An Italian Adventure: Archetypal Italy
Start off by getting familiar with Italy’s habitual everyday life and its rituals if you want to get to know the modern culture of Italy and luxuriate in the pleasures it has to offer. Here is a highlight of a few things that you can engage in quite easily.
The Italians begin and end their day with coffee; in fact, they drink coffee even during the day to keep them going. If you want to live like them, drink coffee like they do – while sitting at a table outside or while at the counter. In Italy, a bar refers to a coffee bar.
The standard Italian caffè is what the Americans refer to as espresso – strong, but very sweet. Cappucino is half milk and half espresso. It is a foamy beverage, which is topped with cocoa powder, or sometimes cinnamon powder.
It is not a common practice to have a cup of cappuccino for dessert. The Italians normally drink caffè macchiato as a dessert after lunch. If you are feeling homesick, you can order caffè Americano which is similar version of cappuccino. Keep in mind that you must pay first, and then take the receipt and place your order.
We all scream for ice-cream!
Locally known as gelato, the Italians are obsessed with ice cream during the summers. Rather than just a dessert, it is considered as a snack. It is easily obtained from shops and stands all around. It can be eaten while taking a nice stroll on the streets of Italy.
In comparison to American ice-cream, gelato is less creamy, softer and has a much more intense flavour. It is made in simple flavours that are meant to capture the true essence of the basic ingredient, for example, pistachio, hazelnut (locally known as nocciola), caffè, and other flavours such as fresh fruits. You will not be able to find the American flavours of cookies ‘n’ cream or chunky monkey while shopping for gelato in Italy. If there is a long queue at the counter, then you know your gelato is going to taste delicious.
Let’s play some ball!
Picture the most maniacal football fans in America, who have their faces painted for the day of the game, and wear pyjamas that are decorated with logos of the football teams. Multiply that enthusiasm by ten and add in some melodrama – that is how the Italians are about calico (the local name for soccer). Throughout the country, football stadiums are jam-packed during September-May.
The Italians who do not go to stadiums to see the match are likely to gather around TV in bars and restaurants, and enthusiastically watch the game. This would give you a feeling like the days when the country was divided into small states that were constantly at war with one another. How the Italian mania for soccer will affect your stay is dependent on your eagerness to get involved. If there is a game, you can expect to notice a quiet afternoon on the streets and a hyper afternoon in the stadiums, and an equally hyper crowd gathered around television in bars and restaurants.
If you want to experience the true Italian enthusiasm for soccer, be a part of the Italians and go to the stadium to watch a game. The zeal of the Italians is truly contagious and they will have you cheering along with them for their favourite team. You can check with your hotel to help arrange tickets for you.
The Italians love to pass their time by taking a nice leisurely walk in the evenings. It is normal for couples, families, and friends to walk along the piazzas and the main streets of the towns.
It is an activity in which people engage while exchanging gossip and news, flirting, eating gelato, and window-shopping. If you want to have the real Italian experience, go out and meander on the streets. Strolling is all about observing the surroundings rather than becoming a part of it.
Reinvigorate your body and spirit by taking your mind off the deadlines from the office or the chores you left at home. Just feel the fresh calm breeze as you take a walk along cobbled stone pavement and you’ll appreciate taking a vacation in Italy more than ever. It would not be surprising if you would want to extend your stay here or even consider relocating for good.