If you’ve ever spent time in Italy and wondered why life seems perfect there, you’re not alone. As evident in movies such as “Under the Tuscan Sun”, of course, there’s a lot of eating, drinking wine and flirting, but it’s more than just that. It’s a culture that celebrates life like no other. Here some ways you can enjoy life like an Italian:
1. Fresh, healthy food
To the Italians, food is life and as such, they honor it using the freshest ingredients. All the senses are evoked during purchasing, growing, preparing or eating food. Every meal is to be enjoyed to the fullest. There’s an old Italian proverb: A tavola non s'invecchi mai. It means you never grow old at the table.
2. Passion for life
Whether it’s cooking, painting or working, the Italian approach is to be present and attentive throughout the entire process. Here again, using all of the senses in order to squeeze out every bit of pleasure. And nothing is ever rushed. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
3. Life-long curiosity
Italians’ innate curiosity keeps life fresh. They continue to seek answers and learn new things. This trait is evident in all the discoveries and inventions from Italians such as Marconi, Da Vinci and Zamboni to name a few.
4. Family ties and traditions
The social connection of family, friends and traditions gives meaning to life in a celebratory way. It gives Italians a reason to stop work and pay attention to people, play and fun. Sharing their life with others equates to love.
5. Resilience and strength
Italy’s history of natural disasters, war, invasion, political corruption and Vatican influence serve as a poignant reminder to live life to the fullest and to move on after setbacks. It’s all considered part of the cycle of life.
Italians place more value on the simple things in life (family, community, enjoying a Tuscan sunset) rather than the material things most westerners covet. There are plenty of happy farmers in Italy who want no more than to share a meal with others in their community.
You can re-create a bit of the Italian lifestyle right here in the U.S.. Make a conscious effort to slow down whether that’s eating or driving. Savor every moment in life and notice it with all your senses. Spend less time wanting and more time giving. Reach out to your community and get to know people. Cook at least one healthy meal from scratch every week for your family and/or friends. And don’t forget to take the time to enjoy it all with a nice bottle of Chianti!
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