Besides the usual – food, wine and handsome faces – here’s a list (in no particular order) of other things I like about Italy:
1) Italians tend to buy small amounts of food every day or every few days, ensuring that ingredients are always fresh and never wasted.
2) Meal preparation is part of daily life. It doesn’t seem to cause the mass panic that it does in Canada. Even when you don’t have a lot of time, you just do it.
3) No matter how small the town, local mercati (or markets) offer high-quality Made-in-Italy clothes and shoes at great prices. #askmeaboutmynewsweaters
4) People of all ages still go out dancing.
5) Movie credits tell you who provided coffee during filming.
6) When you order an espresso, you just ask for a “caffé normale“. If you ask for an espresso, the facial reaction you get is “umm, yeah, obviously and…”
7) Advertising does not harp on how busy you are or how hectic your life is. In most cases, advertising doesn’t sell quick fixes or shortcuts to ease your stressful routine. Rather, most advertising seems to sell pleasure and things that will make you feel good or have a better life.
8) On TV, you rarely hear “have sex”. The phrase “fare l’amore” (make love) is more common. How romantic!
9) Despite the fact that most game shows feature a sexy woman executing a quasi-meaningless task, Italian TV does not have the level of nudity, explicit sex and crazy violence that I see on North American TV. What does it say about our sexual hang-ups that our channels are increasingly filled with naked bodies and frenetic sex scenes?
10) Excellent dubbing of programs and movies originally filmed in other languages.
11) There are no take-out containers or cups spotted on the streets – and thus, not surprisingly, less litter on the street.
12) People aren’t precious in restaurants. There’s no sending things back to the kitchen or complaining about the food quality. Yes, the food quality is better here (plenty of farm-to-table, locally grown and organic food), but people also complain less to wait staff.
13) It’s 19 degrees out, the Italians are freezing in their puffy jackets and I’m feeling juuuust fiiiine in my Canadian skin.
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To read all the blog posts from my Fall 2015 sabbatical, follow the 63days category.