The Americans vs. Italy (Guest Post)

**The Blissful Adventurer is running about Italy at the moment so in his stead we happily endorse and support the work of the following blogger, Airports Made Simple. Please check out this post, leave comments for exchange with the author, and give their blog a read.**

By AirportsMadeSimple

Venice, Italy, 2004: The beauty of The Piazza, pigeons flocking about, and… harried Americans.

Other than the incredible beauty of this historical city, I was struck by travelers who didn’t “get” why they were here:

To relax
Enjoy the moment
Savor the wine
Observe the locals
Eat food at out-of-the-way places

If you’re visiting Venice anytime soon, take note:

Americans: Think feeding the pigeons in Piazza San Marco is cool.
Italians: Think feeding pigeons that poop on you is akin to making friends with a rabid bat.

The Blissful Adventurer - Micheal Housewright

Americans: Think leaving the windows open (on the canal, at night) is a great idea. Local flavor.
Italians: Know if you leave your windows open, you won’t be able to get your eyes open from all the mosquito bites.

Americans: Are waaaaaaay too uptight about drinking wine with lunch.
Italians: Drink wine with lunch, dinner, any pretty much anytime they damn well feel like it.

The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright

Americans: Expect to hear Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” when plopping down $250 for a gondola ride.
Italians: Prefer to sing songs like AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”

Americans: Life = speed. In eating, walking, or waiting for our food and drink in a restaurant.
Italians: Are indifferent to hurry. Don’t speed through Life with absent presence. Serve food when it’s ready. Get where they’re going when they get there.

The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright

Americans: Drive like our ass is on fire. All the time.
Italians: Drive like their ass is on fire IF their ass is actually on fire. Most walk.

The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright

Americans: Take trips.
Italians: Take vacations.

Italy is a feeling.

Murano glass, handmade pasta and breathtaking architecture are their symbols.

We need to catch up.

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  1. says

    Great post!!! Americans: take trips, Italians : take vacations…so true, I think Europeans in general…anytime I'm there, I wonder if they ever work…everyone is smoking walking almost leisurely and drinking any damn thing . Ah! that's the life :).

  2. says

    I think Australians must lean towards being more Italian than American in their travel style, we certainly have no qualms about drinking wine with lunch and I'm not talking about your typical Aussie backpacker :-)

  3. says

    Italy is its own world, to be sure. When it comes to eating, they truly "get it". While I cannot speak for their economy or politics, it really does come down to eating with them and interacting with them, to really understand what I mean.

    I'm not going to say Italy is the greatest nation in the world, but…if I could eat there everyday, I would. Such warm memories of sitting on an open porch, in the comfortable shade of a strategically placed hanging umbrella cover, sipping a local Piemontese red or white while casually enjoying (yet with intense flavor focus) a piatto of some pasta wonderment with a freshly made sauce, home made crusty bread, and the inevitably awesome dessert.


    Part of my life's vision is to get Americans to learn how to live to eat and stop merely eating to live. The Italians I met had this down to an art. Truly.

  4. says

    oh, so very true…
    and i agree with other people who say Europeans in general are that Way…
    when I'm there, I want to stay in the laid back atmosphere of a Culture which celebrates Life…
    en route to that Place in my Heart…


  5. says

    I remember when I visited Venice: we were VERY atypical Americans, partly because we'd been living in Italy for a couple of years at that point. Other Americans looked at us like we had two heads or were green or something because we found a Chinese restaurant and ate there. We were so tired of Italian food — it was SO. EXCITING. to have something different! We also learned about drinking prosecco with breakfast in Venice.

    • says

      That's so funny! I must admit, at times, when we were trying to save $$, we'd eat a slice of pizza…needless to say, we each didn't want pizza for about 3 months after returning home! :)

  6. Christi B says

    We truly do need to learn to slow down. I would so love that! My love has taught me to slow down.. breathe and enjoy and I in turn have taught him all about homemade foods! :)

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