When I first wrote about the “ciao” several years ago, my idea was to let visitors to Italy know that using this form of greeting – good for both a hello and a goodbye – also implied more about social status and social relations than probably was ever imagined in the US or other English-speaking countries where a lot of people use it to bid adieu.
My goal at the time was to make sure foreigners to Italy knew when its use was appropriate and when it was not. In recent years, things have changed somewhat, especially in Rome where “keshual” (as most Italians tend to pronounce the word “casual”) is the name of the day. And the same goes for areas of the city such as Trastevere (where I live), Testaccio, Garbatella and Pigneto, or neighborhoods in other cities where a lot of young people live or congregate.(more…)