Italy is one of the most famous if not THE most famous travel destination in Europe. I mean, how can you disagree? They have the Colosseum, Vatican City, Pompeii, pasta, gelato, just to name a few! Little did I know that Italy is hiding a dark secret. And that is, many Italian people are racist towards Asian males.

Taking the train from Zurich to Milan

I encountered my first experience in Italy the moment our train crossed the border between Switzerland and Italy. As soon as we crossed the border, I noticed how the scenery sudden changed from clean Switzerland to run-down Italy.

It’s fine with me, I’ve travelled to many places around the world and run down places aren’t really that bad. However, as soon as we crossed the border, our train broke down forcing all the passengers to switch to an Italian train.

As soon as I got on the Italian train, I took a seat somewhere and glanced to the person in front of me. It was an Italian woman glaring at me. Suddenly, out of nowhere for no reason whatsoever, she starts shouting “NI HA NI HA NI HA” to me in a very condescending and mocking way. I was thinking…I mean if she’s going to be racist, she should at least do it right. It’s “Ni Hao” not “NI HA”. Stupid racist idiot.

I suppose my journey into Italy didn’t start as nice as I would have liked.

 

Italian

 

Racist Italian boy in Vatican City

While touring the Vatican Museum on my way to the Sistine Chapel, an Italian boy who looks to be between 10-12 years old starts mocking every Asian that he saw. He would purposely do a prayer bow to them and then go back to his friends and start laughing at the Asians.

I went up to him to tell him off and he goes back to his family and friends and hides behind them. When he saw I walked away, he went back to mocking Asians again.

I mean, you could argue he’s just a stupid kid, but he must have learned to mock Asians from someone…probably his family who ranted about how annoying all these Asian tourist are.

The most racist Italian of them all

The absolute worst racism I experienced was when I was taking the metro back to my accommodation after seeing the Roman Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, and Vatican City. As soon as I got on the train, an Italian man glares at me again and gives me a death stare. I didn’t do anything besides get on the metro so I don’t know why he was so aggressive towards me.

As soon as the metro stopped, he gets up, looks at me and STOMPS on my feet on purpose. He then gets out of the train and gives me a mocking stare and starts pointing at his private part to indicate I should “suck it”. I give him the middle finger and he continues to mock me outside the train. I love how big of a coward this Italian man was. He only attacks me when he knows he can get away safely. Pathetic idiot.

I really hate Italy at this point.

Why this might be happening

One reason why I think this might be happening is because of the surge of tourist from China. Lets be honest here, after seeing tour buses after tour buses full of people from China acting very obnoxious, there’s a lot of reason to dislike Asians.

However, when your country relies on tourism to make a living, I really don’t think this is a wise move.

Other instances of racism I’ve heard

My sister told me it’s not just Chinese people that are experiencing racism in Italy. She’s also reported that her Indian friend went to Italy and got spit on the face. I suppose I got out nicely if all I experienced was derogatory shouting, insults, and a foot stomp.

A wise word from two friendly Italian people

One Italian man I met in Bulgaria told me he left the country because it is going to hell. He said just outside his house, people were killing each other over a slice of pizza. Apparently, Italy heavily relies on tourism these days and unless you work for Fiat, there are no job opportunity outside tourism.

As a result many intelligent Italians are leaving the country in search of opportunity in other European countries.

One friendly Italian man I met in a hostel in Berlin told me the wisest of words. He told me: “Come to my country and take many pictures because it is beautiful. Then get out as fast as you can because people are not friendly”.

I couldn’t agree more.

Out of all the countries in Europe that I have visited, I put Italy as the worst one on the list. Many people love travelling to Italy but not me. I couldn’t wait to get out.

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25 thoughts on “Many Italian People in Italy Are Racist Towards Asian Males

  1. Wow, this is awful! I still intend on visiting Italy one day, although after reading this I will definitely be more cautious of the people and my surroundings. Unfortunately, racism does still prominently exist despite those that disclaim.

    1. Yes, unfortunately, you have to be cautious. They’re also really racist towards black people because of the massive amounts of immigration coming from Africa.

  2. This is sad Kendrick. Saw your post in travel bloggers page in Fb. I am leaving for the UK maybe next month – and will stay for about 3 years. Hope it will give me a positive experience though. Thanks for sharing this. Planning to tour around Europe next year

    1. Hey Shenna, I think you’ll be fine. UK people are quite friendly and the Italians didn’t seem racist towards Asian women. 🙂

  3. Very sad you’ve had to encounter this kind of racism on your travels. To be honest though, I’m not completely surprised about. As a white female I don’t experience any of this anywhere in Europe, but I know that people from other parts of the world are sometimes made to feel unwelcome. I think it’s a combination of ‘Old World’ arrogance and annoyance of tourists. Sadly lots of Europeans are very racist, not just in Italy. It often gets worse outside of the larger cities, that’s my experience. I hope it won’t put you off completely because there are also lots of friendly and tolerant people!

    1. Hi Rianne, yeah I also found Swiss males to be very racist. However, I also met tons of friendly Europeans, especially those who lives in Eastern Europe. But yeah, when I was in Vietnam, the white tourist were treated poorly by the locals when I took the bus between Da Nang and Hoi An. They were expected to pay much higher than Vietnamese people and Asian tourist. They seemed to have a three tiered pricing system: normal price for locals, slight scam for Asian tourist, and big scam for white tourist. It’s terrible.

  4. This is terrible. Sorry to hear you encountered too many of these bozos in Italy which is one of my favorite destinations ever. I have encountered the occasional Euro smarty pants saying,”Ni Hao” — but wrong of course. This has happened in all sorts of places in Europe. Some are idiots but then there are absolutely lovely people too. It all seems to balance out for me everywhere.

    1. Yeah, I met tons of friendly people in Europe, of course. So you are right, they are not all bad. But the bad ones really make the rest of their country look bad. I just saw your blog and I think Greek people are some of the friendliest in Europe.

  5. Sorry to hear. My girlfriend loves Italy, she has been there 3 times now in 2 years, she is Chinese and she never experienced any of those issues. She never went to Rome so maybe that may change it.

    1. Hi Sven, Thanks. However, Asian women doesn’t have trouble in Italy. That’s why I titled it Many Italian People in Italy are Racist Towards Asian Males. My youngest sister also liked Italy and only encountered problems once.

  6. I’m glad that I did not experience this. But I tell you, when i went to Rome / Vatican, there’s a lot of Hot Guys hitting up on me. I’m an asian filipino discreet gay. Well i feel sorry for you, and I hope they would change their attitude toward tourists.

  7. I have to strongly agree with the author, me and my wife just got down from Switzerland to Italy and the reaction towards especially me a Chinese male is very insulting. The change from Switzerland is too drastic. The only time it’s better was when my wife was with me. Along the way I met a Singaporean couple who informed me the same reaction and experience they were given. Seriously I am so glad to be leaving Italy today, hell yea!! I am never setting foot on Italy ever again. Beautiful place but horrible people.

    1. Hello Jun, thanks for sharing your story. It’s very disturbing how racist many of the Italians and Swiss people are. If the people weren’t so horrible, both places would be perfect as Italy and Switzerland as a country is very beautiful.

      1. I only found the Italians to be racist, swizz people are polite, humble, welcoming and extremely nice 🙂 I felt very welcome while I was in Switzerland, I would definitely recommend anyone going to there to go longer 🙂

        1. Great to hear that! I had a mixed experienced in Switzerland. From what I saw, it’s older Swiss males that seemed racist. Otherwise, women and the younger generation were generally friendly. 🙂

  8. Yes, I am in Italy now to study. Within 2 weeks of arriving I was stopped on the street by police and patted down for weapons and/or drugs – and all I was doing is walking. I noticed many here seem xenophobic and are afraid of my dark skin which makes me afraid that someone will hurt me out of fear. Actually my whole encounter with Italy from acquiring a visa to traveling was tinged with racism.

    As for the food, it is quite “Emperor’s New Clothes”-ish; that is, nobody is willing to say that the food is just awful because they will be going against supposedly common knowledge.

    1. Your story is familiar and I heard that they are very racist towards black or dark skinned people. It’s very unfortunately because the country is beautiful and the racist Italians are making the good Italians look bad.

  9. I’m an Asian-American female and I’ve also traveled pretty extensively around Europe and I have to say Italy was the hardest country for me to travel in. The first time I went, I had some similar experiences as you. I had an Italian boy make fun of the way I walk and then mutter something to his friend about “giapponese.” I was “nihaoed” and “konnichiwaed” constantly and sometimes people will stare, laugh, and talk about you as if you aren’t even there. The first time I went, it really bothered me. I even avoided certain restaurants and bars because I was tired of it all. The second time with my mother, it was a bit better but we had a bad experience in front of a church where these group of teens started making pig noises at us (and they were the kids who sold us gelato five minutes before that)! I’ve been told two explanations about this. A friend of mine told me that Italians are actually really racist even with each other and dislike people from different regions within Italy intensely. b) the recent boom of tourism from China means that a lot of Western European countries have their stereotypes/negative feelings and given that we stand out a lot more there, it means that if they meet one group or person from China that behaves badly, it sticks in their brain a lot more. It’s unfortunate, but true. The only thing you have to remember is that it is not you! As long as you are being respectful and true to yourself, you have to try not to let it get to you.

  10. Random addition, I also think it’s ironic that people think Eastern Europeans are racist (at least that is the stereotype) but I had less issues there than in Western Europe! Although it could be that they see less tourism from Asia so they don’t have all the stereotypes completely built up in their head yet. 😛

    1. Hi Alexandria, thank you for sharing your stories. Both my sisters and my mother was also harassed when they went to Italy.

      I had the same experience with Eastern Europe as you. They are definitely not racist and even love Asian tourists. I had such fond memories of people from Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Belarus, and Croatia.

  11. Bro, is this legit? I just moved to Milan and I don’t understand any italian, so I don’t if there’s any racism. What would you say dating goes? Do italian women like Asian men? Is it a taboo? Also you mention eastern european? Do you have experience with Ukrainian, Serbian and Bugarian women? There are a ton in my school.

    1. Well, this is my experience. Everyone’s travel experience is different. I think dating wise, you’ll be okay as long as you’re normal and they find you attractive. I don’t race is an issue at all in that area.