More Things to Love About Living in Italy

Tina Ferrari
  • By Tina Ferrari
  • July 20th, 2010

by Tina Ferrari

Will I ever run out of things to love about Italy?  I doubt it.  Here are my latest three favorite things…

Going out to buy wine. Everywhere else I have lived, purchasing wine has naturally involved buying a bottle at a time.  In Italy, you will certainly be able to do that, and good wine does not cost very much.  It’s an essential food here, and therefore accessible.  Something I have noticed a lot, particularly here in the Salento, is the act of going to a wine producer’s outlet and having them fill a jug several liters full of the elixir.  Prices are around 1 or 2 Euros a liter and if you know where to go, the quality is good.  I have found my place, where I am able to get three liters of wine for around 4 Euros or less.  If you consider that a bottle of wine is less than a liter, then you have an idea of what a good deal that is.  Once you get home, you simply transfer the wine from the large jug to more manageable bottles, and you’ve got enough wine for the week.

Gelato, even for the slim and trim. I love that gelato is not frowned upon as a diet-killer.  Here, particularly in the summer, it’s perfectly acceptable and normal to consume it on a very regular basis.  I have it almost every day (and no weight gain!).  I remember once commenting that gelato must be fattening, and a rather svelte Italian friend said, “Ha! You silly. Gelato doesn’t count!”   Of course not.   And it can make you so happy!  When I need a pick-me-up, I simply hop over to Natale, the nearby gelateria, and get a cone with two wonderful flavors such as pistachio and pine nut, and then I walk over to the Roman amphitheater in Piazza Sant’Oronzo and stare at it as I indulge in my nice cold treat.

The produce. Things look like they’ve just been picked here.  The zucchini still has the flowers attached.  Tomatoes are all kinds of different shapes and they actually taste like tomatoes.  Greens need to be washed really well because they still have dirt on the roots. Things are available in season and it doesn’t cost a lot to buy vegetables.  It’s amazing how high your quality of life feels when you don’t have to worry about being able to afford to eat healthy.  And with so much flavor, who can complain?

Tina Ferrari is a tango dancer, translator and writer currently based in Lecce, Italy. She writes at as well as on her own blog, Tina Tangos. Comments are always welcome!

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Ah, so true! The other great thing about gelato is that it seems to be the only type of food you’re allowed to eat while walking — anything else is a no-no to eat on the go… my excuse, at least, for grabbing gelato over a sandwich at noontime!

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