Saturday, November 19, 2011

Basic Factors That Keep Italy Sweet!

Although life in Italy may be difficult these days because of the economic situation, there are still some very basic factors that keep this sunny country sweet.

In Italy.....

1. You can still get the best espresso coffee and croissant for total Euro 1.80 or $ 2.45. No Starbucks or Peets or Coffee Bean can compare to those offered by my neighborhood caffè bar and at that price!!

2. In my small town, parking is never a problem.

3. Total strangers still greet you.

4. You don't honk at anyone. It could be your neighbor and anyhow, chances are you know the person.

5. Italian food in Italy is still and always will be the best.

6. Italian wine!

7. What is left of Made in Italy by Italian craftsmen  is  top in quality and design.

8. Italian language is sweet.

9. Italians know how to argue especially through body language.

10. Italian landscape is unbelievably beautiful.

11. Italian weather is lovely.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How Italians Feel About the Economic & Political Crises 2011

I am often amazed on how resilient Italians are. While I am glued to the Internet, TV and to every new story on the current economic and political crises in Italy, the average Italian person relates to everything as business as usual. I have asked many people how they feel about what is going on, and their answer is always the same. They say that they are accustomed to changing leadership, to economic problems, to a high unemployment rate, to a system that is broken. They are also very skeptical about changes. In their hearts, of course, they would like things to be better but they are very wary of how changes are going to be implemented. Change has to begin from the very core.

When word was out last week of the stepping down of Berlusconi, I imagined that people would be on corners talking, listening to the radio, glued to their television screens. Instead what I found was quite the opposite. It was business as usual. People were at the bars talking but not about the crises. Italians were dropping off children at schools, picking olives for the olive harvest, delivering  products, manufacturing, shopping, dining out, etc etc. A huge historical event I thought. Wrong.

Italians are accustomed to leaders that come and go. One Italian told me, "Really how is this going to affect my life and the life of my family tomorrow? I will still be in the same weak financial situation tomorrow as I am today."