10 Signs You Lived in Italy in a Past Life
1. Your hands are as important as your words. Everything you say is punctuated with a perfectly orchestrated hand motion. Crazy weekend? You recount it with a flourish of the wrist. Difficult boss? A shake of the fist. Don’t understand what someone wants? Purse your fingers together. Absolutely starving? Tap your tummy. No story is complete with the hand motions that really get the point across.
2. You dress to make an impression. Be that head-to-toe monochrome, or a perfectly fitted suit, your clothes make a statement about you. You do not believe in sweatpants in the grocery store, unless they are designer and accessorized; and you would never leave the house without hair done and makeup perfectly applied.
3. Whatever your shape, you work it. Most fabulous person in the room? That’s you. But you already knew that. Your confidence is off the charts and anyone who says otherwise is crazy.
4. You don’t believe in using “inside voices.” Something worth saying is worth saying loudly. Regardless of if you are happy or sad, you are always pret-ty expressive. Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are yelling out of joy or anger, but the one thing that is certain is that you are not shy about making a point.
5. Family comes first. Your family is your biggest support system and you would never dream of putting anything before them. Holidays or events are just an excuse to celebrate together. You make time for family meals, and use dinner time to catch up and reconnect. You would do anything for your family without question.
6. Personal space—what is that and why would you want it? In restaurants, you pick the one table next to other diners, instead of sequestering yourself in a corner. On the bus, you are not afraid to squeeze into an impossibly small space. At home, you hug and kiss friends and relatives with abandon.
7. Lunch is the most important meal of the day. You are perfectly content with a small breakfast and a coffee. (Well, lots of coffee). But if you had it your way, lunch would always be a multi-course affair with wine pairings. At a minimum, you always take your lunch break instead of hurriedly eating at your desk, savouring every bite and dreaming of sun-drenched summer feasts.
8. Say no to fad diets. Bread, pasta, pizza: you love it all. You know there is nothing wrong with a bit of indulgence and feel no meal is complete without a hearty helping of carbohydrates. Within a healthy Mediterranean diet, carbs are a cornerstone along with plenty of fruit and vegetables, olive oil, meat and seafood.
9. Ordering coffee is an art. You know exactly how you want your coffee and you are not afraid to order it just right. Multiple times a day. With an accompanying and suitably long break to enjoy it.
10. Italy is the place dreams are made of. You daydream about Italian vacations and buying Tuscan villas (with enough bedrooms for your entire family to visit, of course). When you can’t be there in person, you still know how to adopt Italian customs into everyday life.
Natalie moved from California to Italy in 2010, and is the writer behind the blog, An American in Rome. She provides accessible Italian lifestyle tidbits each month for the Mazzoni Wines blog, Live Like an Italian.