever. Thanks for sharing this story

  8. I was married to an Italian (parents from Naples) who was born and raised in Canada. He was short (5’5″) and extremely insecure (Napoleon syndrome). Aggressive, controlling and stupid af. I couldn’t take it anymore and finally asked for divorce, at which point he made it his mission to bully me and physically threaten everyone in my life who supported me. He also made up ridiculous stories about me to anyone who would listen. Extremely narcissistic. He was a thief and compulsive liar. Never wanted me to leave the house because another man might notice me (oh and that would be MY fault of course… even at 8 months pregnant).

    I dated a few Italians before him and also one after and they all seemed to think they knew everything.

    They always seem to find me (I’m Eastern European) and there are some good qualities but I don’t think I could marry one again due to my horrific experience.

  9. just leave us alone in our own culture and costumes if you don’t appreciate..that’s really simple ! instead to use your judgments and criticize the italian guys !! look around the guys in your country and more close to your culture ! ciao

    1. It´s a light-hearted article. I would say the same to you – don´t use your judgements and criticisms here. If you don´t like the article or website, don´t interact or comment… it´s really simple 😉 ciao

  10. Totally drawn to a beautiful Italian man at work. We flirt with one another but never cross boundaries! Its just harmless fun but his charm is so hypnotic! Goodness!

    Thank you for this article Melissa. I smiled all throughout!

    Happy Christmas x

  11. Melissa, I am a pro writer and editor, and probably older than most here. You are a truly gifted humorist, and I hope you know that and never stop! I laughed so hard my dogs were barking at me! PS: I was married to a man from France for 20 yrs (I’m American) – gosh, I married into the wrong country! French men are interesting too – but never this hilarious! 😉

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