Italians have style and this is evident in the way they dress for work.

Styles of dress will vary from industry to industry with the more conservative professions of finance and the law favouring suits and ties and industry being somewhat less formal. Regardless of function, however, managers will invariably be very well-groomed wearing good quality, well-cut clothes.

The importance of appearance in Italy should not be taken lightly – if you want to be respected look the part! Looking good is as important for men as for women and women visiting Italy might be surprised to hear compliments made to them on their appearance. (Such comments are not considered politically incorrect in Italy.)

As it can get very hot in the summer, do not arrive with heavy northern European clothing in June – lightweight fabrics will make your visit much more comfortable.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Italy

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Italy. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Italy and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips