So, now, when my two month in Bari are about to be over, it is the time to make some conclusions. As I mentioned before Italian way of living turned out to be quite alternative, even for me, who, lets say, saw a bit more than my hometown. All of us, people who live outside Italy think that we know this country and it’s citizens. We eat pizza, watch Roman holidays, attend Adriano Celentano concerts and call ice-cream gelato. We adore espresso, dream of Vespa, have a bottle of Barolo at home and buy pasta that is believed to be produced in Italy. The truth is, Italians are not really involved with all that. They don’t live to produce symbols of Italian life, they live their life in a very unique way and that, I believe, is something to be born with. Unlike Parisian way of living, Italian way of living cannot be learned. However it can be notices, observed and partly adopted:
There are many people on this Earth who cannot imagine their life without coffee. In Italy the concern is not only what, it is also how. In these two month I still haven’t mastered the art of drinking coffee Italian way. It is very common here to just by a coffee place, which is usually called a bar and have a cup of coffee. Without sitting and talking or eating something next to it. Just coffee, just like this, some minutes of pleasure when nothing else matter. I think it is a really good approach, it is an art of treating ordinary things with respect.
Anarchy is the mother of order and Italian car drivers are there to prove it. If there is one trick I’ve learned here it is that crossing the road is much easier and faster at the places I am not supposed to cross it. Also there are more chances that the driver will stop and let you pass at the place you shouldn’t do that (even the police does that). Other local rules of anarchy I still haven’t mastered and at times feel rather tensed or surprised. So if you are planning to visit this beautiful part of Italy, you should get ready to put your understanding of driving rules on a side and open all of your senses.
The other very important aspect is that Italy got their own understanding of time. To be honest, it hasn’t concerned me at all since I’m kind of “always late” type. On the other hand I think it is important to understand that the philosophy is not to be late, the philosophy is to have no rush. Because nothing can be enjoyed in rush, so why bothering ourselves with it. In Italy I came back to the idea of time management being a choice of myself, not a social obligation. When one gets angry because the other is late, an Italian just enjoys his coffee. Such a pleasant approach, which can also be applied to life. In every unknown situation, have a cup of coffee.
Italy has a reputation of a religious country, however if there is a cult of something here, it is the cult of food. How is the city beach called? Bread and tomato. How is the district in Bari called? Carbonara. How long is the lunch break? 3 hours. Definitely, food culture here is a way of celebrating life. Again, it is done with care and tradition. For example, I haven’t seen an “Italian restaurant” in Bari. There are pizzerias, sea food restaurants, bars and pubs but unless the restaurant somehow exotic (asian, kebab) it is just the restaurant and the kitchen, the only possible one. Besides that there hasn’t been many moments of me not being consulted by my flatmates about how should I cook and eat my meals. Also, I haven’t met anyone telling me they don’t know how to cook. Amazing.
So let’s have a little summary. If one attempts to live his life Italian way, one should learn to value food and drinks, understand that no time is considered wasted if it’s spend with a joy and no rule is good enough if you can’t break it!
I wish you a very nice Italian day and remember that soon there will be a big post with many many pictures of my adventures in Bari. You can also check my latest post here.
And a bit of stereotypes that sometimes turn to be true 🙂