La vita bella

 We know that french women stay thin through the lack of carbohydrate and small portions, but how do Italian women manage not to be the size of a small mansion? Eating a long lunch and long dinner is part of la vita bella with the clue in the antipasta, primo piatti, secundi piatti and dessert list – which some regularly do chow their way through. 

 As we know it’s hard to eat badly in italy and how do they dream up such a  bewildering number of different variations on pasta ribbons? And not for them the timid drizzle of olive oil we put in the bottom of the pan to fry  off our ingredients, their sauces positively swim in oceans of the stuff.

  The exception to this mangia bene rule  might just be breakfast.

In big hotels, a nod to the English breakfast is manifested in one of those dispensing  devices full of rubbery scrambled egg on one side and cut up frankfurter sausages on the other. The other side of the  table is taken up by a little fresh fruit if you’re lucky, tinned if. you’re not and a huge array of pastries. Cream and chocolate filled croissants, cannoli, fruit tarts and cake. The bread is mostly unsalted. This apparently comes from a time wherein it was illegal to salt bread as considered a ruse to make you drink more. 

 
The swimming cap

Another Italian oddity is the use of the swimming cap. For a country not known for it’s obsession with hygiene as any visitor crossing the Swiss to Italian side of the alps will see, it’s surprising that every swimming pool insists on caps, life guards gesticulating wildly at the dirty habits of the cap less tourists.

Old stuff

For a country swimming in antiquity they take for granted their ancient ruins to the extent that historic sites are mostly unlabelled, children get in for free, motorways are built on ruins and 30% of Pompeii remains unexcavated

Chaos

Yes they are as chaotic as you imagine. My friend commented when viewing the “system” at the Collosseum that a LEAN consultant would have a field day and she was right, but then how would they find employment for all those civil servants? 

The Italian rooster drivers tend to sit in two lanes (why make use of only one) and love to love the car in front by sitting as close to it’s bumper as possible.

They also laugh loudly, talk to each other and have the most beautiful language in the world. 

  

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