Gestures and insults: how to argue exactly like an Italian

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
Gestures and insults: how to argue exactly like an Italian
Photo: winkyintheuk/Flickr

The language of love it may be, but the passion we associate with Italian also makes for its fair share of arguments.


For those who think a healthy debate is the best way to sort out differences, you're likely to fit right into the Italian culture of speaking your mind.

And with its complex bureaucracy, sometimes arguing is the only way to get things done in Italy - but don't be surprised when your opponent doesn't take offence - Italians expect it.

But if you usually go out of your way to avoid conflict, you might feel out of your depth the first time you get drawn into an Italian disagreement.

When done right, arguing can help you resolve issues with friends, landlords, colleagues and shopkeepers who try to rip you off, but there's a fine line to tread between not wanting to be seen as a pushover and offending everyone around you - especially if you're new to the culture.

Click here for our guide of the do's and don't's of arguing like an Italian, and you'll be holding your own like a local in no time. 

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