Five things I’ve learnt about Italy and me

Things Italy has taught me include but aren’t limited to the following:

1. Every day is a good reason to dress well

Because you never know who’s around the corner.

I don't shop here, but I love classic Florentine boutiques like Michele Negri in via Degli Agli

2. Quality not quantity

Better to buy that one really beautiful scarf you’ll never find again (to wear with your favourite five-year-old jeans) than buy another pair of jeans.

3. Sunglasses at night

Italians get that sunglasses are rarely about the sun. No wonder I feel at home.

Italy is never knowing what's around the corner....Via Degli Agli again, looking towards Piazza Duomo

4. Table for one

Finding yourself unaccompanied at meal times is no reason not to eat well. Getting a table for one and feeling good about it is never a problem in Italy.

5. Italian women don’t get fat because…

Well I can’t speak for all Italian women, but for me feeling happy is the best defence against bad eating that exists. And Italy makes me happy.

What lessons has Italy taught you? 


Comments 20

  1. jann April 12, 2012

    Well, let’s see: Italy has taught me that Time is not Money; that Slow Food is where it’s at; that “Biatu cui pri l’arma si prucura”–Blessed is she who cares for her soul.

    Re eating sola in Sicily–I still haven’t managed to feel comfy eating alone! (Working on it, though)

    • janinevasta April 12, 2012

      Good point Jann. Sicily is Sicily first, Italy second after all so I understand completely. Just take a leaf from Salvo’s book I suppose…

      The Sicilian verse is beautiful, grazie! It sent me running and I found a site with all the Sicilian proverbs which I’m sending straight to my father’s inbox… so sweet. I am biased but it is such a beautiful dialect! Un abbraccio, Jx

  2. lily2u1 April 12, 2012

    I could probably write a ten-page paper on what Italy has taught me, but to start: the importance and rewards of being a considerate tourist; the joy of being by myself, especially in a beautiful place; beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and its companion: try not to be enraptured by the cobblestones of a street when a Ducati might fly down it any time …
    Beautiful, thought-provoking post Janine. I’m sure you wear your shades and silk scarves with elegance. ~ Lily

    • janinevasta April 12, 2012

      Grazie di cuore cara! Your words are very funny and sweet and true all at once and I agree wholeheartedly. Although the Ducati tip is a new one but I can think of times when I’ve had a few near misses looking up! Jxx

  3. Cathy Powell April 12, 2012

    Oh, I love that shop window. Gee it is a difficult question to answer – what lessons has Italy taught me. Quite a few. I’m not sure why to begin. I am certainly more tolerant of people now, because I understand what it is like to be the foreigner!

    • janinevasta April 12, 2012

      Thank you Cathy! Just window shopping in Italy is a pleasure in itself… I really like your lesson. It’s so true. Italians are almost always so tolerant and generous. Great teachers too. Jx

  4. Shelagh April 12, 2012

    One thing of particular importance on my ‘learned in Italy’ list is an appreciation for beauty; not just in a superficial sense, but in the idea that the creation and appreciation of beauty is something that elevates us as human beings. There’s so much of it there compared to other places in the world. I don’t think it’s just an accident of geography.

    • janinevasta April 12, 2012

      I love your comment Shelagh. It is so beautiful in itself… I’m thinking just now, the beauty you speak of is why so many of us crave Italy. It gets into your blood, that need to be elevated by such a wonderful, beautiful culture.

      And Italy is the most beautiful country on earth, it has to be said! Jx

  5. Robyn May 18, 2012

    I’d often heard it said that French women were the best dressed in the world, but having people-watched in Rome and Perugia, I think Italian women win hands down!

    • janinevasta May 18, 2012

      It’s a hot debate, that’s for sure. I can see lots of variation in the way women dress from one end of Italy to another. It’s so interesting. I think Italian women do everyday chic beautifully. But then so do the Parisiennes… I love it when I see the more mature women rocking a beautiful age appropriate new look on the streets. The passeggiata in Corso Vannucci is still a good place for people-watching… As you may soon find out anew! Jxx

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