mahabis lifestyle // how to live like an italian
Ah, Italia, home to the eternal city and emperors, the renaissance, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Romeo and Juliet. Gondolas in canals, Vespas winding through the streets and luxury sports cars. Fresh espresso, pizza and home-made pasta. Not to mention the fine tailoring of Armani, Versace and more... From the divine and sophisticated to the rustic and humble, Italians know how to live.
For millennia and through the rise and fall of empires, the Italians have not just survived but truly lived in a way that the rest of the world aspires. Here are a few words of wisdom we've picked up from Italians about the art of living.
The sun with all those planets revolving around it can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
- Galileo Galileo
Italians see the intricate connection between the big picture and the small details. They stop to think about things as their perfect espresso brews at sunrise or when the sunsets over a vineyard at night and they pour themselves a glass of locally made wine, preparing for the universe's evening star show.
Beauty awakens the soul to act.
- Dante Alighieri
Beauty is not frivolous but a reminder of magic bigger than themselves. To build a beautiful bridge, not just a functional one or to dress up for simple everyday occasions.... far from shallow vanity, this gives them a deep sense of appreciating every moment, every second of their precious existence. Simply put life is too short for bad fashion and uncomfortable shoes.
A well-spent day brings happy sleep.
-Leonardo da Vinci
With effort in even the smallest errand, work is completed with finesse. The evening hanging out of laundry can be made into something beautiful.
It's a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.
- Roberto Benigni
Italians may express themselves with their whole body, rather than just their voice. Anything half-said or half-done is simply not worth the effort. So, if you're expressing love, don't hesitate to enthuse. Throw your hands in the air and put your hand on your heart.
To create something exceptional, your mindset must relentlessly focus on the smallest detail.
- Giorgio Armani
Do sweat the small stuff and do believe that the devil is in the detail. Why build a big cathedral and leave it at that when you could hire hundreds of artisans for years to turn every little space into ornate art that inspires!
I walk, walk, walk. That's very good for your heart.
- Sophia Loren
While in many countries the end of the day means shutting your door and turning on the television, in Italy it means walking the streets and talking to your neighbours. The narrow winding streets and steep steps of Italian villages weren't made for modern vehicles anyway. If you walk like Sophia Loren through those winding streets, and up and down ancient steps you'll never need to go to a gym in your life.
Money is everywhere but so is poetry. What we lack are poets.
- Federico Fellini
The centre of every Italian city or village is its cathedral towers. The architecture of churches and cathedrals is as much about the Catholic God as the existence of art and poetry. Poetry and art, are still thought to raise man above the level of animals and bring him closer to God.
I have a fantastic relationship with money. I use it buy my freedom.
- Gianni Versace
Less plagued by debt than many of their European neighbours, a suave Italian gent may prefer to invest in a smart suit to enjoy in the here and now. Being debt-free in an unsure future seems beyond control of the universe anyway. So they do what they always have done, and live in the moment.
The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
To end our ode to how Italians live and love so well, we'd like to quote one last unexpected source- John Lyden from British punk legends the Sex Pistols.
'Move to Italy... they know about living in debt; they don't care.... and they've really got it sussed. Nice cars. Sharp suits. Great food. Stroll into work at 10. Lunch from 12 till three. Leave work at five. That's living!'
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