The Only Way to Live, Love and Be Happy
by Claire Dellarciprete
(Tucson, AZ, USA)
It's the old world charm, the people, the culture, the scenery, the slow pace of every day life; the way it should be. To savor every minute of every day with friends, food, flowers and wine. To sit in the Piazzas and bond with the locals. To live, laugh and love, that's what it makes Italy so special to me!
This is what Italy is all about. I will return as often as I can. I love Italy with a passion and wish I was there right now!!!!
Maria's reply: I know exactly what you mean Claire. Italy is more than old buildings and beautiful scenery, it is the Italians themselves that animate it and give it so much soul.
Sometimes people miss this and think that a vacation in Italy should be about seeing as many old castles, churches, monuments and museums as possible. It becomes a mad rush from one tourist attraction to another.
Sadly they've missed the whole point of Italy.
The magnificence of being in Italy is to be caught up in the joy and excitement for life that is the essence of Italy. It should never become a mad rush, lunch should never be a quick meal on the go between sights and you should never find yourself hurrying to get somewhere.
Italy should be enjoyed slowly like a fine wine.
The Slow Food movement, which began in Italy, has it right when it comes to food but their philosophy of taking time out to savour a good meal applies as much to the Italian attitude to life.
It is to be enjoyed and each moment is to be lingered over - sadly much of the western world had forgotten this and now sees each day as something to get done and to put behind you.
Rather than simply check off the boxes of sights scene you've certainly discovered the way to "live" Italy; you've mentioned a few of the things that I really advise people to do - like spending time in a piazza.
You'll see I have it at number eight on my essential Italian bucket list.
I always try to tell people that although you may live your life back home at a hundred miles an hour make sure you slow right down when you get to Italy, that way you'll get the most out of it and truly experience Italy.
By trying to see too much most people end up missing the "real" Italy entirely.
I've attached a photo for you taken by Susan Papazian which captures a little cameo of Italian life - I hope you enjoy it.
One last thing, when you next visit Italy (or anywhere else for that matter) please bookmark my Hotel Booking page. You'll be able to book your accommodation through Booking.com at the best rates available anywhere.