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Forge Lasting Connections: Network Like an Italian

Italians are renowned for their ability to build strong, enduring relationships. Their secret? They ditch the traditional “business card swap” and embrace a more personal, community-oriented approach to networking. Here’s how you can incorporate this “Italian Flair” into your own life and forge meaningful connections that lead to both personal and professional success.

Unlock the Power of Community and Shared Experiences:

  • Ditch the Elevator Pitch, Embrace Aperitivo Time: Forget the stuffy business dinners. Italians use the aperitivo, a pre-dinner gathering with light drinks and snacks, to connect on a deeper level. It’s a relaxed atmosphere perfect for fostering genuine conversations and building rapport. Organize an aperitivo for colleagues or friends – it’s a cultural ritual that creates a sense of community and allows people to connect naturally.
  • Focus on Shared Passions: During aperitivos, Italians prioritize getting to know the person behind the title. Ask about their hobbies, dreams, and what excites them. This shared experience fosters a genuine connection that goes beyond business cards. When you connect over shared passions, you build a foundation of friendship and create a network of people who are genuinely invested in your success.

Become More Likable and Memorable:

  • Be Your Authentic, Passionate Self: Italians value authenticity. Let your personality shine through! Be enthusiastic about your interests and work. People gravitate towards those who are passionate because it creates a more engaging and memorable interaction.
  • Listen Actively and Show Genuine Interest: Italians are known for their lively conversations. Instead of trying to dominate, use silence strategically. Listen attentively, ask thoughtful questions, and show a genuine interest in what others have to say. This builds trust and makes people feel valued.

Become a Giver:

  • The Power of Generosity: Italians are known for their generosity, both with their time and resources. Be willing to help others succeed by sharing your knowledge, offering advice, or making introductions. This fosters a spirit of reciprocity and makes you someone people want to know and connect with.
  • The Art of Hosting: When you invite someone for an aperitivo, consider it your treat. This small gesture demonstrates warmth and generosity, further strengthening your connection.


Networking like an Italian is about fostering genuine connections through shared experiences and a focus on community. By incorporating these elements – aperitivos, shared passions, authenticity, active listening, and generosity – you can build a network of strong, lasting relationships that will benefit you throughout your life. So, raise a glass (of prosecco, perhaps?), embrace the Italian spirit, and watch your network flourish.

Andrea Zanon Is an Italian lifestyle advisor with over 20 years of international coaching helping decision makers and business leaders improve their decision making.