27 Jul What I’ve Learned In Italy
Besides that Italian men are very handsome….
Spending an entire month in Florence and one week on the Amalfi coast was one of the best gifts I have given myself. There was a lot of self discovery. Some things were expected and others a surprise. Here are my Italy lessons in no particular order:
- Italians love to chat! I thought the stop & chats in Dallas were animated but they are nothing as compared to an Italiano convo. EVERYONE takes the time to chat with each other. And I mean ANIMATED CONVO. When I was out with a local, they chatted it up with the waitstaff, ticket taker, shop keeper, gelato server, anyone they came in contact with. I could only understand a couple of words, but when inquired about the translation, nothing of real consequence was discussed. It was just two people taking the time to acknowledge the other and let them know they matter. I like that custom.
- Patience is a critical skill when dealing with Italians. You can not be in a hurry. If you need someone to answer a question, you DO NOT interrupt the above said conversation. One must wait their turn. ALWAYS. Scouting out stores for the Getaway Girls trip took quite a bit of time as there seemed to always be someone engaged with the store owner in a very animated conversation prior to my arrival. How I wish I had taken more Italian lessons! At least I would have known what they were talking about.
- Italians are very specific. By this I mean that they have a certain way to do things and that is the way you do it and, they will ensure you comply. End of story. Case in point: While at the pool, I observed the outdoor showers were on a sensor. The pool staff wants you to rinse off before you go into the restaurant or pool so that is what you are going to do! You have no choice but to walk thru the sprinklers. Each pathway had these sensor shower heads along the route.
- Ordering in a restaurant is the same thing. The dishes are prepared in a certain way because that is the way they taste best. If you “special order” they get upset. I don’t think because it is more work for them but because it changes the integrity of the dish. So, I just went with the flow and it actually felt good 😉
- No one gets old in Italy! Seniors are extremely vital. I encountered a 91 year old gentleman walking up the steep hills in Siena with two canes. My tour guide asked him if he needed help and he smiled and said “non grazie, the walking keeps me young.” The older ladies at the beach were full of life. It made me smile. The old saying “you’re as young as you feel” is played out daily in Italy. I’ve decided that I am going to be forever 40.
- When I left my house in the early morning to go to the gym, I was wearing my work out clothes, naturally. I felt SO OUT OF PLACE. The Italian women I noticed in the streets were pulled together. Mostly they were in dresses with chic flats or cropped pants and a classic shirt but styled just so. To look like a native, you need to take care in your appearance. Even if you are going to work out. I did not see one local running around in yoga pants.
- Even though I culled my travel wardrobe down to what I thought were essentials, I could have left half of it at home. I actually shipped a box of my clothes back to Dallas. I should have shipped more than I did! What was the lesson here? If you don’t love it THE MOST, it doesn’t go in your suitcase
- Salted caramel is the best gelato flavor. 😉