Italy is changing and so is View Italy
I have taken a short sabbatical from the things I enjoy to do the things I must. During this brief interruption I have been able to organize in my head certain tendencies occurring in Italy. The last two years have brought changes that are ripping at the core of Italian culture. I try to accentuate the positive aspects of my experience in Italy. In the last period it has been difficult to write because the positive is under attack. It is in the words of my kids that I find the most distress. They are at the beginning of life’s trek, just entering the work force.
The process began several years ago. Raffaella and I were in Milan for a doctor’s appointment. When we finished it was late afternoon and we decided to have an apperitivo in a local bar we had been to many times over the years. To our astonishment a Chinese couple was running the counter. Curiously we asked and found that this bar had been sold earlier in the year. The offered the same types of snacks with the Prosecco and the service was courteous. We have not been back to the bar. Things just were not the same. The new owners tried hard to maintain the establishment’s atmosphere but they are fighting a losing battle. They are not Italian. It is the little things that make the experience Italian. The attention to detail and the innate understanding of what is appealing is part of the culture.
A similar experience here in Dallas allows us to think about what our subconscious understands. Raffaella works with a company owned by first generation Italian immigrant. For Christmas he adorned the store with best ornaments he could find. When one of the employees complimented the decorations he sadly stated, “It is the best we could do. We could not find live vines or handmade ornaments.” To some the WOW factor is most important but our subconscious picks up the difference between something made to look like quality and something that is quality.
So my articles will change. I will maintain my food porn and perhaps one day I will publish a complete recipe list in a separate volume. Fashion still excites me. It remains exciting and imaginative even with the changes brought on by globalization. I will try and talk about restaurants and hotels where the family remains the basic building block of success. I will also talk about what is happening to the youth of Italy as Italy changes.
Your thoughts are always appreciated.