June 13, 2012



I love being in Italy and exploring its cities and towns. Living in one place for more than a few days really gives you a chance to get a good feel for what really goes on there. There are so many things that make me want to pack up and move and then there are other things that just make me shake my head. So, in no particular order here are some of my observations on life in Italy.

1. I will start with the above photo-especially in a city I cannot believe how people park their cars. I’ve seen cars that have not an inch of space behind or in front of them. How do they get out? I’m just glad it’s not me!

2. There are any number of men who can tie a scarf better than I can. I’m serious. I’ve seen them and wonder what they’ve done. Maybe I need a lesson…

3. At 7 o’clock in the morning there are not a whole lot of people in the neighborhood caffe, whereas at 10:30 it’s packed and you have to elbow your way up to the front up to place your counter. I’ve gotten pretty good at this practice.

4. At any time of day you will see mothers, fathers and grandparents pushing strollers around town, enjoying the day. At home I only see parents with strollers running along the coast, getting in their daily exercise.

5. In every town you can see a group of older gentleman gathered together discussing who knows what!

6. Women (friends, not lovers) walk arm in arm together chatting and laughing.

7. People of all ages are thoroughly enjoying gelato as they walk around.

8. Towns are full of life. Residents are out and about strolling, meeting for coffee in the morning, drinks at night.

9. Older people are respected, not shut away and ignored.

10. Traditions are still important.

11. There’s something beautiful around every corner.

Autumn in Tuscany-Cook With Panini Girl In Lucca

16 thoughts on “Observations

  1. The complete opposite of what you would see here in the US on the East Coast!!! People are always running to get somewhere and they never take a moment to just breathe and enjoy life…Love this post!

  2. My 4-year old daughter and I just came back from a stoll along Arezzo’s Corso Italia (you know it well). We watched the people enjoying their gelati (and Lulu had one too), marveled at the mom’s pushing passegini (strollers) along the cobbled street in 5 inch heels without a single wobble, and chatted with a neighbor we ran into – 60 something Antonia – who just came out of the hair salon with a sassy short hair-do – because she swims every day!

    Such a bello giorno!

    Then we came home and the first thing I saw was your post! I couldn’t agree more – and thanks for sharing!
    A la prossima!

  3. Love so many of these, and today #9 strikes a chord. We can learn a lot from other cultures.

  4. I so agree with you. Here in the US we have a lot to learn, we need to stop and smell the roses and those around use.

  5. Love your observations. I noticed these very same things. I definitely loved how so many people packed flowers into every spot they could be packed. It makes such a wonderful difference.

  6. And don’t forget that young families are moving back to small towns. In the 15 years we have been visiting Italy, we have seen the transformation from small towns as repositories for older people only to young families starting small – often organic – farms, opening agriturismi, and small shops. Except for the now lack of trains to small towns, it is wonderful to see. Piazze in the afternoon have people of all ages strolling around and visiting.

  7. love your observations and pictures. I’ve been to Italy and I’ve seen just what you’re saying!

  8. You’re so right on the car / parking. We’ve watched a Jeep elbow its way into a parking spot that only a Smart car should attempt! 🙂

    Our favorite difference is the way Italian Dads spend so much time with their young children – by themselves! So, some Mom did not appear to have threatened them bodily harm if they “just took the kids for a while”! They actually seem to ENJOY the time with them.

    We need more leisure / pleasure time in the US, for sure.

    • Susan-I totally agree with you about the Italian dads. One day in Lucca we were at lunch and a young dad was in there on his own with his beautiful little baby girl and it was so touching.

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