It is extremely tricky to discern something as unwritten and subtle as courtship protocols in another country. Perhaps even more so in Italy where the art of the pursuit is considered paramount to the dating ritual.
Yes, it is a “game” in every sense, and if you don’t know how to play, obviously you will lose.
However, while knowing the rules of this game is important, that doesn’t mean that you
have to follow them. Indeed, making up your own rules might even be the best strategy for foreign men in Italy.
So then one piece of advice for foreign men looking to woo those belle italiane is don’t try too hard to adapt. Yes, make certain concessions to let her know that you’re not ignorant to her cultural norms. But remember, if she’s interested enough in you to go out on a date, then she’s also aware of your “foreignness” and will give you a bit of latitude.
How much? Well, that depends on the girl. Your straniero status might be the very thing
that has attracted her to you, in which case, play it up! Or it might be the one thing about you that she’s having a hard time with, so try to find some middle ground.
Suffice to say, she’s well aware that you’re not Italian and will judge you accordingly, for better or worse.