Is there any difference between the following expressions?

  • fare visita ai miei (genitori)
  • andare a trovare i miei (genitori)
  • andare a vedere i miei (genitori)

The two expressions fare visita and andare a trovare are more or less synonimous, and they mean to call on or to pay a visit. I personally find the first more informal, but not by much.

On the other hand andare a vedere is different: it means to go and look at something. You can use to mean that you are paying a visit to someone, but in that case is weird and it has the implication that you are visiting them not because you enjoy staying with them, but because you want to check on them. Moreover it can be used also for things for which the other two expressions would be inappropriate (e.g. "andare a vedere uno spettacolo": to go to a show).

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