It’s all in the (Italian) flavor

By Sergio González | 10:37

capuccino cup

Why is everything Italian so fancy, good-looking or tasty?

Cars? They make Ferrari. Food? Hello, Italian food restaurants worldwide. Clothes? Just saying Valentino makes you feel sophisticated and glamorous.

Arts? OMG, don’t get me started. Italy is always among the most visited countries in the world. Ever heard of Italian beaches? 45 million people go there every year because the art there is that interesting.

So, is there any special reason for all that beauty coming from Italy?

Some geneticists from Harvard and others are pointing out lately we might be a little overridden by our conception of genes, that they are no so determinant as we believe them to be. It is environmental conditions the most probable cause for our behavior, likings and preferences in life.

Bearing this in mind, there’s no doubt why Italians are so excellent in anything regarding style, beauty or harmony. They are born to a country where streets are paved with classic sculptures, stores display windows as beautiful as paintings and every two steps there’s a bucolic church, a Renaissance garden or a magnificent palazzo displaying all its charms on you; feeding your spirit even if you don’t care to notice.

When you live surrounded by such display of beauty and perfection, you either perish or measure up. It’s a highly competitive world in Italy but survivors are just like the final stroke from the brush of a ‘maestro’, the last slice of pizza when everybody is still hungry.

 Let’s say you have a day to spare in Florence. You’ve seen the Duomo, the Piti Palace and all the other major monuments and it’s early in the morning and you don’t know what to do. Relax, you’re in Italy and everything is going just fine.

You go out for a coffee. Italian coffee in Italy must be awesome -you think-, and you are right.

There’s an unspoken rule that the quality of coffee served matches decoration, location or cleanliness but it doesn’t apply in Italy. Here they only accept the best, so a random place like a train station bar can offer you a wonderful cup of espresso or a thorough cappuccino in a matter of seconds -Italian baristas skills are legendary.

Anyway, if not between destinations, pick a lovely cafe with a nice terrazza. To enjoy a quite breakfast with overwhelming views of the city, choose the opposite bank of the River Arno to where every tourist is. And if you want the best views, just across Ponte alle Grazie there is a hill, the Giardino delle Rose (Rose Garden) with a bar on top of it. Earn the right to have an extra danish.

If you’re spending the summer in Florence, don’t forget to hit a sagre, some sort of gastronomy club for everybody where you can have deliciousness before you, Italian mamma style, and at awesome price. It’s a great place to eat like locals do and get to know them a little bit between bite and bite.

Don’t forget to get out of Florence and visit the so beautiful countryside of Tuscany. If you need an incentive, there are food festivals and gathering going on in all the province; in July (for peasant food, pizza and seafood) and August (steak, wild boar or cakes).


Arriving by train to the island of Venice is a very good idea. Just as you get out of Santa Luzia Station, the first impression of Venice is perfect, a canal full of gondolas and the magnificent cupola of Palazzo Contarini (ruler family of Venice Republic) just before your very eyes.

If you’re visiting Venice this month, you’d better book for the end of it, around 25th July. The San Giacomo dell’Orio festivals, with tons of barbecues and food stalls everywhere, will be waiting for you.

Having a bite in Venice is very expensive anyway; just a regular meal costs like a fancy one in any other Italian city so you face two options (junk food is out of the matter). Either you have some cheap but tasty panino to help you get through the day –check out panini bars close to Savognan Park, just right of the train station- or you decide to bring down the house because you are paying a lot of money anyway so why not truly enjoy it?

Photo credit: roevin /Urban Capture

Photo credit: Rubber Dragon

  • posted by Johnelle | 04 June 2016, 18:19,

    That saves me. Thanks for being so seblensi!


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