Sunday, July 3, 2011

8 things you didn't know about Rome

1.  Time is not money-  I never noticed how in a rush I lived my life until now.  Time never seems to be of the essence here and it is perfectly acceptable to do almost anything at a leisurely pace and enjoy it along the way.  Dining is a prime example in that meals are such a process.  You can linger at your table long after you've finished your dish without the wait staff handing your check to initiate your departure.

The first restaurant we ate at!  Our cameriere still recognizes us!
2.  Don't take space for granted-  Everything is miniature.  The cars, streets, living arrangements.  This is possibly the most difficult cultural aspect to adjust to in that we always feel the need to have an unnecessary amount of space that only belongs to us.  Yet, personal space in general here is non-existent.  Riding the metro to the Spanish steps added to my second culture shock experience (Fiumicino airport still takes the cake) when I learned that although they work similar to the subways in NYC, people will literally cram into the metro cars until they physically cannot move.  I'm talking about being pinned up against smelly, sweaty crowds of people.

Madness at the Spanish steps
3.  You will walk your ass off- 'nuff said.  A mile or two to the nearest supermercato?  Did it.  And don't expect to find what you would at home.

4.  Food culture at its finest-   Life revolves around food in Italy.  People are always, always eating or drinking.  The mornings are spent sipping on a cafe with a croissant while most mid-day meals are taken between 11 and 2.  After 2, almost all restaurants and shops close to allow the staff naps or prepare for the dinner rush.  They all reopen around 5 or 6 and Italians will eat their meals until 10 pm!  You can also walk around with open drinks, fab right?

5.  The social scene-  Italians do not respect public drunkeness!  They don't drink to get drunk like the college students in the US.  It's kind of refreshing for a change.  Nightlife begins around midnight and the entire city comes alive in the streets.  Evenings are so social and vibrant.  Cannot get enough of this!

Drinks on the Tiber!

At a club on the river- celebrity status?

6.  The people-  As with any European country, Americans receive different reactions from different people.  I think language and social etiquette are the big ones in Italy in that there are customary ways to greet each other and act in public.  Most Italians know English very well but genuinely appreciate when visitors attempt to speak in Italian and are more willing to speak with you.  Personally, I knew I would be shy about speaking but realized I know so much more Italian than I thought I did.  I get nervous and struggle for vocab at times, but I'm the only one who speaks Italian and am therefore the designated translator.

7.  La bella figura-  I think I'm in love (and obsessed) with the way of life here.  Everything is beautiful.  You live among ancient ruins, art, and breathtaking architecture.  The food really is more amazing than I could have ever imagined and just plain fresh.  You can even drink out of the fountains on the street (everyone does this).  I'm beginning to wonder if I can ever come back...

8.  Because I like even numbers-  Italian men are comical and over-the-top.  It's true, ladies.  They're both flattering and annoying.

View from the Aventine
Ci vediamo!  A pizza post is in the works...

No comments:

Post a Comment