There is something special about Italy. I was there recently for 5 days which you probably know makes me an expert.
If I had to sum up Italy in one word it would be: PASSION.
I just find that Italy does nothing ordinary. Eating is an extraordinary experience. (Even the pizza at the airport was better than most I´ve had my whole life!) The people are inordinately loud, vivacious and expressive. Creative geniuses of all kinds have emerged from Italy. There is incredible passion for art, music, and natural beauty both in the countryside and the coast. There is mind-blowing passion for fútbol. There is obvious, historical passion for religion. There is world-renown, exquisite passion for fashion. But most surprising to me is passion for even the ordinary.
Let´s take a cup of coffee. As you can see in the image above, coffee is taken seriously. Coffee with a friend is taken passionately. Everyday conversations at cafés around Italy can be romantic, business-sealing, mafia-producing, war-inducing or "just" pure friendship. But it´s all done with dramatic gesturing - and yes, passion.
I saw another add that I failed to get a picture of. The first photo was a shot of a beautiful steaming espresso on a nice table. The caption was: This is NOT an Italian espresso. The second photo was a picture of a beautiful girl on a rooftop with an amazing view. A gorgeous guy with no shirt on (!) was next to her. There were some kind of white, billowing curtain-like things blowing gently in the wind. And on a small mosaic table in front of them, two steaming espressos. The caption? THIS is an Italian espresso.
Yup. That about sums up all of Italy.
The coolest part of my trip? I got to meet some Italians who direct their passion at Jesus. Italian disciples of my Savior who pour out their natural, culturally passionate selves into loving Him scandalously, unreservedly, with excellence and relevance and creativity. It was such an inspiring experience to be among them.
Need more passion? Take a trip....to Italy.
The Italians do passion right!
P.S. Did I tell you that I felt like I was back in my beloved Buenos Aires again? All that gesturing, the intonation of Italian, the expressions & volume were so very familiar to me. It was almost like going home somehow...