Lifestyle

THE 5: VERY ITALIAN THINGS

SEPTEMBER

 

LA CAMICIA

 

An evergreen, una certezza, an indispensable clothing item for us Italians. 

Regardless of our age, or where we are going, for a walk, a coffee, or to the office, looking “decent” for us Italians is a priority. A white button-down is the simplest most common solution. 

Existing as an undergarment since Roman times, a white shirt is always present in our closet, most probably even taking up a whole section of it. 

It used to symbolize wealth, power, class, gender shifts, and fashion norms.

Let’s be honest, time and customs change but classic items never go out of style.

 

IL BIDET

 

One thing which most of you will find absurd simply because you don’t know what you are missing out on. 

An item which we are passionate about almost as much as food and soccer. 

A bathroom item that is always present in our homes and which we miss when abroad: Il Bidet. 

Invented in France by Christophe Des Rosiers in the 1700’s and introduced to Italy by the avant-garde queen of Naples and Sicily, Queen Maria Carolina d’Asburgo-Lorena, the bidet is THE item we have a hard time living without. 

It’s not only hygienic and “earth-friendly” but it gave us one less thing to worry about during COVID times. While toilet paper was impossible to find on the shelves of most stores around the world, we kept calm, clean and worried about more urgent matters such as having enough pasta in our households to feed a soccer team.

 

POP- UP GOVERNMENTS

 

While the world has recently discovered and used pop-ups as a way of selling products in the last few years we have been practicing and perfecting this art for the last decades. 

Instead of doing pop-ups taking the form of stores we’ve been testing such practice directly in our government. With an average turnaround of 13 months with a total of about 69 governments since the end of the second world war.

Why? The reason is still unclear to us too but let’s say faithfulness is not our forte. 

 

CARS

 

Ferrari, Lancia, Lamborghini, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Bugatti…

When we think of cars, the first thought, for most of us, is not a simple mode of transportation just like we don’t think of food as a sole resource for survival. 

Cars for Italians are about passion, enjoyment, culture, and good times. It’s either an old 4×4 Panda, a 500 that your grandpa left behind, or an aficionados Ferrari Dino. Cars are an expression of Italian talent, perfectionism, beauty, and above all quality. 

When you think of iconic sports cars what jumps to mind…Italy

When you think of a road trip on windy streets dotted by cypresses or by rocky cliffs overlooking the sea what jumps to mind…. Italy

When you think of quality or sublime attention to detail what jumps to mind…Italy

Simply said our cars and the journeys you take with them, in Italy of course, are hard to beat.

 

 

TALKING ABOUT FOOD 

(At all times)

 

We were in the midst of lunch while my mother and I were discussing what we were going to eat for dinner 

“Facciamo una bella parmigiana?” (Let’s make a nice Parmigiana?)

“Le vai a prendere tu le melanzane da Farnacesca?” (Can you go get the eggplants from Francesca?) 

“Ma secondo te ci basta solo la parmigiana?” (Do you think it will be enough?)

“Mmm forse no..non ti preoccupare prendo anche il gelato da Badiani quando rientro” (Mmm maybe not, but don’t worry I’ll also grab gelato da Badiani on my way back)

The conversation between my mother and I gets suddenly interrupted by my husband, at the time my new non-Italian boyfriend, who with a startled, confused face, almost in disbelief and with slight fear, asks:

“Do you guys always talk about food? Aren’t you full? It’s breakfast you talk about lunch, it’s lunch you talk about dinner… I seriously don’t understand” 

Yes, guilty. We do that and we do that a lot, but knowing what we will be having for dinner, or where we are going to stop to eat on our way to a destination is an essential element. 

He might not have understood it then but he definitely gets it now, when he’s the first to ask: “Che mangiamo oggi??” Or on our way to Umbria from Rome he very happily declares, just like a kid in a candy store says “Lunch stop at IOTTO!!!”