[Zofia è una ragazza olandese tremendamente innamorata dell’Italia.
La sua passione per la scrittura e per il nostro bel paese hanno fatto sì che condividesse con noi le sue (dis)avventure, i suoi pensieri, i suoi rapporti con gli italiani e le cose che ci contraddistinguono.
Scoprirete le opinioni di una ragazza olandese su tutto ciò che riguarda l’Italia, le differenze, i modi di dire e la visione degli italiani da parte degli olandesi.]
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For a couple of years now I’ve been spending happy holidays in Italy, and I must say it was stunning to find so many beautiful places. The first time I visited Italy was in the summer of 2008 ‘Lago di Garda’. Even though I wanted to explore far more than just the small villages around the lake, Gardaland and sunbathing, I made a promise to myself to return soon without my parents.
I kept that promise and would soon return to the largest lake in Italy with a friend in the summer of 2012. The deep blue water, lemon trees and cypresses, along with the majestic landscapes gave me a magical feeling, a kind of coming home, it was the holiday where the love for Italy was fueled.
In those two weeks nothing could take away that feeling. Not the many tourists, a great many of them Dutch, not the extreme heat and not even the flirtatious Italian men. Italy has a charm which I have never seen in any other country. You will meet the kindest people and visit many towns and castles. There is a huge history, classic architecture and a lot of fun in between. Especially when you encounter a bidet for the first time. Italians love their bidets, they must think Dutch people are “dirty”. At first I didn’t know how to use this most misunderstood fixture. I had a moment of confusion, when I entered the bathroom. Now I can see this concept as a wonderful bathing fixture that improves hygiene.
In Venezia I celebrated my birthday, a very pleasant memory. The endless streets and many bridges, gave us no other choice but to keep on walking. In the end we got lost and almost missed our last boat. Getting lost is, in my humble opinion, the best way to explore Venezia. Don’t forget to bring a good map though.
In Firenze, the first love grew into a true love. Firenze made an enormous impression on me, with its many artistic treasures. A few of those are ‘Ponte Vecchio’ , the bridge where Dante saw standing Beatrice for the first and the last time, the duomo, with the largest dome in the world, Michelangelo’s David, the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Pitti the most monumental of the Renaissance Florentine palaces and the largest monumental green area in Firenze: Boboli Gardens. Being surrounded by such beauty does something to you. It inspires, energizes and suddenly you see opportunities everywhere. At least, this is the effect the city has on me. The casual walk around, the atmosphere, the smell. During those first walks the city stole my heart. And that’s only Florence. If you are in Tuscany, cities like Siena, Pisa and Lucca are incredible as well.
A conversation with the barista, or even the owner of a restaurant, makes sure you’ll feel more than welcome anywhere. A beautiful discovery that actually amazes most Dutch tourists. Which makes me think of the Neapolitan expression “Se esce il sole, esce per tutti” (when the sun rises, it rises for everyone), which counters the Dutch “Voor niets gaat de zon op’’ (The only thing that comes free in life is the sunrise) tells me all about the difference in mentality.
The biggest cultural differences between Italy and the Netherlands has to be the kitchen. It’s sad to say, but compared to the Italian cousine, our mashed potatoes, cooked meat and cut up spinach look a little daft. ‘The Italian lives to eat, the Dutchman eats to live’. When we go to work, we drink our takeaway coffee ‘on the go’, and cappuccino for desert. We spend our lunchtime at our the desk, behind the computer. Unthinkable in Italy! Just relax, and the food must be good.
After falling in love with an Italian the first time I visit Florence, I’m busy learning the Italy way of life. The next step is to learn Italian, but ‘tempo al tempo’.