These are some reflections that I came up with regarding what I have learnt from Italians. I did after all spend over 7 years living in Italy.
Family is important
The family is a crucial element to Italian society. Family ties are really strong. I have loved time that we have spent with my husband’s Italian family. You feel thoroughly welcomed and are encouraged to eat way too much food.
Friends are as important as family
I once had a conversation with one of my husband’s friends about this. He made a specific comment about how great Italians are as friends. They are loyal, they are passionate. They have your back.
School is hard work from the word go
Within this building many children spend hours studying and concentrating.
From age 6 they have to work hard, not just within these walls but also once they return home after a morning full of hard slog. School work also turns out to be a major point of conversation with other parents. You compare notes about how long your children take to complete their homework. By the time the school year ends the children are exhausted and need three months to recover.
Sundays are for dressing up
Perhaps you have a meal at lunch time with your in-laws and then go for a walk around town. Or maybe you head off somewhere for the day, like Rome, and join countless other people near the Spanish Steps or strolling down the Via Condotti doing some window shopping.
Speaking the language is appreciated
I still don’t speak Italian perfectly and doubt that I ever will. It took me a really long time to make headway as I was so self conscious speaking a different language. I can make myself understood now and as one of my husband’s friends said, I learnt Italian ‘piano, piano’ (slowly in other words).