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Italy Culture

An America Family in Italy Living la dolce vita without permission Paul Spadoni

Italy is on the bucket list of nearly every traveler. What is it about this narrow peninsula that lures so many people? It’s an intoxicating blend of delicious food, endless culture and history, breathtaking landscapes and invigorating attitudes. Each time we come back, we fall in love all over again with this graceful enchantress.

Numerous people have expressed their appreciation for the bel paese in words both simple and elegant. Here are some of our favorite quotes:


“A man who has not been in Italy is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.”

Samuel Johnson, English essayist


“The Creator made Italy from designs by Michaelangelo.”

Mark Twain, author


“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.”

Fanny Burney, English novelist


“Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.”

Bertrand Russell, philospher, logician, mathematician


“What is the fatal charm of Italy? What do we find there that can be found nowhere else? I believe it is a certain permission to be human, which other places, other countries, lost long ago.”

Erica Jong, author


“I think people in Italy live their lives better than we do. It’s an older country, and they’ve learned to celebrate dinner and lunch, whereas we sort of eat as quickly as we can to get through it.”

George Clooney, American actor


“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”

Truman Capote, author


“For us to go to Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery, back, back down the old ways of time. Strange and wonderful chords awake in us, and vibrate again after many hundreds of years of complete forgetfulness.”

D.H. Lawrence, English novelist


“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.”

Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet


“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.”

Elton John, musician, songwriter


“Thou Paradise of exiles, Italy!” Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet


“I love the language, that soft bastard Latin, Which melts like kisses from a female mouth, And sounds as if it should be writ on satin with syllables which breathe of the sweet South.”

George Gordon Noel Byron, poet, politician


“Open my heart and you will see graved inside of it, Italy.”

Robert Browning, British poet and dramatist


“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” Giuseppe Verdi, composer, musician


“And that is ... how they are. So terribly physically all over one another. They pour themselves one over the other like so much melted butter over parsnips. They catch each other under the chin, with a tender caress of the hand, and they smile with sunny melting tenderness into each other’s face.”

D.H. Lawrence, English novelist


“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

Orson Welles, American actor, director and writer




Here are a few of our favorite blog entries describing our observations of Italian culture:


Is bottom pinching legal in Italy?

Do Italian males live up to reputation for persistent and flirtatious behavior?

American girl in Italy a statement of freedom, not harassment

Going to community market is a weekly experience not to be missed

Burning of olive branches an ancient tradition in Mediterranean region

Italy and its pervasive superstitions

Endearing Italian hand gestures have deep roots in culture, upbringing

Roman and Italian society owes much to Etruscans, early inhabitants of Italy

I want to be Italian, but I come up lacking in some vital areas

Ubiquitous evening passeggiata a reflection of Italian lifestyle

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An America Family in Italy Living la dolce vita without permission Paul Spadoni