I must admit that this title may be misleading. I do not expect to be able to assess here a proper way to teach you how to play Casanova and conquer the hearts of some tens of millions of Italian ladies. In order to do that, I would suggest you to take a look at the Galateo, a brilliant renaissance book on good manners which marked the Italian behaviour till nowadays (and in case you were too lazy to google it, you can read a bit more about it here).
Rather, with the following five tips I can promise you that even if you may not increase your chances with an Italiana, surely you won’t diminish them. So, once clarified these premises, let’s see how not to mess your date with Maria Antonia Ermenegilda.
1.No matter what’s your opinion: she will always be right. Let’s start with an almost self-evident truth of nature. Despite how much you think you know about a particular issue, our ragazze will always know it better than you. Are you ready to rebut that you studied that subject in high school, university and then wrote some essays about it? Pff, you delusional dreamer: she is an Italian lady, she is right, you are not. Period.
2. Treat her like a princess. Before leaving my motherland for the first time, I thought that this went without saying, but I learnt that not in every cultures this practice is clear (or in the Dutch case, perhaps even advisable!). Italian women are ladies, no matter how old or young they are. They will always deserve a kid-gloves treatment, which concretely can be put in practice by always making way and/or holding the door for her, and showing your appreciation for her with compliments. She may never admits it, but she does expect it. This leads us to…
3. Wie betaalt wat..what? You may or may not be familiar with my personal aversion for the Dutch practice of always splitting the bill (and if not, check out the incoming new Abroad in your mailboxes next week!). However this originates from a maxim of my Neapolitan grandpa: you always offer to a woman. Always, always. Well he probably was even a bit too strict in his philosophy, so much as to offering a coffee to the postwoman passing by, but the point is once again that she would expect you to do so, and will certainly notice in a less than flattering way if you had her paying.
4. Help her even if she doesn’t want to be helped! Even in the XXI century with the equality of sexes largely accepted as a fundamental right, and the woman independent as she probably never was in history, the majority of the Italian men are still somewhat sexist, although in a way which is not always necessarily negative. I’ll explain myself: many of us may still see women if not as damsels in distress, nevertheless as candid and fragile creatures who need to be protected. This can be put into effect by helping them in every day’s situations such as carrying their heavy luggages, or reaching a jar on a high shelf in a super market. Even if an Italian lady could at first refuse your help (after all this is what the etiquette would command), she may gladly accept after just a second offer, appreciating your chivalry.
5. “What’s the problem?” “No, nothing…”. Let’s conclude with a must of the relationships with Italian girls: you notice that your sweetheart seems upset and you dare to ask her about what’s her concern. Very gallant of you, but beware of the hot water into which you are getting. An Italian lady will always denies her inner turmoil, and even worse may hold you responsible for not having noted earlier how she was feeling. No matter what is the cause, or if you are the cause at all: the best thing to do in these cases is just to abandon the topic for the moment, distract her, and try to conquer her pardon back (offering a gelato is always a good start).
Well and that’s more or less everything I could tell you today for the dating Italian girls 1.0 class. Of course I want to conclude by reminding you that we are some 60 million, and I do expect some of our ladies not to fit perfectly into the above mentioned patterns. Finally, to my fellow countrywomen and countrymen who may feel offended by my words: it’s ok guys, what do I know after all? I’m Sardinian.