When we think of Italy a few things most certainly spring to mind and come to the fore. The European nation has a very strong cultural influence throughout the world and a large number of us reading this can say they’ve experienced or have even been influenced by the nation at one stage or another.
There are various facets to Italian culture that a lot of us come into meeting with each and every day – so let’s take a look at some of the most renowned.
Whether it’s pasta, meat, pizza or anti-pasta the Italians know how to do food. There simplistic take on the culinary world and use of amazing fresh ingredients makes Italy possibly the greatest foodie nation in the world. From the meat heavy foods of the north of the country, to the shell fish and staple inspired food of the south and classics such as putanesca and others –a dream for food lovers.
The Italians make cars and no we’re not talking about the average five door sedan. In Italy cars get the same passionate treatment that food gets. Think of the amazing manufacturers from the nation – ones that put others to shame – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and even Fiat. In Italy the car is not necessarily about reliability and often more about spirit and passion – looking at some of the autos from the aforementioned manufacturers this is clear to see.
You may not know but Italy is only over 150 years old as a country, prior to this it was a number of small states. The modern Italy is a manufacturing powerhouse and one of the most remarkable nations on earth; however it’s not always been in existence.
That said, there’s always been a certain Italian feel – from the Romans, to the renaissance to the modern day – Italy has shaped how those of us in the Western World live, perceive ourselves, see ourselves and understand the world.
Italy’s home to one of the most powerful religious figures in the world, in the form of the Pope; the catholic spiritual leader who lives in the Vatican City – a separate nation within Rome. Around four out of every five people in the country consider themselves to be Catholic – secular practices however are increasingly strong here. There are a number of other religions in Italy too and other Christians, Muslims and Jewish people are represented in the country too.
Italians are famed for their family ties. From the over caring mother to the crazy girlfriend to the mamma’s boy son – Italians have a humorously close relationship if you’re to believe the stereotypes. In a lot of ways it’s true – there’s no smoke without fire. However, the Italians do tend to have a very family centric feel about life and there’s a strong onus on the kin across the nation.
Italy is a fantastic nation and one that offers great food, culture, history and art. It’s a cultural and spiritual capital and a once in a lifetime visit at the very least.