After working with Italians for many years, I cannot help but be jealous of their lifestyle.  Every time I return from Italy I am determined to try to adapt the same routine that I practiced in Italy. The first week I am motivated and keep it up, only to go into slow decline and by the end of week two, I am back to my old Western habits of a sandwich at the computer and working 12 hour days.

I consider the values of the Italian people in regard to food, culture and socialising as some of the best in the world and we could benefit greatly from them in my country in terms of mental health, obesity and alcohol consumption.  Italian people are rarely alone and live often in small apartments with their extended families where space is an issue.  They are constantly surrounded by family neighbours and friends; rarely eat alone and if it is time for a coffee then one simply stops .....

Lunch is one of the most important meals of the day and a sandwich simply will not do.  It has to be pasta and salad and never ever, is it hurried. Food is almost the sacred religion in Italy. People speak with a reverence about it and it never ceases to amaze me just how much everyone talks about this topic  even the youth.  No one is better than Mamma’s cooking and rarely the wife – poor thing...!!

The only thing that the Italians have not got right is the time the women still have to spend in the kitchen but hey, maybe this acts towards a peaceful happy society when everyone’s stomachs are satiated with good quality home cooked food.
But western girls... if you want to fall in love with an Italian and you cannot cook - well just forget it!! You will be laughed out of town and always downtrodden to Mamma!!

Italian women spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen and well Sundays are a write off- cooking all morning for the Sunday lunch and then what with the washing up afterwards and yes, guess who has to do that!!!, yep, you too while the men are having their afternoon siesta – so think again !! However you will be appreciated for your cooking skills if you have them – if not get thee to an Italian cooking class!!