La Bella Italia

Mari Juniper is a former attorney who got bored of making money (yeah, right), deciding instead for the writing venture. She has a blog — mari’s randomities – where she shares short stories, poems, reflections and pretty things that fancy her and her visitors. She can also be found on twitter as @marirandomities, where she babbles a lot and shares interesting things. (or so she thinks)

What’s it like living in Italy, people ask me. They say they envy me for the gorgeous landscapes, the ever present sun, the food.

 Well… Indeed Italy is a remarkable country to live in. It is beautiful; very inspiring for writing too. I live in a small walled town, with a charming historical centre and castle ruins to go with. Need I say more? ;P

There are some cultural aspects that make me proud of being Italian. For instance, we have the second highest life expectancy in Europe. Why, you wonder. First of all, apart from the crazy people who live in the big cities – I say so because I used to be one of them – people eat well. They grow vegetables and fruits in their garden, they eat fresh things that are home cooked and they actually come back home for lunch.

We exercise too. Lots of people use bikes instead of cars for short distances, and we have a liking for sports.


And there’s the pacing. I mean, the life rhythm, heh. (These writers… *snorts*) I’m sure you’ve heard about the siesta? They stop working between 12:00 and 12:30, coming back between 15:00 and 15:30, generally.

This different schedule sounds crazy, but it actually changes how you live your life. You have a huge break in the middle of the day, which slows everything down giving you the opportunity to actually breathe.

However, it sucks the fact that the drugstore closes at 12:30 and reopens at 15:45, but the market closes at 12:00 and reopens at 15:00. Of course the post office closes at 12:30 and reopens at 14:30, so if you arrive at the drugstore at 15:00 thinking about the market opening hour, you should have known better! Confusing, eh?

The Italian’s humor is also widely variable. One day the woman in the shoe shop might be extremely courteous, but the next day you might be surprised by her hispid behavior. This is rarely personal, as strange as it sounds. She might have had a bad day.

This is Italy. As you thought, the food is great, the view exquisite, and there are the idiosyncrasies. Each place has its own; the Italians’ are funny and sometimes, annoying. So there’s no need to envy people who live here, as well as anywhere else. ;)

14 thoughts on “La Bella Italia

  1. Thank you so much for the invitation Olive! I’m delighted and honored. :)

  2. What a lovely glimpse into Italians. I’m half-Italian (Sicilian, yes it counts), and have always wanted to visit. I’ll check out Mari’s blog.

  3. –Theresa: I agree that being Sicilian changes it all! I’m from the north and I’m most curious to see for myself the differences between the north and south Italy.

    We all know that the southern landscapes are breath taking. The culture and food there is something one cannot miss either! :)

  4. Ops! Culture and food *are* something we cannot miss. Yuk typo! :P

  5. Italy sounds beautiful, Mari. I like the idea of going home for lunch! The pace there sounds much more low key and relaxed than it is here. There’s a certain ease to it. Thanks for the tour of your homeland!

  6. –Joanne: You’re most welcome!

    As many other places, Italy is relaxing and stressing at the same time. The slower pace is one element that can be both relaxing and annoying, especially when you’re used to the big city’s agility, heh. I do enjoy it more than I’m annoyed by it though. Glad I could convey this feeling. :)

  7. @Mari; You’re very welcome and thank you for the great post!

  8. That town sounds amazing! I particularly like the idea of a longer break in the middle of the day, where you get to return home.

    Self-sufficiency in terms of food is so incredibly important..and enjoyable!

    Loved hearing about your home, Mari!

  9. –Olive: It was my pleasure. :D

    –Roisin: Thank you!

    Another nice thing about growing one’s own food, is the gardening, which can be very enjoyable too, no? :)

  10. Wow. I love the pics!!! I want to take a siesta!! Sounds AMAZING. Thanks so much for giving me a glimpse into your awesome life, Mari :) and thanks for sharing, Olive :)

  11. –Olleymae: Glad you liked! And thank you for the compliment on the pics. I need a better camera to take really great pics. (knowing how to do it properly, heh)

    The way you say, it seems that my life is more awesome than anyone else’s. But it’s not, it’s just different. ;)

    Hmm, a grammatical question came to mind, or maybe semantic, can something be more awesome than another? I’d think so, but it might not make sense, formally, in English…

  12. Hi Mari…. loved this post. Like I love Italy. Rome is my absolute fav European City – OK I havent been to them all but have been to enough!

    2 years ago I spent a long weekend on a cookery course in a little Medieval walled village called Casperia in the Sabine Hills. I loved it. There is a languidness about the Italian countryside that is intoxicating.

    Must visit your blog now! Good to meet you!


  13. Lua

    Italy sounds wonderful! The long breaks in the middle of the day kind of make me want to move there! :) Great post Mari and I love the pics!

  14. –Barbara: Thanks and also for the visit back at Randomities! :)

    I used to dislike Rome (please don’t hit me! *ducks* heh) but so many people say wonders about it, not only people who visited but who lived there, that I’m reconsidering it. I must go back there with different eyes.

    Thanks for the tag on Casperia. I’ll look into it. There are so many gorgeous places in here that I get lost sometimes. I want to see it all! lol

    –Lua: If you ever decide to live here, don’t go live in a big city like Milan. You’ll be living in the Italian NY: stress and pollution all over! yuk

    Also, remember that the pictures were taken in the north. It’s pretty up here too. ;D

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