Once you have settled in your new home in Italy, the next step will obviously be to try and fit into the community. After all you did not travel all those miles to the Beautiful Country just to be a recluse. Your life will be much easier and more enjoyable if you know how to get around your town, city, or village without having to rely on a map or asking directions in a language very few people understand.

Photo from archer10(Dennis)

Here are a few tips to help you integrate into the Italian society with ease.

• The first thing you need to do in your integration efforts is to learn the Italian language. Once you land in Italy, you will realize that very few people in this country speak English or other common languages.

Learning Italian will be essential and quite helpful as you go about your day to day activities. You will be able to get along with the locals much easier when you can speak their language and in the process feel less isolated as an outsider. In Italy most natives speak standard Italian and regional dialects of the language. So besides learning the standard version of the language, you will need to get a good grasp of the dialect spoken in your region in order to fit in. Regional identification is a strong trait in Italian culture. Remember to practice the language with as many people as you can.

• Shopping is a great way of making new friends and integrating into a foreign society. So take time to visit the shops and stores closest to you and socialize with the locals to get the full benefits of living in Italy. While shopping you get to know people who reside in your neighbourhood or town and build new relationships. Shopping will also help you develop your command of the language faster and easily.

Being a member of a specific interest group in your town or neighbourhood will help you build new friendships and assist in getting accepted as a member of the society too. So if you have any special hobbies or interests, join groups of locals with similar passions to expand your network of contacts and assimilate into the society.