Funny thing about Italy is that most of the people adore it even if they have never been there. But that was not the case this time. I went there simply because it happens to be a country that has a city by the same name as my surname.
I never adored it because of the language or famous food or anything. I went there just to feel like I own the whole city. And I didn’t expect anything special. I didn’t expect to fall in love with this country. But I guess that all the best love stories happen when you meet someone and fall inlove unexpectedly. And that is what happend to me and Italy. An unexpected love story.
The first thing that caught my heart was Italians. I met my first Italian friend in Norway and was amazed by how excited he was about life. About every single thing you can get from it. He could wake up in the middle of the night just to walk to the top of the mountain for the sake of sunset. Enjoy. Every. Moment. It feels like an absolute Italian moto.
The same thing I felt when I was in Italy. I met up with probably 20 Italians and was surprised by their infinate positive energy. If we wanted to dance, we stopped the car, got out of it and danced on the street at night. If we wanted to see museums, we just went there and it was open even at 10 in the evening. If we wanted to eat pizza, we met 15 other Italians and went for the best pizza place they knew. I could go on like this for months. You want something? Just go for it. They were probably the most inspiring people I had ever met. Their ability to have fun is contagious.
By the way, the language isn’t an issue. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak italian or they don’t speak english. For some reason, when they tell you something, you understand.
The second thing that made me fall inlove, no surprises there, was food. Starting from pasta, pizza, gelato and continuing with many other kinds of food I could never learn the names of. I always thought that it is just another stereotype, but the love for food is an acctual Italian thing. They talk about it, they enjoy it, they make it and they share it. That is just how it goes…
One of the last days in Italy I spent with a typical Italian family. The mother cooked the food. Like 7 different kinds of it. The father sat down and waited for the food while offering me a self-made beer. Talking about national dishes and food tasting experiences he had had. The mother kept on bringing food and I was full after the third dish already. But you don’t say no to food. No, not in Italy you don’t. So I ate. I ate so much I had never eaten before in my whole life. And you know what? The next day I woke up and I was still full. That’s Italy, man.
The third thing I could never forget was the rooftops of Bologna. I have to mention that I am quite scared of hights. But when you get a chance to look at the rooftops of Bologna, you simply agree. And you take pictures with them with shaky hands. And you love it. I am sure you have heard the expression that “all the roads take you to Rome”. At that particular moment you see that it isn’t just an expression. All roads literally take you to Rome. And you can see that from the rooftops.
Football is the fourth thing I would like to talk about. Obsession with football. I think you haven’t really been in Italy if you did not try espresso or watch a football match. Those are another 2 things Italy is famous for. But football had specially caught my attention, because I usually do not watch it. I am not a big fan of it, I guess. But here I went to a local game with my friend who was part of the team and I watched the whole game with my mouth open. When you see a match like that you see that side of their culture you can’t find in their everyday behavior. They run around. They get angry. Then they scream: “BELLO, BELLO! ” a lot. They hug each other. They run even more. And they use a lot of words you could never find in Italian dictionary. Sit down and enjoy the show, my dear.
Yes, as I said before, I didn’t expect much from this country, but in the end I came home from it absolutely inlove. In the airport I even bought a book called: “An Italian in Italy” written by Beppe Severgnini just to keep feeling alive. As if I still were there. A Beautiful feeling. A good life.