La Dolce Vita. For years I have thought about this concept as "the sweet life full of luxuries".
Living in Milan and getting acquainted with the local culture made me realize I got that definition wrong. The dolce vita is actually living the life to the fullest by allowing yourself little pleasures.
Here are five ways to follow the Italian footsteps and rejoice in the dolce vita:
1. Everyone is famiglia
Whether it's family, friends or a soulmate, the best way to appreciate life is definitely with the people you love. Yet, Italians are always open to offer hospitality and include people from faraway countries. Sharing is caring. They understand this phrase very well and I couldn't be more grateful to have landed in such a welcoming country.
2. Embrace the "perchè no" philosophy
Perchè no means why not. I have to say this is one of my favorites Italian customs because you can apply it to so many things and to all life indulgences. For instance:
Should I take a second glass of wine? Why not!
Should I sleep an hour more? Why not!
3. The food and especially the pasta
Italians are passionate about food but mostly they are passionate about the ingredients. This is the finest attribute of the country: quality products. While there are supermarkets with good food, many people enjoy buying fresh products from the Mercato where customers are face to face with the farmers.
The only inconvenient about this is that I'll possibly come back from Italy looking like a potato, but hey, perchè no?
3. La bella figura
Italians like to give a good image wherever they go. They dress to impress and competition is especially fierce in the country's fashion capital. I really enjoy watching this every day catwalk: getting inspired from a girl's style or simply enjoying a men wearing an elegant coat... Nevertheless, I believe this appearance effort shouldn't be about showing off but rather about feeling good with yourself. That is the way I want to interpret this aspect.
5. Enjoy the little things
Due to the small size of the city and the narrowness of its streets, walking is the best way to move around Milan. This is probably one of the reasons why I am now more able to appreciate the beauty of details: the charming newsstands, the flower markets, the ornamented balconies... Plus, I guess all this walking will be good for toning down my future potato shape.
Picture 1 - My friend Alexia and I
Picture 2 - Orecchiette con le cime di rapa at the Drogheria Milanese (highly recommended)
Picture 3 - Fashion newsstand in Corso Venezia