Heated debates and arguments often erupt in meetings. This is simply a function of the free-flow of ideas. Bartering over price and delivery date is common.
Decisions are often based more on how you are viewed by the other party than on concrete business objectives.
Dressing well is a priority in Italy. Men should wear dark colored conservative suits. Women should either business suits or conservaive dresses.
Many companies are closed in August, and if they are open many Italians take vacations at this time, so it is best not to try to schedule meetings then.
Business cards are exchanged after the formal introduction. To demonstrate proper respect for the other person, look closely at their business card before putting it in your card holder. It is a good idea to have one side of your business card translated into Italian
If you have a graduate degree, include it on your business card. Make sure your title is on your card. Italians like knowing how you fit within your organization.