In a recent conversation with an Italian filmmaker friend, we both expressed dismay at the portrayal of Italians in the media as punks, idiots and wise guys. In fact, REAL Italians are nothing like that. Here is my list of reasons why we should all embrace a concept called L’arte di vivere… The art of living.
- Contrary to being portrayed as dumb in Hollywood, Italians have the highest IQ’s in Europe and some of the highest in the world. As such, Italy has been one of the centers of high culture in Europe for 1,700 years.
- Italy is home to the world’s best architecture. It is home to the world’s 4 most prominent architectural styles. They invented the Basilica, which means pilgrimage site. The city of Venice is so spectacular, for a long time I questioned whether it was built by humans. Saint Peters has to be seen to be believed.
- Italy is teeming with Museums. If one sat down and tried to list all the great Italian artists, it would be a chore. Michelangelo, Di Vinci, Raphael, Titian… Italy is the home of world renown fashion designers like Armani, Gucci, Benneton, Versace and Prada.
- Opera has its roots in Italy, where La Traviata and Aida are still performed in Italian. It’s the home of Pavarotti who brought opera to the masses, the Three tenors as well as Andrea Bocelli.
- It is the land of race cars, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. Even Bugatti, a French car built in Germany was designed by an Italian.
- Italy has arguably, the world’s best food. Italians have been growing Olives for 2,500 years. The Italians enjoy over 50 different kinds of bread and 650 varieties of pasta. They have 20 different kinds of pizza. They specialize in aging and curing meats.
- The average Italian commit’s over 2 1/2 hours a day to eating. It’s a cultural even to them.
- Italy has some of the oldest wine making regions in the world. In fact, the Catholic Church is credited with keeping wine making alive as it was largely forgotten in the rest of the world during the dark ages. (Probably why they called them ‘dark Ages.)
- Italy was the protector of Christianity for 1,700 years of Islamic invasion.
As the saying goes, being happy is difficult. It’s takes work. It’s an art form. The art of living.
Medellin, Colombia, October 21, 2016