Italian lifestyle is admired and exported all over the world. Ok, let’s get this straight from the outset. I’m Italian, in case you think I’m biased. Still, I can’t but notice that tourists travelling to the Bel Paese, often tell about the ability of Italians to celebrate all aspects of life. From spending time with family and friends, to eating and drinking well, to enjoying beauty in all its forms.
1. The impact of coronavirus on Italian lifestyle
And then coronavirus hit Italy. Museums, restaurants and bars closed, and the empty and quiet streets of Italy showed how everyday life can change with the snap of a finger – and how quickly a population can adapt to it. Could Italy be a guide of what the rest of the world will experience soon? Italians never stop surprising me and, even this time, they are doing things in their own original and creative way. Let’s discover together how to live the Italian lifestyle when your house becomes your entire world.
2. Singing from balconies
As soon as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the new restrictions, asking everyone not to leave their house, Italians found a way to keep in contact and make friends! Aware of the need to boost morale, Italians opened their windows and started singing with their neighbours. Italian lifestyle is all about socializing and talking (ideally with some physical contact involved – perhaps a hand over a shoulder or a kiss to say goodbye). Who says that “distant socializing” isn’t a thing? Singing patriotic songs and making harmonies across the country’s empty streets was Italy’s solution.
3. Cooking, cooking, cooking!
To be expected, you might think… But this time Italians exceeded all expectations! The flour milling industry is more vibrant than ever and professional pizza makers might as well close their pizzerias. At least once a week, usually on Fridays or Saturdays, all Italian families make pizza. But that’s only one day in a week of seven, with six more left, there’s plenty of time to experiment on more recipes and to teach the younger generations the secrets of cooking. And, of course, families eat together! Eating is an occasion in Italian lifestyle, meaning that everyone sits together at a table and takes the time to talk.
4. The importance of family time in Italian lifestyle
Italians love their family time. Of course, being stuck with your family 24/7 is not always easy, especially if you have 4 kids, and 2 dogs! While we can’t know if the divorce rate will increase due to coronavirus, it seems that Italians are taking this occasion to appreciate time with their loved ones. People are re-organizing their old photos, bringing back to mind the sweet memories of their past adventures. Others focus on board-games, perhaps someone will actually finish a game of Monopoly, for once!
5. Keeping houses clean and tidy
Being stuck at home all day, cooking sessions and school closure, means that the house needs constant cleaning, Italians say. It takes a lot of effort and it is surely something that many people don’t enjoy. But hey… it’s necessary, perhaps even entertaining, in some cases! My Italian mom once told me that when she was little she would pretend to own a hotel that she and her sister would tidy up in the morning. So, cleaning can foster bonding and the familial values of which Italians are so proud. Also, who doesn’t have that pile of books, or old notes that need to be re-organized? No more excuses to postpone, I’m afraid.
6. And more…
Italians, like many others, are also reading books and listening to music (always while sipping an espresso). Indoor sports help them to keep healthy (and burn the calories of yesterday’s pizza!). Schools are going digital and Italian kids and teachers are adjusting to the new system. Many people are also taking this time as an opportunity to talk (on the phone, of course!) with old friends with whom they had lost contact. Grandparents enjoy their long conversations with their grandchildren, telling them about the similar atmosphere they lived in during the War. Italians are showing that we can reinvent ourselves and live with less until we beat the virus and are free to go back to hugs, kisses, pizzerie, churches and museums!
Need some more advise on what to do at home? Check our Blog Post on the most interesting Art Movies on Netflix. And remember, when you can’t go to museums, art can still come to you! Read our Blog posts about the Parthenon and beautiful Greek athletes. Finally, don’t forget to watch our short and kid-friendly art-history classes (available on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube), the first one of which is below!
This Blog post is also available in Italian!