From Latin Italia, from Greek Italia; of unknown origin. Perhaps an alteration of Oscan Viteliu “Italy,” but meaning originally only the southwestern point of the peninsula. Traditionally said to be from Vitali, name of a tribe that settled in Calabria, whose name is perhaps somehow connected with Latin vitulus “calf.” Or perhaps the country name is directly from vitulus as “land of cattle,” or it might be from an Illyrian word, or an ancient or legendary ruler Italus. The modern nation dates from events of 1859-60 and was completed by the addition of Venetia in 1866 and Rome in 1870. [online etymology dictionary]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Amici A Milano – You will want to make new friendships funny and entertaining, to attend the most beautiful clubs in Milan, to seek a soul mate or just a chat in good company? [meetup]

Amici di Beppe Grillo Monza Brianza – This forum is dedicated to all the people of the province of Monza and Brianza who recognize themselves in the ideas and the critical spirit of the Movement 5 Stars! This is no time to sit back! Citizens must be thinking in action! [meetup]

Amici di Beppe Grillo S.Maria C.V. – “Friends of Beppe Grillo S. Maria C.V.” It is a free association of citizens. It is not a political party nor it is intended that it will become in the future …. Not ideologies of left or right, but ideas. [meetup]

Castel Volturno 5 Stelle – The Movement 5 Star is not a political party or it is intended that it will become in the future. It wants to be a witness to the possibility of creating an efficient and effective exchange of opinions and democratic debate outside of associative and partisan and without the mediation of bodies representing management or bonds. [meetup]

Gli amici di Beppe Grillo di Caserta – We are a MoVement of free citizens who have chosen to become Active. Inspired by the principles of the Movement 5 Stars, for a participatory democracy from below, we propose to carry forward the excellence in the city of Caserta by means of a cultural revolution. [meetup]

Meetup Il Te del Sabato Pomeriggio – In these days of winter we pamper and exchange small talk in front of a good cup of tè even coffee or hot chocolate. It is open to all who want to take a moment to pause and relax after a working week, with the opportunity to meet new people. [meetup]

Meetup Mostre Roma – This group is for those who want to visit interesting exhibitions in Rome and in general for those who like art. [meetup]

Milano & Friends – This group was created with the idea to meet together and share common passions and interests which can range between cinema, photography, art, travel and much more. The idea is to organize different outputs that can meet the tastes of all, from a simple aperitif to know each other, to a visit to a museum or an exhibition, a movie night or a day trip. [meetup]

Milano On The Road – Welcome to Milano_OnTheRoad!Are you willing to meet new people and discover new places? Join us!This group is about exploring, adventure, photography, culture, history, and social fun! [meetup]

Roma Meeting Point 38UP Group – A meeting point and a social group for all of you in Rome aged over38.This group welcomes everyone looking to expand their social and professional circles, to have fun, or make new friends or business contacts, in a relaxed atmospere. [meetup]

Wine Enthusiasts in Rome – As wine enthusiasts, we like to gather together with like-minded people to explore Italian wines at various venues in the city and surrounding regions. We meet up at different wine bars around Rome and organize educational events to learn more about wine. This group is for anyone interested in learning about and drinking great wine! [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date – is perfect for people between the ages of 30 and 40. The site uses a sophisticated algorithm in order to find your “perfect match.” also made the list for the best online dating sites in Germany due to its quality and because it has a lot of members (thanks to a huge television advertising push the site did when they launched). [visa hunter] – definitely makes the list for the best online dating sites in Italy (This site rocks in Switzerland, Belgium and Germany as well!). I really like the sophisticated search engine that finds potential matches for you. Other nice features on the site are personality tests and weekly flirt statistics. The interface is quite simple, but advertising is a bit of an eyesore. [visa hunter] – Founded in 2001 and based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, is the best online dating site in Italy. From its humble beginnings, it has grown into the largest online dating site in Europe (source: JupiterResearch). Following the acquisition of’s European operations, the site exploded in popularity and has millions of members all across the EU. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Girosole – Guided and self-guided walking itineraries in dozens of locations throughout Italy, including Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, the Italian Lakes, Sicily, Umbria, Le Marche, Abruzzo and more! [girosole]

Hidden Italy – Welcome to Hidden Italy walking tours! We’ve been organising small walking groups and independent walkers in Italy since 1993: fine food, boutique accommodation, exceptional walking… no-one knows Italy like we do. [hidden italy]

Walks of Italy – It’s hard to believe that Walks of Italy offers over 70 services now, in cities across the country. Never mind that we’ve expanded to New York and Turkey. It’s surprising because our growth has been so organic. Most of the staff we have today showed up of their own accord, picked up a shovel and just kept digging; a lot of our guides arrived on our doorstep unsolicited; and most of our products wrote themselves after we kept getting the same requests from guests. [walks of italy]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Amalfi Coast – The Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning stretch of coastline along the Sorrentine Peninsula. Hillside towns are built precariously along the steep mountains that cascade down to the sea. One of the main towns along here is Positano, but the entire area is popular with tourists. [planet ware]

Cinque Terre – Cinque Terre, which translates as “Five Villages”, is a lovely coastal region with steep oceanside cliffs and hills. The picturesque villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore can be reached by several means, but are only joined to each other by a scenic narrow road through the hillside, or walking trails. Many travelers choose to hike between villages to truly enjoy the landscape. [planet ware]

Colosseum – For travelers making their way through Italy, the Colosseum is a must see. This huge Amphitheater is the largest of its kind ever built by the Roman Empire and has remained a model for sports facilities right up to modern times. [planet ware]

Florence Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore – Regarded as one of the finest cathedrals in the world, the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, dominates the Florence skyline. The cathedral was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, with the most famous piece being the extraordinary dome, completed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1434. The Belfry, standing 82 meters, can be climbed. [planet ware]

Lake Como – Lake Como is one of Italy’s most scenic areas, surrounded by mountains and lined by small picturesque towns. Traditionally a haunt of the wealthy, the lake has many old opulent villas and palaces. Around the lake are resort communities and an 11th century abbey. [planet ware]

Leaning Tower of Pisa – The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually just one of many attractions in the city of Pisa, but its fame, gained from its flaw, is world renown. Work began on the tower in the 1100s and the sinking, which led to the lean, began by the time the tower reached the third story. Prior to restoration work in the 1990s, it was predicted to topple over by the year 2000. [planet ware]

Pantheon – The Pantheon, an exceptionally well preserved remnant from Roman times, reveals the incredible architectural achievements of the Roman Empire. The precise proportions of the building, with the height equal to the diameter, and a single beam of light penetrating the room from the top of the dome, give the room a unique character. Italian Kings and other great Italian influencers are buried in the Pantheon. [planet ware]

Pompeii – Below the rumbling volcano of Mt Vesuvius stand the ruins of Pompeii, an ancient Roman city preserved in time by the eruption in A.D. 79. Excavations have revealed the remains of houses, markets, baths, temples, theaters, streets scarred by the tracks of chariots, and human remains. [planet ware]

Roman Forum – The Roman Forum may require a little imagination to understand exactly what this area once looked like. However, its historical significance as the heart of the Roman Empire cannot be overstated. Pillars, partial structures, and foundations of former temples, market halls, courts, and public buildings pay tribute to Ancient Rome, which stood here for a thousand years. [planet ware]

St Mark’s Basilica – One of the most important tourist sites in Venice is St Mark’s Basilica. Most visitors wandering around Venice will find themselves in the famous square, Piazza San Marco, in front of the basilica, looking at the main west facing facade. The cathedral contains a vast treasure of artworks, but the building itself is also a work of art, with a mix of architectural styles. [planet ware]

Vatican City – The Vatican is home to some of the world’s most priceless art and art collections. Beyond the obvious sites of St Peter’s Basilica and St Peter’s square, the Vatican is home to countless attractions. The famous Sistine Chapel displays wall and ceiling paintings by Michelangelo and many of other of Italy’s most famous artists. [planet ware]

Venice Canals – A gondola ride through the canals of Venice is a tradition that travelers have been participating in for centuries. Venice is a city of islands and the canals have long been, in many ways, the city’s streets. Lining the canals are the old buildings which have remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years, adding to the romantic charm. [planet ware]



Corsa Dei Seri – In the little town of Gubbio, Umbria this festival typically signifies the historical connection of Italian life that goes back more than a thousand years ago. Literally meaning Race of the crazy ones or as it is referred commonly ‘Race of the candles’ it is actually a festival to commemorate the twelfth century happening when the city was spared from being defeated in the hands of Frederick Barbarossa on the day of this festival – May 15. [top travel service]

Epiphany and Befana – Although this festival is now marked with a national holiday, nowhere it is observed with such spirit of festivity as in Rome. According to Christian tradition the festival is held on the 12th day of Christmas when children celebrates the arrival of the holy witch Befana. In The Vatican City the festival takes a particularly colorful shape with thousands of people in their medieval dress head towards the Vatican. [top travel service]

Festa Della Madonna Bruna – Maria Santissima della Bruna is the patron saint of the provincial town of Matera in southern Italy whose saint day is celebrated on July 2 with round the clock festivities. A big procession with the statue of Madonna with Child in the center makes round in the street as huge crowds follow from behind in a festive mood. A decorated float is made of paper and wood carries the statues and after making three rounds around Piazza del Duomo statues are placed inside the cathedral. [top travel service]

Festa Della Sensa – Besides Rome the political importance, cultural influence and wealth of Venice is well known throughout the historical periods and still this typical boat parade festival is a strong testimony of that. This festival symbolically celebrates the political, cultural and social expansion of Venetian republic. The main event which is called ‘Wedding with the Sea’ is really a grand view to observe when artistically designed heritage boats parade on to the sea starting from the bay at St Mark’s square. [top travel service]

Festino di Santa Rosalia – Santa Rosalia is the patron saint of Palermo who is also called by the locals with affection as La Santuzza or the little saint. On 1624 he is said to have saved the entire city from the deadly epidemic of plague and still now in July commemorate this saint with a thanks giving festival called Festimo di Santa Rosalia. A huge triumphal cart is made resembling either a gigantic war ship or sometimes as a big chariot or resembling a fortress of huge proportion. [top travel service]

Festival Del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino – Florence is not only the breeding ground of Italian Renaissance but it is the city from where western musical tradition began and this musical festival which is still the top classical music festival in the country is a testimony to this tradition. [top travel service]

Fiesta di San Marco – Venice is always famed for its romantic setting for honeymooners and vacationers, but there is no better occasion than to visit this splendidly romantic city on April 25, a festival to mark the feast day of Venice’s Patron Saint. During this festival Venetian man presents their loved woman a red bud of rose in tradition Italian called bocolo. On that auspicious day to be on the fabulous St Mark’s Square with your loved one is truly a lifetime memory. [top travel service]

Game of the Bridge – This history behind this famous sporting occasion in Pisa, a Tuscan city in central Italy, dates back to the sixteenth century when opposing forces from various areas of Pisa battled over the bridge on the Arno River. Though the original battle ended up in death and bloodshed, it is symbolically commemorated on the last Sunday of June every year. [top travel service]

L’Ardia di San Constantino – Throughout Italy even since the Roman era horse racing takes the shape of a festival, but this event which takes place in Sardiana in July has a historical tradition that goes back to the famous Constantine and is one of the most well known horse riding festivals in Italy. The race symbolically celebrates the victory of Constantine on Mulivan Bridge in 312 AD. [top travel service]

Venice International Film Festival – This is the oldest international film festival in the world and a symbol of Italy’s well known affection with contemporary art forms. Beginning in 1932 the festival takes place at the end of August or early September on Libo Island, Venice. Presently besides Cannes and Berlin, it is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world contested by the most promising and eminent filmmakers and attended by devout film lovers from all over the world. [top travel service]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus & Metro – Extensive metropolitane (metros) exist in Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin, with smaller metros in Genoa and Catania. The space-age Minimetrò in Perugia connects the train station with the city centre. Cities and towns of any size have an efficient urbano (urban) and extraurbano (suburban) bus system. Services are generally limited on Sundays and holidays. [lonely planet]

Car and motorcycle – Italy’s extensive network of roads span numerous categories. The main ones include: Autostradas – An extensive, privatised network of motorways, represented on road signs by a white ‘A’ followed by a number on a green background. [lonely planet]

Taxi – You can catch a taxi at the ranks outside most train and bus stations, or simply telephone for a radio taxi. Radio taxi meters start running from when you’ve called rather than when you’re picked up. [lonely planet]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

AperiBusiness Milano – This group’s aim to unite the professional synergies in order to learn, share and exchange expertise in every workplace.Objective: create new Joint Venture in Win-Win optics. [meetup]

AWS User Group – Italy – Here startups, enterprise, solution architects and developers can interact with each other by sharing best practices, experiences and ideas, helping each other. [meetup]

Big Data Developers in Milano – This is an IBM sponsored Big Data meetup group.� Geared towards developers, data scientists and ALL Big Data enthusiasts, our meetups provide an opportunity to work hands on with the solutions and tools in our Big Data portfolio. [meetup]

Connecting People In Milan – This is a group for the professionals in Milan. Both Locals and Expats, this group will host many aperitivos and different kind of events to connect everyone as much as possible. having a good network will makes you feel like home. [meetup]

GDGCampania – The Google Developer Group Campania is the official community of Google more active in Italy and constantly works with Google technologies, with the aim of creating a club of excellence in which developers, companies, students, and all of these technologies enthusiasts can meet to share discussions, gather experiences, organize events.[meetup]

HTML5 Italy – Welcome to the Italian User Group dedicated to HTML5. From our passion and enthusiasm for new web standards HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, this community is born with the intention of creating the fixed meetings with speakers and industry experts. [meetup]

Laboratoristi della Campania – Independent group of professionals working in the clinical analysis sector directly affected as entrepreneurs or employees in various ways: doctors, biologists, chemists, biotechnologists, biotechnical, lawyers, accountants, administrators, nurses.[meetup]

Naples Startup: Idea to IPO – Entrepreneurship permeates the culture of Silicon Valley – the innovation capital of the world.[meetup]

Parlamento 5 Stelle – We decided to create this forum for the development and presentation of bills to MPs 5 Stars.This workspace does not aim to replace but to increase the space that the 5 stars activists have available for sharing and developing ideas. [meetup]

Startup Tea – A group of training and sharing of methods, strategies, management software, methods and marketing systems, social media web 2.0 to undertake a new business or improving an existing and transform. For all small and medium enterprises. The Startupper and / or aspiring. [meetup]

Welcome Back Mobiletea – Meetup with other local people who are interested in software development focusing on mobile app, rich internet applications and open source. Gather and discuss the designing and coding of web-based applications using next generation standards and frameworks like Sencha, jQuery, HTML5, CSS3, AIR, Flex, Flash Player, etc. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Aperitivo of English and Live music -unplugged! – English, fun and Live music!!This Evening gives an opportunity to practice your conversational english, but it will also be an Evening of fun and music. [meetup]

Club Tutti Expats International of Milano – Club Tutti is an international club for those living or/and visiting Milan. It is a great way to meet others while speaking English or Italian. [meetup]

Como English Language – Como English Language is for everybody who feels International, regardless the nationality. For the newcomers, for the ones who have been here for a while, for the native ones. You will find a friendly and easygoing atmosphere and a real chance to meet open-minded people.  [meetup]

English Speakers in Milan – This group is dedicated to people who want to improve their English or Italian, sipping an aperitif, in a comfortable place. Direct contact with a native speaker is the best way to learn a Language. [meetup]

Language & Culture Exchange in Rome! – I invite everyone to practice any language at any level in a friendly atmosphere, enjoying nice places where we can have a coffee or dinner talking about different cultures and improving our second language at the same time. [meetup]

Napoli English Language Meetup – Do you live in Napoli and speak English? This group provides an opportunity for you to better your English with native English speakers. We are Americans living in Naples.[meetup]

Roma English Language Group – The group meets in order to converse and talk in English, meet and make new acquaintances. The Group meets with aim to talk in Inglese to meet in cheerfulness and to do new acquaintance. [meetup]

Roma Language and Social Exchange! – Language and Social exchange is a community of people from all over the world living in Rome (or visiting it). We help one another to learn and practise languages. We have a weekly meeting and we organise ther activities during the week, like “sport nights”, parties, pic-nic and much more. [meetup]

The Roma Italian Language Meetup Group – Benvenuto! Welcome! Want to practice, brush-up, use your Italian? Meetup with other Italian Language enthusiasts in your area who are also interested in the Italian language. All ages and levels of proficiency are welcome! Ci vediamo al MeetUp! [meetup]

Veni Vidi Visit Free Tours Meetup – Veni Vidi Visit is an association which helps locals and for foreigners to discover Rome and it’s culture. We aim at showing the city’s less toursity features, in order to give people a chanche to appreciate the eternal city off the most beaten path. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Arcigay Napoli – Arcigay is a non-profit organization that seeks equality among people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. [facebook]

CIG Arcigay Milano – CIG Arcigay Milan is a voluntary non-profit association. The Secretariat of the Centre is open on Mondays from 16.00 to 20.00, on Wednesdays from 14.30 to 18.30 and on Wednesdays from 9.30 to 13.30 (by appointment). [arcigay milano]

Coordination Lesbian Roman C.L.R – Women who are part of the group strongly believe that priority factor for building a lesbian movement is the mutual witness practices and comparing the differences in life, paths, so that they become the common wealth of analysis and not a cause for division. [the other side of rome]

Di Gay Project – Di’Gay Project – DGP is unaassociazione promotion of social peace, non-partisan, non-violent and democratic that actively opposes all forms of discrimination against minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI), but also ethnic and religious. [the other side of rome]

ENS Nazionele Deaf and Dumb Institution – Sector Gay and Lesbian – The mission of the ENS is the integration of deaf people into society, the promotion of their growth, autonomy and human fulfillment. [the other side of rome]

Gruppo Pesce Roma – The Gruppo Pesce Roma is a sports association legally established that promotes the practice of competitive swimming and recreational master without distinction of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. The group is open to gay people or not; membership is open to all, men and women, beginners and racers. [the other side of rome]

Mario Mieli Homosexual Cultural Circle – The Mario Mieli Homosexual Cultural Circle is an independent, volunteer-based, founded in 1983 by the merger of two existing organizations Roman Outside “Narcissus and Collective: dealing with the claim and the protection of civil rights of LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) and gender of the person, the fight against all forms of discrimination and promotes cultural activities and socialization. [the other side of rome]

New Rights Office of the CGIL in Rome and Lazio – The New Rights Office of the CGIL Roma and Lazio was created to give support to the battles against prejudices and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and contribute to a more just and proper extension of human rights, respect and dignity in world of work. [the other side of rome]

QueerLab – A laboratory of ideas and projects. They are boys and girls from different backgrounds and of associations and voluntary movements or LGBT. Share the enthusiasm of wanting to bring new blood, “red” of course, and new proposals in the battles for civil rights and social community gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex Italian. [the other side of rome]

Roman Volley – The Roman volleyball is the first association of gay volleyball capital. Was founded in 2004 by a group of friends and found a common passion for the sport and in particular for volleyball, began a few years ago to meet every Sunday afternoon and give birth to exciting games. [the other side of rome]



Places in Italy

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