post-project, Servizio Volontario Europeo (EVS), Vicolocorto

7 Italian Habits I will import to Spain

“This kind of piada is different”, said Isabel about piadina di Montefeltro, “do you think it will be better for a real piadina? The other one seems better for kebab”. At that moment I yelled: “Don’t say that again. Don’t use piadina as a kebab bread, for God’s sake!”. And then I realized that maybe, after these months I have assumed some Italian manners.

I know Italians would never accept me as a real one of them, but in any case I will take with me a few new habits from Italian way of life. Here are the most important ones:

  1. Obsession about cooking any kind of meal properly well. It doesn’t matter if it’s only spaghetti al pomodoro. You have to cook them correctly and, obviously, the pasta has to be “al dente”. I had to admit I has always hated pasta overcooked, so it wasn’t difficult to cook pasta to Italian friends. What I didn’t know was that they care so much about which kind of pasta goes with each sauce and now, after eating soooo much pasta during those months I realized why: it’s all about the “al dente”. Even if, unfortunately, I didn’t understand yet which pasta is ok with each “sugo”, I won’t ever never put again cream in the carbonara. I promise!


  1. I will die because of the salt in my meals. Since I arrived I’ve taken the salty obsession from Italian way of cooking. But I don’t care. I love it as I love, not my boyfriend, but as I love pizza or focaccia (with thick salt!). So, more than him.


  1. Gesticulate. Even more. As a Mediterranean Spanish I’m pretty used to move my hands in a way to complete my speeches, but as a expressively person, I will import a lot of gestures. So, Spanish friends, prepare to hear the “bo” with the shoulders movement when I will came back!


  1. Coffee. Always. And gelato (but that’s not new, traditional ice cream made me crazy before coming). Since I arrived I have increased so much my coffee levels per day but I’m still not getting used to the “expresso”, I need a longer coffee. But, please, don’t say I deserve go to hell, I would never order an Americano, I have learnt the lesson: that tastes as a bad tea.


  1. Being super careful when I’m crossing the street, especially when there’s a crosswalk. I’m convinced that you have heard about Italian driving way, so… Do I really have to explain the reason?


  1. Speaking Italian “lamentandomi”, which means as a pesarese, so, in a complaining tone. I know that for them I’m still sounding as a fake, but I will keep working on my accent.


  1. Missing aperitivo so much. I know it’s pretty similar to “irse de cañas” in Spain, but it would never be the same. There is no “aperi-cena”in our bars but, at least, our beer is cheaper (I’m pretty sure you will remember this at the moment you will have to decide where to do on holidays!).


As you have already probably noticed,  most of the points in this article are about food and it’s on purpose.  The first reason is that Italians are always talking about food, receipts and new bars/restaurants (even more than Spanish, which is kind of difficult). Actually I really think it’s their favorite topic. The other ones are where to go on holidays, football and beautiful girls/handsome boys, relationships or loving problems, as you prefer to define them.

The other reason is more universal: humans like eating and it is a very important part of our culture and, so that, our identity. I have always believed that how we eat is a way to understand how we think as a community and how we socialize. At sum, meeting locals around the table is a good way to integrate you into a new culture and, as I see it, it makes easier feeling part of it.

So, if you are not Italian, I will beg you again to not use “piadina” as kebab bread if you can avoid it. Of course,I said it just in case you are not Italian, because I know that If you are you won’t. Or if you will, your family will disinherit you.

PS: In case you didn’t realize, I would like to make you notice that this post has been written in a humoristic way. So whether you have felt offended, I ask your forgiveness.




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