By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
We had a wonderful journey throughout the beautiful country of Italy. We saw the Amalfi coast in the south staying in Ravello and Sorrento. We traveled northward and journeyed around Tuscany and spent time in the walled city of Lucca. We then went further north into the mountains and ended our stay in the Lake Como region in the little village of Cadenabbia. All locations were totally different in landscape topography and scenery. The food and wine varied somewhat from region to region based on proximity to the coast, the rolling hills of Tuscany or the mountainous region of Lake Como. Seafood was abundant in the south and more meats were available as we traveled north. The pizza, pasta, wine and gelato were a constant no matter where we were. All delicious.
One item that stood out for me that, no matter where we were, was the people. What I mean is the intense passion that Italians have about their country, it’s remarkable history, and all that there is to offer. They are proud of their villages and the generations that have lived there before them and the generations to come. The land and the sea provide all the food they need to survive. They toil on the farms and vineyards and on the boats. They enjoy the fruits of their labor with such an intense love that is so refreshing and enjoyably to experience. They love sipping their espresso in the morning with some fresh baked items. They love drinking wine throughout the day with whatever is around to eat. They love simple things and live at a much slower pace than us Americanos. There is a saying, “La dolce far niente”, which in Italian means the sweetness of doing nothing. There is something to be said for that. It is more about the journey in life than the destinations along the way. I guess we call it stopping to smell the roses.
Much of the feeling of this passion came from the drivers who were born and raised in the various regions. We spent hours in the car with them and we were just as eager to learn about them as they were eager to learn about us. It made for stimulating and fascinating conversations. It was interesting to hear their thoughts about the USA and what destinations stateside they visited. NYC was the most popular visited location of those that we talked to. We joked amongst ourselves about could we ever leave the USA and live in Italy? Of course, we would never actually do it, but it was fun to talk about it. When we asked our drivers if they would ever leave Italy? They all said very quickly, no. I guess home is home wherever in the world that may be.
God willing there will be another Italian venture in our future with different villages and regions to explore. Maybe we expand our travels to other countries as well but there is still so much pasta and pizza to eat and wine to drink in Italy. A bucket list item for me is to learn the Italian language other than a few simple phrases and some curse words.
One thing I do know is “la dolce far niente”.
Ciao for now and until the next Italian journey.
Until the Next Tom’s take…