View Full Version : Black Man in Italy?

09-07-2011, 12:24 PM
Okay, I'm gonna hit you guys up, despite all my research to this point and see if anyone has any thoughts or info.

I'm planning a surprise trip to Italy for my wife's birthday, but I am REALLY apprehensive about how I will be received. I know we have guys like idioteque, jb24 and Trophy, who have traveled abroad. Wondered if anyone possibly has any insights. Black women seem to be well received and even perceived as exotic. Black men...eh, there seems to be this thug perception. This'll probably end up being a dead thread, but I had to ask. Anyone think I'll have a time of it there? (I'm sticking to northern Italy)

09-07-2011, 01:01 PM
My personal conjecture is that you won't have too much if any trouble in Northern Italy. Southern Italy may be a different story. Milan (which I assume you will visit if you are sticking with the North) is an incredibly cosmopolitan city with a culture similar to that of New York, London, or Paris.

The one caveat I have is if your wife is white, you may unfortunately attract some undue attention. While I am a white guy married to a black woman and have not run into these kinds of problems in Europe, apparently it is not the same for black men and white women together.

09-07-2011, 01:02 PM
The one caveat I have is if your wife is white, you may unfortunately attract some undue attention.


09-07-2011, 01:06 PM

I am not an expert on Italian culture, but I don't think you would have problems in bigger metropolitan areas like Milan or Turin. I would be more cautious in a small towns (even in my marriage situation) but it would not dissuade me from going there. I have not spent much time in Italy but Northern Italy is sort of a country of its own with a culture similar to that of Switzerland (read: enlightened); it is not really like the South at all.

09-07-2011, 09:02 PM

Ideoteque is right. Don't let it stop you going wherever you want to go. I've been the first white person, the first American, the first Christian to enter remote West African and Central Asian mountain villages. I was spat at literally hundreds of times. It didn't stop me from enjoying myself.

Have a nice time.


I ought to have said the first time that you'll always find some cool people wherever you go. They'll make it worthwhile. My wife and I certainly received our share of extraordinary kindness from strangers.

Plus, some people may just be curious about how mixed race couples relate. When they see you and your wife acting happy and normal, they'll conclude that its a good thing!

09-07-2011, 10:18 PM
I lived in Italy for three years, around the military communities. I think you'll be fine, unless you go looking for trouble.

09-08-2011, 09:22 AM
But Putnam, we spit on you over here, too, don't we? BTW, thanks for the clip. I just added it to my youtube queue! Thanks for the posts, all.

Slick Pinkham
09-09-2011, 03:21 PM
Of the big cities in Italy I have been to (Rome, Florence, Venice) I wouldn't expect any problems. Don't know about the smaller towns.

Everyone treats everyone else like crap in Naples, though. My first experience with Naples was with a pickpocket. I had been warned, but still he got me. In my best Obi Wan voice, "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"