How does one become ‪‎Italian‬? Is it a matter of citizenship or just a state of mind?

I was inspired to write this post by the experience of a Canadian actress, Lisa Ray. She recently took a trip to Italy and fell completely in love with the country.

It is always exciting to see someone opens his or her heart to new people, new places, new cultures.

That’s what she did. She embraced the Italian lifestyle fully and completely. She left a piece of herself in every city she visited: Rome, Capri, Pisa, Florence, Venice and so on.
It is pretty clear that she enjoyed la dolce vita since she always had something nice to say about every place she discovered and explored.

Among her many quotes, one took my attention and it is the one that I’ve chosen for the title of this article

Watching Lisa strolling through Italian streets, admiring lots of breath-taking sights and seeing her so immersed in the culture and the country really got me thinking. You may be born in a whole different place and yet you may feel like you belong to other places as well.

You may not have an Italian citizenship but does it really matter? You’re passionate about what the country has to offer. You love its history, food, people, traditions. That’s what counts.

You belong where your heart belongs.

I know that Italy has stolen the heart of many people. Melissa is one of them and she talks about that in her personal website.

I love reading blogs of foreigners or expats living in Italy. It’s beautiful to see your country through expats eyes. Sometimes they make you appreciate even the tiniest details that you completely ignored before.

Are you an Italian at heart? If so, what made you fall in love with the country? I’d love to hear your story! 


Did you know #Pinocchio comes from #Tuscany?

L’esperienza vissuta da un’attrice canadese, Lisa Ray, mi è stata di ispirazione per la scrittura di questo post. Di recente ha fatto un viaggio in Italia e si è completamente innamorata del Paese.

È sempre emozionante vedere qualcuno aprire il proprio cuore a nuove conoscenze, nuovi posti, nuove culture. E questo è ciò che ha fatto lei.

Ha abbracciato in pieno lo stile di vita italiano. Ha lasciato un pezzo di se stessa in ogni città che ha visitato: Roma, Capri, Pisa, Firenze, Venezia e così via. È evidente che si sia goduta in pieno la dolce vita dato che ha descritto con entusiasmo ogni luogo che ha scoperto ed esplorato.

Tra i suoi numerosi commenti, uno ha catturato la mia attenzione e l’ho scelto come titolo di questo articolo.

Guardare Lisa passeggiare per le strade italiane, mentre ammira attrazioni mozzafiato, e vederla così immersa nella cultura e nel Paese mi ha fatto davvero riflettere.

Puoi essere nato dall’altra parte del mondo, ma sentire comunque di appartenere anche ad altri luoghi.

Puoi anche non avere la cittadinanza Italiana, ma ha davvero importanza? Nutri una passione profonda per tutto ciò che l’Italia ha da offrire. Ami la sua storia, il cibo, le persone, le tradizioni. È questo ciò che conta.

È il tuo cuore che sceglie il luogo al quale appartieni.

So che l’Italia ha rubato il cuore a moltissime persone. Melissa è una di loro e ne parla nel suo sito personale.

Amo leggere i blog degli stranieri che vivono in Italia. È bellissimo vedere il tuo Paese attraverso gli occhi di chi non ci è nato. A volte ti fanno apprezzare persino i più piccoli dettagli che prima ignoravi completamente.

Nel profondo del tuo cuore, ti senti italiano? Se è così, che cosa ti ha fatto innamorare del Bel Paese? Mi piacerebbe molto conoscere la tua storia!


Lo sapevi che #Pinocchio viene dalla #Toscana?

Chiara Grandola

Hey there! I'm Chiara, also known as Claire on the language learning community. I'm deeply in love with any form of art, different cultures and... guess what?! Yes, languages!

  • I feel the same way about Russia. I don’t have a Russian passport but all the same, I do feel Russian since learning to speak the language. 🙂 I have not yet been to your beautiful country, so I can’t offer any impressions, but I hope to go someday. (And if we’re in the same city at the same time, we should meet!)

    • I get what you’re saying. I feel the same way about the US. It’s a pretty common feeling, I believe.
      You should definitely come here and we should definitely meet… asap! I can’t wait to talk to you in person! 🙂

  • I believe that beyond the obvious reasons people love Italy, like the food, the wine, the history, the art,the culture, etc., it is the Italian people that make Italy so attractive to tourists. They are warm and friendly, and go out of their way to make you feel welcome. It is also the Italian lifestyle which puts family and the enjoyment of life first. There is a “feeling” there.

    • Thank you for sharing your opinion with us, Michele.
      I agree with you about Italian people, most of them are pretty warm and welcoming..

  • Lu

    I am Italian, so I can’t tell you what made me fall in love with the country. It is my home, for better or for worse. However, I love reading or listening to what non-Italian people think about Italy. Their points of view are often extreme and you are right, it is beautiful to see our country through their eyes. It is really interesting too.
    I’d like to visit North Europe. I can’t say that my heart belongs to those places, but there is a great force that pushes me to love them, it is incredible!

    • warren

      I went to northern Italy when I was working as a continental driver. years later I met my now wife and both said about how nice Italy was, so we went to Rome for our honeymoon. whilst there I spoke to a waiter in English, and expressed how I was learning Italian. when I wasked for a small palte in Italian he corrected me very politely and said I used a bit instead of a little plate. I found is genuine help very rewarding.

  • I met an Italian guy when he was an exchange student to my highschool in 1987. We became good friends, and so I treveled to Italy in 1989 to visit him. We spent 2 weeks just traveling around on our own.. Roma, Firenze, Pisa, Siena, Venezia… before traveling to his hometown of Martina Franca. The country is beautiful, the life is bustling but relaxed, and the people are so friendly. I felt more free and safe traveling around Italy then I did in my own USA. I returned three times after that, and was even in a relationship with an Italian woman for a number of years. I still wish to return to Italy someday.

    • I really enjoyed reading your comment, Erik. Thank you for writing it! I’m glad you had such a good time in Italy. Your experience seems truly remarkable and the cities you visited are breathtaking, especially Venice (in my opinion).

      “I felt more free and safe traveling around Italy then I did in my own USA. “ How incredible is that?

      You shall return to Italy now!!! 😉

  • I love this article and I am an Italian at heart totally. I went to Italy just once and it hasn’t left me nor ever will. I completely agree with you. It is a state of mind. Thanks for this 🙂 Much needed. At the right time 😉

    Wish to return to Italy someday.

    • Hi Ishita! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you loved the article.

      What have you enjoyed most about your time in Italy?
      I really hope you’ll find a way to return to this country soon! 😉

      • Most welcome 🙂 I loved their food and art..So much beauty everywhere… And most of all I LOVED the way people live there!!

  • Thnks for your wishes.. I am hoping too.. And soon 🙂 Even if for a few weeks 😉

  • I feel the same way in a lot of countries, I love your blog Claire.

    • Ciao Wesley! Thank you for your kind words! I’m happy to read that you love my blog and I hope you’ll enjoy the new articles as well! 😉

  • Italians always make me feel welcome each time I go there. It’s an amazing country with a great climate, beautiful scenery, an amazing artistic and creative history and delicious food and wine. Although I’ve never lived there, each time I’m in Italy it feels like I’m at home away from home.