Living in Lucca, Italy continues to be a huge blessing full of new adventures and experiences. It was a bit difficult to get use to a different lifestyle and culture, but I think I am finally getting the hang of things. I feel like I have been completely immersed to the point that when someone asks me a question in English, I stare blankly at them. I have become so comfortable hearing Italian that I almost forget what English is.
In a previous post (The Beginning of a New Adventure), I discussed some of the biggest differences between living in Italy and living in the USA. As I have now been living in Italy for more than six months I have learned even more about how very different things are here than what they are like living in the States.
- I would not advise having television here unless you understand Italian. There are no English channels.
- I’m enjoying learning Italian. I love how the language flows and how they use multiple vowels in a row. It is much easier to learn than English with all its silent vowels and consonants.
- Bathrooms: While I still have no idea why I would ever use a bidet, I thoroughly love the fact that Italian bathrooms have towel warmers.
- I do eat a lot of pizza here. My favorite is the 4 Stagioni pizza. This pizza includes ham, mushrooms, olives, and arichokes. The olives have pits in them, so that was a bit of a surprise. I’m grateful that I didn’t choke on the first one I had.
- Food portions are large in Italy. It is common to eat more than one course too. I can still barely eat one course. I want to know how Italians stay so thin.
- Conversions are very different. I’m not just referring to currency. You will need to learn the different metric system that Italians use for cooking and telling a barber how much hair to trim. It would be pretty bad to mess that up.
- Italy has the tiniest vehicles. It isn’t just that they use the tiny smart cars, but all vehicles are small including their garbage trucks.
- Lucca loves dogs. It seems that every household has a dog. What surprises me is the amount of dogs that I see that are the size of small bears. How do they own small vehicles but very large dogs?
- Fashion is big in Italy. Italians don’t dress for the weather, they dress for the season. It is important that stores provide Italians with the latest season, so they have amazing sales to get rid of last season’s clothing. Also, if the calendar states that it is winter, Italians wear their winter coat. It doesn’t matter what the actual temperature is.
- I am still not clear on all the police departments in Italy. Different police departments manage different tasks. Some handle crime, while others handle ticketing, and they are all called something different. Here are some examples: Carabinieri, Polizia Penitenziaria, Direzione Investigativa Antimafia, Polizia Municipale, Polizia Provinciale, etc.
- You expect to hear opera in Italy. I quite enjoy hearing an opera singer practicing in her home. I didn’t expect drums. Lucca has drummers that play for city holidays and special events. They practice every Tuesday night even after 10pm. It isn’t the most relaxing nighttime sounds.
- Italians get the same amount of bills that Americans do. The difference is how you pay them. If you don’t do online bill paying in the States, then you normally use the postal system. You then have to wait days for them to receive your payment. However, in Italy, I can go to a tobacco stand or bar to pay my bills. This is perfect, because normally there is nothing I want more than a drink when paying my bills. I can take care of both at once. Brilliant!