Our latest blog as written by my husband George.
A number of years ago I was working part-time as a gym instructor. One evening in walked a beautiful young thing who was to become my wife. I took a liking to her, so started to see her outside of work. I knew her mother and father were Italian and she’d been born and brought up in the UK.
What I didn’t know was what this meant. I thought in my ignorance the Italian lineage meant a bit of pasta, salami and the odd pizza, now and again. Was I in for a sharp learning curve? There was plenty of pasta, and the odd pizza. But the Family thing was the biggest surprise. You see Italian identity is closely linked to the family.
That link can bring certain problems and benefits. For example their prying can be intolerable, but kindness unbelievable. Their willingness to help is unimaginable, the chaos that follows a sight to see. The food is delightful, but the amounts are gut busting.
One of my wife’s aunties comes to mind. Before I knew I knew nothing, I thought she was prying, overbearing, pushy and nosey. The reality is she gave great kindness and love over many years to the little girl who later was to become my wife. The truth is she would most likely give you the sofa out of her lounge with little question. However in return she expects that you are there for her as well when needed. I write this after having a lunch of wild rabbit and salad cooked for myself and children by my long suffering Anglo-Italian wife. All ingredients were very kindly donated by her auntie and much enjoyed.
When I come to Italy I have the pleasure of seeing the real Italy. I get to eat peaches that actually taste of peach. Taste strawberry’s that taste of strawberry. Enjoy tomatoes that taste and food that tastes of life and kindness.
When explaining my wife’s family a quote from the Disney film Frozen comes to mind. Christophe is about to introduce Anna, to his adopted family, the trolls. He says
“They’re a little bit loud. And boy they’re brash. And sometimes they’re really heavy, but!
Nearly twenty years on with two little girls, a retreat in Italy I now know one thing about Italians? I know absolutely nothing about Italians.