One of my most favorite things about life in Italy is how
Italians value relationship and living out the moments of life in community with those they care about most.
It can easily be said that everything happens
very slowly here in Italy. Projects that
we as Americans would think of as one-day jobs take three or more (and that’s
typically after several weeks of permit approval and coordination).
Whiles it's true that some of this is due to beauracracy. I truly believe that much of is simply because of
the Italian pace of life.
Here, we don’t rush.
It doesn’t matter if you’re headed to school, work or a vacation. It will always be there. It is safe to say that punctuality is a bit
different in Italian life. I’m used to a
“15 minutes early is one time culture” as a military wife where here it can
easily be said that 15 minutes late is right on time.
Not only do Italians not rush for much but a high premium is placed on down
time and relationships. I absolutely
adore that every business establishment (save some of the major grocery stores)
close for vacation, usually two weeks at a time. Is it an inconvenience to find your regular
gas station closed when you’re running on fumes? Yes.
But it’s your own damn fault for not filling up sooner. The same can be said for the fact that most
businesses are closed on Sundays. The
world absolutely keeps turning while these businesses are closed and in the
meantime the owners and their families get to rest and rejuvenate.
This is my ideal.
Rather than spending Sundays pumping gas, selling groceries
or running in to the office, our neighbors are found relishing leisurely
afternoons with several generations of their family over pasta, sausage and
The same can be said for riposo. Each day between 1 and 3 (or so) most of our
community closes down. This is similar
to siesta in that it gives families a time to enjoy the mid-day meal and
rest. Again, can it be frustrating? Yes but only when the perspective and value
in such a practice is lost.
To me, these simple practices can change the world. This blog post also shares a similar
perspective on the priorities we choose in life.
While much of the impact is found in these routine, daily
practices (so true in all of our days!) after living here for two years I get
the sense that even without these default pauses in the day, relationship is
still number one.
I see in how each person is greeted as you pass on the sidewalk whether you
know them or not.
It’s in the ease of which a neighbor offers to make café
when someone stops by their house.
And I see it when our community comes together on the first
day of school, at the summer camp program and at the movies in the piazza.
It’s relationship. Slow and steady. One minute at a time.
**I came across this blog post today and it resonated with me so much.**