Buongiorno! As I’ve made my way through Italy, I’ve learned how sweet it is to live as the Romans do. That is, after all, what la dolce vida means. It’s much more than indulging in a bowl of pasta or sipping espresso at a local café. While both of those things are certainly delightful, there are a few secrets to capturing the true essence of la dolce vida. So, today I’m spilling the tea so you can live your best Italian life wherever you are.
1. Appreciate the simple pleasures
Italians are known for their deep appreciation for beauty, art, history, architecture, food and really all of life’s simple pleasures. They take the time to enjoy all that life has to offer. From their food to fresh flowers or their morning walk to grab an espresso, they waste no opportunity to appreciate something as simple as a fresh ripe tomato.
2. Value relationships and treat everyone as famiglia
Italians understand the importance of togetherness. They value spending quality time with loved ones, and like to share meals and moments together. They welcome strangers and treat them as famiglia. Having face-to-face interactions is incredibly important for our overall happiness and wellbeing. We are social beings and need others in our life in order to thrive. So, put down the phone, turn off the TV and instead have dinner with a loved one and relish in their company.
3. Unschedule time
In Italy, long breaks after lunch are the norm and they take their leisure time very seriously. Perhaps that’s why they always look refreshed and rejuvenated? The daily grind can take a toll on our mental health and I realize taking hour-long lunch breaks might not be feasible for everyone, but you can unschedule your time. I like to have at least one rest day a week where I have nothing planned. So, I can dedicate an entire day to my self-care routine, I can catch up with old friends, or I can binge a show Netflix – whatever I’m feeling in that moment.
4. Eat the Mediterranean way
Italians don’t obsess over their food. While they certainly take pride in their local cuisine, they don’t ask for gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar-free anything. They don’t cut carbs or go on crazy juice cleanses. They simply eat fresh local seasonal ingredients. It’s that simple. They also enjoy their meals and eat slowly so they don’t overeat. They don’t deprive themselves but they don’t overdo it either. The key is moderation, and the Italians know the meaning all too well.
5. Love your body
While body positivity has certainly taken off in recent years, the Italians never take themselves too seriously. If you go to an Italian beach, you’ll see lots of different body types no matter how short, tall, skinny, or curvy. You’ll find older women in bikinis and elderly men in speedos. In their eyes, time spent feeling insecure is time wasted. So, bare it all and swim in the ocean. I swear, the only person judging you is yourself. Live la dolce vida and enjoy this one life you have to live!