The move has officially happened! I’ve left a rather nippy Frankfurt and have embarked on my next journey in Turin, Italy. In fact, I’m already over a month into my little adventure and enjoying my far busier routine here. I’ll be here for the next four months working for Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles alongside natives picking up on all of their quintessential Italian traits and attempting to improve my Italian language along the way.
Here are a couple of things I’ve picked up in my time here so far…
The Italians are some of the loveliest, friendliest people you will meet. Regardless of whether they’ve met you before or not, they’ll welcome you with open arms into their culture, life and perspective. The Italians love a natter on public transport and just making small talk in general, which is usually a no-go on the tube back home. At first, I must admit it took me aback.
Whilst they’re completely embracing, my do they love a gossip! This is of course only from my own experience and I know that in offices in the U.K it’s can be exactly the same, but boy-o-boy I haven’t heard it quite so much as this…
C.o.f.f.e.e is life. It’s stereotypical, but oh so true! Coffee is an integral part of pretty much every Italians life. We have two coffee machines in our office, plus a dispenser about 50 meters away. Coffee is consumed in the morning on the regular and always after lunch to keep them going throughout the afternoon.
Following on from lunch, something else that certainly isn’t quite so popular in good old Great Britain is brushing your teeth after lunch. However here, after every meal it is an essential. Toothbrushes are brought into work and you can find everyone having a scrub after lunch… It makes me want to up my dental hygiene!
Forget the stereotypes though; Italians are some of the hardest working people I know. Their typical day begins at 9am and they generally don’t leave the office until 7/8pm every day. Yes, it is manic and chaos often ensues, but they really don’t mess around!
A final lovely and topical one is the way in which they celebrate International Women’s Day (la Festa della donna). On the 8th March, whilst it’s obviously not a public holiday women in Italy are bought beautiful yellow Mimosa flowers and often also little yellow treats, such as chocolates… On the day you can find little newsagents and stands everywhere selling them. In general, I think it is celebrated far more here, as all of my co-workers also give each other their best wishes on the day too (‘auguri’)! It’s such a lovely idea and makes the day seem far more special… something I think we should definitely implement in the U.K!
What do you think? Have you been to Italy? What was your experience of the culture? I’d love to know your thoughts.