The Italian lifestyle is one that people from many different cultures can appreciate. You’re living it when you lounge around a piazza in the late afternoon, watching the sun dip lower as you smell the delectable, rustic food that’s about to come steaming out from a simple country kitchen. But is it possible to experience these simple pleasures without traveling to Italy? You should certainly travel to Italy at some point if you ever get the opportunity, but you don’t necessarily need to do so to sample the Italian lifestyle in the States. Let’s talk about 4 Ways to Live the Italian Lifestyle.
Try Cooking Some Italian Food
Italians love food, and they’re very proud of it as a huge part of their culture that has spread to practically every corner of the globe. There are millions of Italian restaurants around the world, and also Italian-infused restaurants. If you make a simple pasta or seafood dish, heavy on the garlic, herbs, aromatic cheese, and olive oil, with a fresh glass of red wine to wash it down, you’re paying tribute to Italy properly.
You can try cooking some authentic Italian food if you want to sample the lifestyle Italiano. You might start by purchasing some imported Italian pasta from a specialty grocery store. If you’ve got a Trader Joe’s near you, they usually have some good ones.
You can also visit a specialty grocery website and get it shipped directly to you. Many hearty Italian meals do feature pasta, but Italians also love fresh seafood, meat dishes such as leg of lamb, or there are some distinctly Italian soups and salads that you might also create. If you need recipes, there are tons of great cookbooks or sites vying for your attention.
Go to an Italian Restaurant
Maybe you’re much rather eating than cook. While cooking can be a fun activity that you can enjoy with your partner or spouse, you can certainly forego the cooking and head to an authentic Italian restaurant. That way, you don’t have to clean up afterward, and you might even take home a doggy bag if you can’t finish your meal. Leftover Italian food tastes just fine for lunch the day after.
Avoid going to chains like The Olive Garden. It’s Italian-style food but a somewhat predictable and Americanized version of it. Instead, try to go to a local establishment that you know is family-owned and not a large chain. You can probably get better food there, and they will appreciate your business more.
Watch Some Soccer
Like many Europeans, Italians love soccer with a passion. They have several mega-popular teams that they might support, such as Juventus FC, Inter Milan, AS Roma, and AC Milan.
They call it football, and if you go to a bar where Italian ex-pats hang out, you’ll probably find it on every TV. You can usually strike up a spirited conversation with some native Italians about it, and they’ll likely be quick to tell you all about their favorite players and their team’s history.
Soccer (or football) is fast-paced and exciting, so you might find yourself becoming an instant fan. The enthusiasm is infectious, and your next step may be to select a favorite club and purchase one of their jerseys. Just be careful, though; if someone sees you in a squad’s jersey that they oppose, they’re probably going to razz you or call you a couple of choice names.
You could also attempt to learn some Italian. You might try a service such as Babbel if you want to take some intuitive lessons that should start you down the right path.
Since Italian is a Romance language, not too far away from Spanish or English, there are certain words and phrases that might sound similar to you. You should be able to learn some conversational Italian before too long. That way, if you ever decide to head overseas, you’ll find it easier to talk to some of the locals on the streets, in the hotels, and in the bars and restaurants.
Most Italians will express to you that they are warm and welcoming people. They love to tell visitors all about their habits and culture, just as they enjoy spreading its influence once they leave their home country.
While learning about Italy is great, you really should plan to try and get there in person one day. Only by visiting it can you completely appreciate its traditions and natural beauty.