One day in Bergamo, a city we have already been to a couple of years ago. Walking on familiar streets, going up to Citta Alta, enjoying peacefulness of this small and medieval city. Two days in busy and stylish Milan. Walking around, visiting famous and spectacular Duomo. Longing for Asian atmosphere and wandering around in China Town. And now for more than a week – living with Italian family.
Their property is in a rural part of Italy, surrounded by high hills. Approximately 100 kilometeres South of Milan. We are helping this family with their daily tasks (we are Workaway volunteers again).
And today I want to share with you our first impressions of Italy and Italians.
You Can’t Really Escape Winter in Italy
Yes, it is warmer here than in Northern Europe. Rarely it is under 0 C degrees. But, you know what, these few degrees above zero could be even worse than real winter with snow, especially when it comes together with rain, fog and chilly wind.
There are some parts in Italy where it is warmer, but it is nothing compared to warmth of, for example, Canary Islands.
Italians Are Very Kind and Helpful
Most of Italians don’t speak English. But as we have experienced, both in the city and here, away from any big city, – if they know at least few words they will try to speak in English with you. Or will try and help you in some another way – using signs or showing with their hands, for example. Without making you feel guilty or stupid that you don’t know something, either it’s language, or something like – where to buy that tickets or where to go!
And another thing – they don’t seem to be that loud as you see in movies. Indians beat them, that’s for sure.
Eating is Important for Italians
Italians eat a lot. And they do it carefully, finishing all the food, in the end using bread to clean the plate. Meals usually are long, one hour is nothing. When we feel that we have eaten a lot, Italians just place more food on their plates, and continue eating! And red wine is used to wash it all down. Wine is usually homemade and tasty (yes, we, who don’t drink wine, just said it).
After the meal Italians drink coffee. It is not a standard sized “Nescafe mug” (something we are used to), but a really small cup, half filled with bitter and strong coffee.
Long pasta, short pasta, round pasta, thin pasta, thick pasta, grey pasta, white pasta, pasta with tomato sauce, pasta with cheese sauce, pasta made from potatoes, pasta in salad, pasta in soup, pasta in stew… Different pasta for different life situations, haha. And in different kind of sauces. Many regions and even cities have their own pasta.
And the same stands for cheese, it is used everywhere in Italy. On pasta, as a starter. We already know which is the tasty one, which is the super-smelly one, which is the bitter one,…
Have you been to Italy? What are your thoughts about Italy and Italians?
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.