It’s been a while now since I moved to Italy, leaving all (well, most of) my British habits at home. Living here as an ex-pat I learnt to love and hate this country at the same time. Like everywhere else, Italy has its thumbs up and thumbs down.
WHY LOVE ITALY
1) Food – Italy is renowned for its food. Everybody can cook in Italy. My neighbour Giulia with her delicious carbonara spaghetti is a good example of that. The average Italian version of the Mediterranean diet could be renamed as the BPP diet – Bread, Pasta, Pizza. They are literally everywhere, often together in the same dish.
2) Culture – In Italy you can breathe history, it’s everywhere. Whenever you turn your head you can spot a cultural momentum. From Latin to Greek heritage, Medieval arts and Renaissance, there’s more than 3/4 of European history set along this sized piece of land. And it seems still so alive, although it’s also so old.
3) Neighbours – Especially if you don’t live in a metropolis like I do, your neighbours will always provide support. When I lived in London I barely knew my neighbours. Here, in Tursenia, you can’t live without them. You share a lot of things with them, such as the car park or the management of the stray animals in the neigbourhood. Anyway, if you need any help, neighbours are there for you. They always know when you are in trouble.
4) Weather – If you think Italy, you think sun. Or Alps, which mean snow. Whatever. Italy has a full spectrum of weather, with very hot and very cold places – and very average ones as well. Italy is a little continent: do you know that there’s also a desert in Italy? I didn’t, I discovered it once I came here.
WHY HATE ITALY
1) Food – Did I mention the BPP diet? Bread, Pasta and Pizza are definitely foods I love, however in Italy people sometimes abuse them. In fact, at age of 50 most of the Italian men acquire a pregnant-looking belly. No surprises there, considering Italians eat these foods every day. I’m starting to be concerned about growing a belly now.
2) Culture – Or probably it’s better to call it habits, bad ones Italians can’t get rid of. I mean habits like driving with no respect of the rules of the road, or not giving you any receipt when you pay cash. Ah, cash! Italians love it – the less you use the card, the better. Everything stops when there’s football on TV, especially the national team. They are able to pray Mother Mary of _______ (fill the blank) for every single situation. Sometimes I wonder whether have to respect them for all those things or not.
3) Neighbours – You can’t hide yourself from them. The more you hide, the more they find you. They always know everything about you, even when you didn’t tell anything to anyone. I start thinking they’ve placed bugs inside my house. Even if you don’t want their help, they will help you just to have the chance to mind your own business. You can’t fight them, you are defenseless against them. You will never, ever win. Understand it before wasting your time.
4) Weather – “Italy is the land of the sun”. Ok, who told that is a liar. We had one of the most rainy spring of all times last March/June in Tursenia. At some point I thought I needed fins and snorkel to go outside. Or a kayak. It doesn’t rain less than London in Tursenia, even though the temperatures are higher on average. However, when it’s cold in Tursenia, it’s bloody cold, much colder than London. Therefore, if Italy is the land of the sun, when there is the sun and 3 feet of snow (like last winter), the sun is useless.
Do you have your personal good and bad things about Italy? It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been here, just have your say!