Americans love Italy and the Italian lifestyle. In our fast-paced lives, we long for the luxurious lunches of primo, secondo, contorno, dolce, cafe, and lemoncello. All of this to be followed by a nap! Even better, in our minds eye, we place all of this outdoors, on a terrace, overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany. Movies/books like “Eat Pray Love”, “Under the Tuscan Sun”, “My House in Umbria”, and others invite us to purchase plane tickets and head to Italy. We are drawn to the food, the people, the beauty . . .the simplicity.
Several years ago, I met my husband in Sweden, we moved in together 8 months later and created our bi-cultural lives together. . . an Italian living with an American. We created our lives here. He slowly adapted to our American ways yet the tug towards Italy pulled. After some planning and exploration we decided to remain in the United States, but. . . with a pact. We agreed that we would do our utmost to live here, but with the deliberate focus on living as much as we could. . .the “Italian lifestyle”.
This blog will be about the ways that we have attempted this goal. We do this in the ways that we cook and eat. This pact has affected the jobs that we have chosen and their location. It affects how we raise our child. We craft our weekends with this in mind.
As in many blogs, this “Bella Vita” will be an unfolding of ideas and an interactive process whereby the community of readers will add to our sharing and we will journey together to unpack this theme. It will entail some sharing from our lives and that of our family; two cultures coming together under one roof. Sometimes it will include observations of Italian culture and comparisons with American culture, always knowing that these are the observations of one family.
As in any venture like this, there will always be the risk of falling prey to stereotypes and over-generalizations. For instance, how often have you heard that “the food is excellent in Italy!” While I believe this is true, it doesn’t mean that all food is excellent! One can have a “bad” meal in Italy. My observation, however, would be that even a “bad” meal in Italy (barring locations that taylor food for the American tourist) would be a great meal in the States.
My goal is simple. . . to share thoughts about the Italian life, La Bella Vita, the beautiful life from the prospective of one family. We will share: our lives, our recipes, videos that illustrate Italian cooking, photos, thoughts, musings about life, some psychology, healthy aging. . . etc. . .Thank you for joining us on this journey and we look forward to The Bella Vita together!