Cross-cultural awareness

Emotions and culture

emotions culture diversity

Does culture influence emotions? Many cross-cultural researchers all over the world have been trying to give an answer to this question. We learn how to express emotions by watching people from our culture(s). But other people may experience and show emotions in a slightly different way we are unaware of. Hence, when we interact with new cultures, we might not always read their emotions correctly. Let's see how this is...


7 easy ways to make friends in Italy (even if you don’t speak Italian)

friends in italy

Once your dream of living in Italy comes true, after all the bureaucracy is sorted out and taken care of you might ask yourself how do you make friends with Italians? Many expats forums and groups mention that it is very difficult, especially if you don't speak the language. While I can't stress enough how language is the key to really understanding Italy, you can have good friends even while...

Cross-cultural awareness

Direct and Indirect Communication Styles

Photo by Charles Deluvio

In many Eastern European countries, if you come to somebody's house and they offer you a cup of tea, it is considered impolite to accept immediately. You have to decline a couple of times, saying you don't want to bother the host, then eventually continue declining but with less emphasis, which means that you actually want a cup of tea. For a German who asks one time and expects to...

Cross-cultural awareness

Where Can We Find Hope in Uncertainty Times? Cultural and Generational Perspective

Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response

While making our wishes on New Years' Eve we had no idea how fiercely would 2020 throw us out from the comfort zone. We were prepared and up to a certain point desensitized to local disasters. Especially when they happened in places that we perceived as remote. But this scale of health, economic, and emotional Force Majeure event? It was something new for most of us. Where can we find...


Italy getting ready for Phase 2 of coronavirus lockdown

Photo by Roberto Nickson

Given the numbers, no one expected Italy lockdown to be lifted this weekend but Italians surely hoped for more concessions from the government. On Sunday, April 26, the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte called in a press conference where he announced more gradual openings.   Coronavirus lockdown situation in Italy so far The coronavirus outbreak has been ebbing for some weeks now but the country needs to proceed with caution....



Photo by Fernando Brasil

This is the second part of this post about being a happy expat in Italy. You can find the first part here.   6. Don’t be a guest   Even if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in Italy, act as if you came here to stay. Our brain fatigues too much when we struggle to make a decision so convince it this is home.  ...



Photo by Patrick Carr

Here you are, ready for your new Italian adventure. Your dolce vita is ready to begin. You want to enjoy your time in Italy the best you can. How do you become a happy expat? Learn as much as you can about Italy but be aware of your feelings and emotions. These are the most useful tips:   1. Be open to your new expat life   In the beginning,...



Moving to Rome

Your lifetime dream is to move to Italy and you are opting for the capital? Here are some things you should know before moving to Rome. Cost of life, cleaning, strikes and "sampietrini" cobbles are part of the Roman routine. To make them easier to remember, a Roman hill was associated with each one of them. 1. Cost of life in Rome – Caelian hill Milan and Rome are the...

Cross-cultural awareness


Last week I was on a plane from Chisinau to Rome. A lady from Southern Italy said Eastern-European women were beautiful, but they never seemed to smile. They looked as if they had an icicle inside. This is a recurrent observation of westerners traveling east. It happens because our culture influences our way of smiling.   Why is smile culture-related? Smiling is one of the basic acts of non-verbal communication....