Hi , I have a deep and profound love for Italy. I am also passionate about reading and learning, literature and especially poetry. I teach Zen Tango; we teach tango through zen principles including breathing and meditation. I am also a documentary film maker on the marvel and magic of Italy.
Here are 27 reasons why I love Italy !
1. It is the wellspring of western culture
2. It has an exciting and spectacular history
3. It creates art and beauty everywhere; even in the remotest village on a mountain top one is left in AWE !
4. It has the best cuisine (I do not believe anyone has ever catalogued every dish - each city and town and even village tend to have their own unique cuisine
5. It has the best wine (again, there are so many types and brands of wine that I am not sure anyone has ever catalogued them)
6. It has the best coffee (coffee is a religion in Italy)
7. Its women are elegant and feminine like nowhere else in the world (Italian women are difficult to conquer which makes them even more precious)
8. It has produced an incredible percentage of the world’s classical music (in the classical music station to which I listen, they list the pieces which have played before and will play afterwards. Frequently , half of the composers are Italian.
9. It created opera and has created the world’s most beloved operas
10. It is genuine (there’s a sense that it is REAL and human)
11. It is a bottom-up organized society
12. One experiences an odd sense of FREEDOM living in Italy (bottom-up organization)
13. Its language is beautiful and elegant
14. Its people readily express their emotions (perhaps that’s why there is such little violence in Italy)
15. Italians are very accepting of other people (in its long history, it has been invaded and colonized by many cultures)
16. Its incredible array of colorful, marvelous hand gestures used to reinforce communication (indeed some of them are really funny)
17. People love to communicate with each other; indeed it tends to have precedence over everything else - e.g.; an invitation to have a coffee is a sacrament of friendship and cannot be refused
18. In Italy people's’ identity is not tied to their job (how many times have I been in a milonga and I ask my dance partner what she does and she answers, "Oh I am employed", meaning she works for someone, and if you dig a little deeper it turns out she is an assistant minister of foreign affairs or some such important post)
19: It is not at all difficult to find people, young people, who are devoting their life to poetry.
20. Doctors, even renown surgery specialists are very normal people and very accessible people (see no. 18)
21. Medical care is a human right. Universal quality medical care for everyone
22. Italy has Naples and the Neapolitan people are incredibly friendly, open, gregarious, generous even in dire moments. I remember several years ago I was traveling from Florence to Rome on train. It was a hot summer day, the train was packed, there was no air conditioning and everyone was miserable, pissed off in a bad mood. There was only one group of people, standing in the end space of the car (there were no seats left) who were happy, laughing and having fun and sure enough they were from Naples. People from Naples are famous for their attitude for living. Perhaps this comes from the fact that Naples is built around and in many volcanoes several of which are still smoking and could blow up up at any minute.. One example is the neighborhood of Campi Flegrei where my dear friend Osvaldo lives and whom I visit often and have personally seen the plumes in the near distant as we drive on the highway.
23. The Italian passion for graffiti - the Italian passion for art and self expression is so deeply ingrained in the DNA that it compels them to create graffiti in walls in buildings and train stations. The graffiti is always beautifully and artistically done and of course it gives vent to many societal frustrations. There have been determined campaigns in some cities to change this behavior tbut to no avail; the Italian soul will express itself at any costs. It is a tradition which goes back to the Roman Empire.
24. Artisans, Italy still has many traditional artisans who have survived modernity and commercialization, who makes things by hand in the old way
25. Church bells - there must be thousands of church bells in Italy. Even the smallest village high in the mountains will have a church with church bells which have been ringing for roughly 1700 years at appointed times to inform people of celebrations and births and funerals. They provide a reassurance for people.
26. Italy invented ballet during the Rennaissance period around the year 1500. It developed gradually when dance was introduced into masked balls. Catherine of Medici introduced ballet into France which perfected the art of ballet as we know it today.
27. EVEN TODAY once a year, the local priest comes to bless your house. On the day which is the day for your building, the local church will post a bulletin advising people that the priest will be coming round. And indeed the priest comes, blesses and all join him in a prayer. No money involved; all for free. It is a tradition which began probably 2000 years ago. It’s an absolutely beautiful, gentle, marvelous experience even if , like me, you don’t believe in God.
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