Ciao amici,
Come state? How are you?

Today, inspired by the pictures in the last newsletter (for the new ones: Pictures from Italy's past), I decided to share a writing from Chianti's Simposio: Eurotrash.
- just kidding: this was a cosplay thing in Florence! -
From Chianti's Simposio:

"My father moved back to Italy in the early 80s and brought his new family with him.
When we arrived, on a cold winter day, we were welcomed by surprisingly blonde Italian ladies. All women had yellow, big, colored hair; they were also intensely - too much - tanned. They all wore fur coats.
Those were the 80s, the post "Miracolo Italiano" era, when you had to show how rich you were. Even if all that money was ending...
The fur meant you had the money to buy expensive clothing; the tan said you had money to go skiing or to the beach in Winter, and I sincerely don't know the reason that justified that horrible bleached and over-styled hair.
My mother got her fur coat but hated the cold skiing destinations, would never go blond, and after years and years of avoiding the hot sun of Venezuela, she would never get a fake tan: she was terrified of ruining her skin and looking old before time.
The truth is my family's main principle - and aspiration - has always been to be independent of fashion and mainstream culture. At the cost of being different, no wait, taking pride in being unconventional.
Sometimes we intensely lived to our standards. Other times we forced ourselves to maintain their foundations, immolating our vanity and mundane pleasures. Occasionally my mom appeared with a designer purse, a horrible example of fashion victimhood, but paired with her biggest smile. I would make a fuss to get a pair of those jeans everyone in school was wearing, and I would scream at my father: "who cares about quality: I want to be normal!" And my father would drive a German car - one of those that make everybody's face turn around - because, trends aside, "they are the best cars ever made on earth."
But we still tried to keep it chic and criticized the blonde ladies and their addiction to big and loud.
Those 80's Italian ladies are what Americans call Eurotrash. And, although a little offended and protective towards my people, I can understand why these women - and men with horrible oversized gold wristwatches and snake shoes and belts - have gained it.
They're not extinguished, unfortunately: they are the people with small culture and big money - or enough money to fake it - the ones that travel a lot and sadly become the testimonials of our beautiful country.
Please, please, please, ignore them. They are just poor little things desperately seeking your attention. Loudly speaking and laughing incontinently at the restaurant. People that grew up in the 80's - or their parents did. People who haven't realized that, thank god, that was just a phase: an adolescent Italy peering out to the world for the first time. A country that felt it wasn't enough. That put aside its heritage, its natural dark hair - although there are a lot of blondes and redheads here, but that's another story to tell another day. That was ashamed of its homemade pasta, patrons and beliefs, and rural traditions. A teenager trying to look like its Anglo-Saxon neighbors: wearing Levis jeans and polo shirts, paying more for a foreign brand than a tailor-made "Cappotto" (coat).
Now that we've grown up (at least some of us), we are digging out those old coats, asking the few tailors left to put them back in shape. To modernize them a bit. We are rediscovering not only homemade pasta but everything homemade! Everything an old lady in an old, tiny village can teach us to make from scratch.
And guess what, now we feel good, now we feel special.
We are who we are, and we finally share our treasures with the rest of the world. There's so much to uncover in the pockets of those old coats: a forgotten Mille Lire bill, a "Gettone" (phone token), or a black and white photo of an extended family gathered around a table in the open countryside.
Let the kids play with golden wristwatches, furs - fake, cause that's what fashion dictates nowadays - and tanning lamps. We are looking for authentic luxury, searching for magic in a vineyard, harvesting grapes for a friend, or in an old kitchen with a huge and heavy wooden table, watching and learning how to make Pici.
And you, my friend, are at that table or in that vineyard. With us!"
That's it, lettori belli. Welcome to revolutionary Italy!



An Italian stuffed eggplant recipe from Puglia

An Italian stuffed eggplant recipe from Puglia
Stuffed eggplant recipe with tomato sauce, breadcrumbs, pecorino (or Parmesan), and mortadella (or ham).

Read more

Chianti Classico Simposio

Chianti Classico Simposio
A guide to Chianti's slow travel.

Read more

Italian gifts made in Italy

Italian gifts made in Italy
If you are planning to get your dear ones gifts from Italy, it is probably time to start ordering!

Read more
If you stumbled upon this newsletter for the first time...
My name is Claudia. I am a digital artisan, curator of the Simposio travel cookbook series, maker of Gourmet Project, an Italian food, travel, and culture website, and life-in-Italy narrator through this newsletter.
I live in glorious Rome. I love pasta, "melanzane alla parmigiana," hats, suitcases and airports, Christmas, and books.
Through this weekly correspondence, I aim to share what living in Italy truly feels like. Of course, this is my point of view: the neighborhood where I live, the places I go to, the food I eat, and the trips I take. I try to broaden it by recounting traditions, asking the people I meet, and time-traveling through my memories or those of the Italians around me. Hoping this will be entertaining, informative, and, most important of all, authentic!
Enjoy your read!

Was this entertaining, informative, or just a bit fun?

Become a Patron of the Modern Arts:

Click here and give your contribution through Paypal!

social land

pinterest instagram 
Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet