10 (+1) Reasons to visit Rome and Italy
"Io amo" (I love) by Fausto Leali. Netscape users click on the device to listen.
Italy have always speculated on the "fatal spell" of the country, which makes
people from all over the world want to visit it. Is it just because "all roads lead
to Rome", i.e. because of the attraction of past civilizations, like that of the
ancient Roman world, or of Renaissance? Of course these are not the only reasons making
Italy so universally desirable. Here is a brief presentation.
The result is an extraordinary richness of works of art, but also a population giving an unprecedented importance to human qualities, even in the smallest details. Realizing it when you will be in Italy will be quite a pleasant discovery. This is probably the most important reason making Italy so seductive, making the Italian writer Luigi Barzini write on the matter "Italy made and still makes unwanted people feel wanted, unimportant people feel important".
(6) Also the Italians are unbelievably varied. There are 21 regions, with different history, usually with different regional idyoms called "dialects" (truly authentic languages dying out), with different mentality, different urban layout, different landscapes, different cuisines, different patron saints, and contrasting political orientations. The 21 regions actually form practically three different countries: North, Centre and South, each claiming supremacy over something, and actually having remarkably different societies and economies. Moreover, there are also regions where completely different languages are officially spoken: Alto Adige where half of the population speaks German, valleys in the Alps in which people speak Ladin (an original language, not to be confused with Latin), uplands in Calabria were Greek Albanian is widely spoken (as they fled from the Turks in the 16th century), the Bergamo province with its Bergamasco (a sort of Germanic language), and Valle d'Aosta where French is the most spoken language.
(7) Cuisine and cooking is a national passion, and is tasteful, healthy, extraordinarily imaginative and varied. As mentioned in the restaurant page, there is no "Italian cuisine", but rather a galaxy of regional cuisines, each contributing to the rightful fame of the broader national one. You will not have to go to some fancy and expensive Italian restaurant to sample the countless dishes. You will find restaurants of all sorts everywhere, and you will discover that the most economic are also extremely good. The Italians will be happy then to explain to you all the nuances of this Mediterranean and natural cuisine.
(8) Since its very origin, the Italic civilizations (the Greeks, the Etruscan, the Latin, the Byzantine, and naturally the Italians), have always given an unprecedented importance to style, harmony with nature, good taste, and beauty. In no other country they are a popular and common heritage. The Italians since ancient times have been harbingers of style, fashion and art. Ferraris are not only the fastest cars, but also the most beautiful. Italian is also the language of music (presto, piano, forte, allegro etc.).
(9) The Italians are accommodating from a human point of view, and are savvy and sensible people in ordinary things of life. Yet, if you are an educated person and you like to explore countries in depth, you will understand why the European scholars consider Italy the most complex, intricated - and intriguing - European country (forget the silly sterotypes!). You will be mesmerised finding out the meaning and the historical reasons of the countless achievements or sheer aspects of the Italian civilization. You will discover the form of pleasure of knowing more about the Renaissance society, about Leonardo's and Michelangelo's lives and about their contrast, about the well organized ancient Roman society, the organization of the Church etc, the fashinating history and organization of the Serenissima (the Venice Republic), and so on. You will be surprised to know that the Italians define themselves "People of Poets, Saints and Explorers". So you see, the reality is different from the silly stereotypes viewing the Italians as latin lovers, mafiosi and provincial. In everyday life, you will frequently meet in Italy very educated and erudite people.
(10) The weather is usually good and sunny most of the year. In most places the air is clean and balsamic.
You will hence understand why this land of expressive, vibrant and imaginative people has given pasta and pizza, Verdi and Pavarotti, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo, Dante and Machiavelli, Catholicism with its saints and martyrs, but also Fellini, Mastroianni and Sophia Loren, an outstanding sense of style and "Dolce Vita" (sweet life), and countless other charms - among which one should not forget the Italian women -.
This is why many come to visit Rome, and never
leave. You feel like living in a world in miniature, with myriads facets, countless things
to see, to do and to undergo, and you experience kaleidoscopic sensations. When we -
native or adoptive Romans - leave Rome we discover our sensuous attachment to the town.
Although our favourite sport in town (since the old ages) is to complain about it, when we
leave we repent having done it, and we just want to come back. All other places seem
tedious, life anywhere else seems made of useless picky rules, all other people seem not
having the tolerant bonomie of the Romans.