Before coming on CR, I was aware that there are many differences between Americans and Europeans. As stated in a previous blog, I had some exposure to college-aged Italians, in particular, as one of my best friends from home is from Italy and his Italian cousin came to visit a few times. I was curious to see if my interactions with Italians would align with the interactions I had in the past. I wondered if the people we talked to live a similar life to that which I had previously observed. A lifestyle that seemed to be centered around community, leisure, and food.
After reflecting on my time in Italy, particularly Rome and Florence, it’s clear to me that the people do indeed have a much different lifestyle that we do here in the US. This lifestyle can be shown through Italian restaurants. Unlike meals here in the states, meals in Italy can go on for hours. We ran into this problem a few times when we were in a hurry to eat and move on with our days. The restaurant owners were shocked when we didn’t want to stay longer than an hour. This attribute to Italian dining represents Italy’s strong emphasis on food as a means of community. Another way Italians differ from Americans is in their pace around the city. If you walk around any major US city, you’ll find people moving at rapid rates, trying to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. In Italy, the people seem to move at a much slower pace and enjoy the task of walking. This represents the Italian way of taking life as it comes and smelling the roses, so to speak. Another attribute that makes Italy unique is shown through its strong hospitality. This was mostly shown from our wonderful hotel owners in Florence, Robert, and Miriam. Robert and Miriam went out of their way to make us feel at home in their hotel, and their customer service was incredible. This hospitality represents the way Italians go out of their way to make others love their country and welcome them into their community.
While I’m happy to be back to the US, I’ll always appreciate the way Italians value food, their unique appreciation of leisure, and the people’s welcoming hospitality. As I strive to become a global citizen, I hope to retain these qualities and apply them to my own life.