Here are the top 10 things I love about Italy. It encompasses everything that my 3 month stay was all about. Few places in the world will have this much to offer. Its an overload of the best kind. It also answers the mind boggling question I am sometimes asked: “Why Italy?”
1. Food: It really is all that. A paragraph wasn’t enough to write about it, so here’s more.
2. Culture: Rich and based around life’s simple pleasures: family and food. I found Italians to be welcoming, passionate and well versed about their country. Easily observed, easily admired.
3. Language: The most beautiful if you ask me. It’s expressive and yet still soft on the ear. Using hand gestures is important too! Do yourself a favour and listen to some Italian music today: its good for the soul.
4. Art: Art history is a compulsory subject at schools. It is (rightfully) believed that if one doesn’t understand art, then one doesn’t understand the country. There is art in abundance here and it would be a shame to visit without exploring it, whether you’re into it or not.
5. History: Well preserved ruins and historic sites are dotted all across the country. Its pretty magical and humbling to be in a place that holds such a rich past (I won’t romanticise all of it). So much to see, so much to learn.
6. Lifestyle: While some may say the Italians don’t like to work, I say they know how to create a really good family and work life balance. Then there’s ‘La Bella Figura,’ a way of life which is all about looking and being your best in every situation.
7. Charm: Walk in Italy and see everyone you pass look you in the eyes, as if trying to capture your face in their memory for that fleeting moment. It’s kind of flirtation that lends to the romance and charm of the country and its people. I promise, standing on bridge in another country, for example, just won’t give you that same feeling as when you do when in Italia.
8. Places: So. Many. Options. Seriously, from north to south and east to west. Each little village and city have something special to offer, something you need to experience. Go for the cities, for the little villages, for the mountains, for the coast… it’s all there, waiting for you.
9. Fashion: Home to one of the worlds fashion capitals, this is a no-brainer. The way in which you present yourself to the world and indeed taking pride in how you look is important and I love that. I came to know the look of the classic Italian woman: coat, boots, designer bag, good hair and sunglasses.
1o. Family: Family is everything in Italy. They’re close-knit and take pride in eating together. Upholding these family values in today’s fast-paced life says a lot about the nature of the people, which can be felt when you visit.