To localize in Italy
What we know from our community
Italian may not be spoken by the largest numbers of people, but its impact and influence over global culture are undeniable: as everything in Italy, it’s more a matter of quality than quantity. For any company, a presence in the Italian market is about making a statement.
Italian makes a distinction between “tu”, the colloquial form, and “lei”, the formal way to address someone. The “lei” is used as a form of respect – for teachers, in-laws or any older people outside of the family – but it’s also much colder than “tu”, so it’s ruled out in advertising, for example. A variety of dialects are proudly spoken by the natives of each region, although mostly with family and friends. Regional accents are very recognizable and each comes with their own stereotype attached, that’s why brands have more than once tapped into those to convey a sense of authenticity or, sometimes, a comedic effect.
Then, first of all, take a look at what the 100 top websites do
Of the top 100 website (Global by design ranking):
- 94/100 do translate into Italian
- 6/100 do not translate into Italian
Of the 100 top website: 1 does not localize in Italy, 3 translate the website just in Spanish and English
Now, if you need others information about that country to make your decision, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data
T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.
Most studied languages
French (72.3%), Spanish (18.8%) and German (8.7%)
Moderate proficiency (EF) – 35 of 112 countries/regions in the world- 26/35 position in Europe.
Population: 59.07 m
Population density: 198/km2
GDP: 2.1 trillion USD (2021)
GDP per capita: 35,551.3 USD (2021)
Exports: $481 billion (2020)
Internet users: 84.3% penetration, 50.85 million
Unemployment rate: 7.8% (2020)
Urbanisation: 70.74% (2020)
Literacy: 99.15 % (2020)
Arabic numerals with comma as decimal separator, space or dot as thousands separator.
Date format: dd – mm – yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0039
Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal
Facts and data
$429 billion (2020). Crude Petroleum ($25.5B), Motor cars and other motor vehicles ($22.5B), Medicaments ($18.7B), Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons ($10.6B), and Gold ($9.17B), importing mostly from Germany ($67.3B), France ($36B), China ($35.9B), Netherlands ($23.3B), and Spain ($22.8B).
Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of age)
• 94% have an account with a financial institution
• 42% have a credit card
• 65% make online purchases
Ease of doing business
It is easy to conduct business (rated 72.9 out of 100) ranked 31st out of 34 OECD and high income countries ranked 58th out of 190 countries worldwide (2022, World Bank)
Global Innovation Index
Ranked 18th out of 39 European countries, 29th out of 132 worldwide.
The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.
$481 billion (2020). Medicaments ($26.7B), Motor cars and other motor vehicles ($14.8B), Parts and accessories of motor vehicles ($12.5B), Petroleum oils and oils from bituminous minerals, not crude; ($8.26B), and Human blood; animal blood for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; ($7.75B), exporting mostly to Germany ($62.1B), France ($49.5B), United States ($47.9B), Switzerland ($25.1B), and United Kingdom ($25B).
Main local online stores
Amazon.it, Apple.com, Zalando.it, Privalia.com, Esselungacasa.it, Shein.com, Unieuro.it, Eprice.it, Yoox.com, Amazon.com
‘Moderately free’ (rated 65.4 out of 100) ranked 33rd amongst 45 countries in Europe ranked 57th worldwide out of 186 countries (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)
Service Imports (2017)
Service Exports (2017)
Most complex products by PCI
Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters
Most specialised products by RCA Index
Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Italy observed and expected exports in each product
Export Opportunities by Relatedness
Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Italy is not specialized in
Most popular online stores in Italy in 2018, by e-commerce net sales
Which of the following methods do you prefer to use when you pay for a product you have bought online?
Reach most of the online purchasing power
T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.Try it now
Italy’s heady blend of politics and media has sometimes led to concerns about the concentration of media ownership in the hands of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Mr Berlusconi’s Mediaset owns Italy’s top private TV stations and the public broadcaster, RAI, has traditionally been subject to political influence. Thus, when Mr Berlusconi was prime minister, he was able to exert tight control over both public and private broadcasting. Between them, RAI and Mediaset dominate the TV market and are a potentially powerful political tool, especially as 80% of the population is said to rely on TV for daily news. Sky Italia has a near monopoly of the pay-TV sector. The Italian press is highly regionalised, reflecting Italy’s strongly regional history and character. Milan in particular is home to many newspapers and magazines. Most newspapers are privately-owned, often linked to a political party or run by a large media group. Newspaper readership figures are low compared to other European countries. Around 2,500 commercial radio stations stations broadcast in Italy. Some have national coverage and most are music-oriented. They share the airwaves with the networks of public broadcaster RAI. The media environment is generally free and press freedom is protected by the constitution. But Reporters Without Borders has cited threats against reporters, especially in parts of the south where mafia gangs are strong and self-censorship is widespread under political pressure.
Corriere della Sera – Milan-based, major daily
La Repubblica – Rome-based daily, owned by L’Espresso group
Il Messaggero – Rome-based daily
La Stampa – Turin-based daily, owned by Fiat group
Il Sole 24 Ore – Milan-based financial daily
RAI – public, stations include RAI Uno, RAI Due, RAI Tre, rolling news channel RAI News 24 and cable/satellite services
Mediaset – main private broadcaster, operates Italia 1, Rete 4 and Canale 5
La7 – private, owned by Telecom Italia Media
RAI – public, stations include flagship national network Radio 1, entertainment-based Radio 2, cultural station Radio 3 and parliamentary station GR Parlamento
RTL 102.5 – commercial, pop music
Radio 24 – commercial, news and business
R101 – commercial, pop music
Radio Italia – commercial, Italian pop music
Media data source: BBC
84.3% penetration, 50.85 million
Share of web traffic by device
47.37% mobile phones, 50.49% computers (laptops and desktops), 2.11% tablet devices, others 0.04%
Average speed of mobile Internet connection
Average speed of fixed Internet connection
Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 129.7%
Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 87.2%
Most popular web search engines
Google (94.5%), Bing (3.49%),Yahoo (1.15%), Duckduckgo (0.39%), Ecosia (0.22%), Yandex (0.11%)
Most used social media
Facebook (58.95%), Instagram (14.01%), Pinterest (13.15%), Twitter (10.45%), YouTube (2.4%), Tumblr (0.66%)
83.57 yrs (2020)
Men and women are equal before the law. Women may aspire to hold the same job positions as men.
Glass Ceiling Index
64 out 100, ranked 13th out of 29 countries.
The glass-ceiling index measures the environment for working women combining data on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications, and representation in senior jobs.
Although Catholicism is the most adhered to religion in Italy (about 85% of Italians claim to belong to the Roman Catholic Church), religious freedom is protected under law by the constitution of 1947 (note that the constitution took effect on January 1, 1948). Almost one out of two Italians goes to church every week.
Graduates (tertiary education):
In Italy, tertiary educational attainment is increasing for younger generations, even though it remains relatively low. The share of tertiary-educated 25-64 year-olds was 19% in 2018, compared to 28% among 25-34 year-olds. In Italy, 19% of 25-64 year-olds have a tertiary education (OECD average: 37%) and tertiary attainment rates are increasing for younger generations. The share of young adults (25-34 year-olds) who have attained a tertiary qualification is higher and reached 28% in 2018 (34% for young women), although the employment rate for tertiary-educated 25-34 year-olds is 67%, compared to 81% among 25-64 year-olds
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Dialects and minorities languages in Italy
Sudtirolese and Lombardo
Lombardo and Veneto
Sudtirolese and Veneto
Dialetti Italiani Mediani
Dialetti italiani Meridionali
Gallo-Italico di Basilicata
Ligure and Piemontese
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Photo credit: Luca Bravo, Unsplash