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Italy question; Can Anyone tell Me the Proper Way....

Italy question; Can Anyone tell Me the Proper Way....

Old Aug 8th, 2001, 05:17 PM
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Italy question; Can Anyone tell Me the Proper Way....

This isn't directly travel related but, I need advice on the proper way to address an envelop to a new Italian friend.

I understand that in some situations the last name is written first, and wives use their "maiden" names.

I exchanged address info with a married couple I met in formia.
The husband wrote down his last name first, and then his first name,
then the address.
Would it be incorrect of me to address the envelop to to both their first names followed by his last name?

Did I make any sense above?

I know this may seem a bit "fussy", but I really enjoyed the company of these people, they were very good to my family
and I would like to be correct in my correspondence with them.
thanks for any help .

Old Aug 8th, 2001, 06:23 PM
are you bored
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Ask your husband---he seems to be a very smart guy.
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 04:19 AM
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Now WHO is bringing the subject up!!

Does anyone have a real answer for me?
I would really appreciate it.
thank you.
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 05:34 AM
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Dear Nancy,

In Europe most people would tell you if the wife kept her own name - it is not very common (and if he did not give your her maiden name he cannot expect you to send the letter with it!) Simply address the letter to Mr & Mrs. "His First Name" "Last Name" as you would with a formal letter, then on the inside address them both by first name - "Dear John & Linda"

I am sure they will be happy that you made the effort - that is what is most important. If they write back they will put their name and address on the envelope, so you can double check that way as well. Good luck!
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 06:36 AM
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Actually in Italy, according to my husband, women keep their maiden names. The children that may be born from that marriage take the father's name. And this is the case with everyone we know, including his elderly aunts in Assisi. It is also true that you sign your names, last names first. My husband still makes mistakes when signing documents here in the US.
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 07:09 AM
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Hello Nancy,

As they are new friends, the best way is to put their (his) surname first, then their first names. I tend to use capital letters for the surname. E.g.

MARTINI Anna & Franco

Hope this helps ...

Old Aug 9th, 2001, 08:20 AM
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thanks for the pointers.
I know that they would not be offended if I did address the envelop incorrectly.
afterall, they listened to my italian for over 5 days!

And I know the correct way for U.S, but I did want to try to find the proper Italian way.
Dawn, do have any suggestions on how you would address a married couple?

I will address the envelop the way Steve James has suggested.
It may not be 100% correct, but it will be close !

Thanks everyone.
I love learning new things.
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 08:27 AM
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Not everybody in Europe do it. For instance, in Spain women do not take our husband's name. And everybody have 2 surnames: the father's and the mother's.
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 08:27 AM
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No, but let me call my husband and ask. I'll get back to you in an hour or so.

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