- If you thought you were eating "Italian food" before, you'll learn that you were wrong. Chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs and pasta swimming in Alfredo sauce are not Italian dishes. You'll realize that if--and when--you eat these, you are really enjoying Italian-American dishes. A totally different thing.
- You will appreciate fresh pasta more--especially if you make it yourself.
- You will at long last really know how to slow down.
- You won't want to pay extremely high prices for restaurants after learning how easy it is to implement the simple philosophy of Italian food preparation in your own kitchen.
- You will learn that you can get along with less... more fresh food requires a smaller fridge; you don't need a huge gas-guzzling car; and that 22' high entrance hall in your McMansion will start to seem very ridiculous.
- You will learn to recognize opportunities to relax and take in a view--learning to always make time to soak in the simple pleasures like a vista, a sunset, beautiful architecture or natural wonders.
- You will be humbled at your place in history after seeing buildings still standing--and often still being used--after 2000 years. The oldest structures (Pennsylvania stone colonials) in my area are no more than 300 years old.
- Your lunches will seem amazingly inadequate and short. You will want to have a job close enough to allow you to go home for lunch.
- You will begin to understand the Italian meaning behind your own "bella figura" and always try to appear well attired and attractive rather than going out in public in sweat pants and unkempt, wet hair.
- You will learn the advantage of a mid-day nap.
- You will want to have simpler breakfasts... an espresso and a sweet pastry.
- You might start keeping your home neater and cleaner. Italians even remove their shoes when home, walking on well cleaned tile floors.
- You will want to make your own pizzas, and when you don't, you will want to order individual pizzas with simpler toppings... basil, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella.
- You will want to learn all about soccer and watch international matches.
- You will begin to see how much of an overpriced, un-Italian joke Starbucks really is.
- You will no longer drink to excess, but rather have a cocktail or two (perhaps a Negroni?) with friends. You will start to select your bottles of wine based on how well they pair with your meals. Beer will lose its appeal.
- You will eat more slowly, especially in good restaurants.
- You will learn how to pronounce Italian words properly: broosh-KET-ah rather than broosh-etta, ree-COTT-ah rather than ri-cutta and eS-PRES-so instead of eX-presso.
- A measly two week vacation will seem very inadequate after learning of the mandatory 31 days given to Italian workers.
- You will never be satisfied by the fruit and veggies in your local supermarket again.
- You will learn to absolutely love cheeses--especially from sheep.
- American sodas will forever taste too sweet to you.
- You will never be afraid or timid on the road again. You will drive with the confidence of a Grand Prix race driver.
- You will learn to taste your food before automatically putting salt on it.
- If you've always thought that complex French cuisine was the ultimate in fine dining and cooking, you'll find yourself replacing that whole view with the simplicity of Italian techniques.
- The peanut butter will be shoved to the rear of the shelf, while Nutella comes to the front.
- You will want to have meals with larger numbers of family and friends than ever before.
- If you're a guy, you will feel fine about giving your friends big hugs and expect the same back.
- Men... you might want to try wearing a Speedo again.
- You will find yourself thinking about time in a different way... when it flows past, like a river, there is nothing you can do to get it back. There's always domani.
- If you've never cooked before--you will. If you have cooked before, you will cook better.
- You will never look at supermarket variety olive oils in the same way again.
- You will have learned how a walk after dinner is good for your soul, your family and your health.
- You will want to ask your family elders about their past, their romances, their family history and of course, you'll want them to write down their recipes for you.
- If you're a man, you will compliment women more--even your mother. If you're a woman, you'll flirt more.
- You will look at older people differently, and possibly even look forward to that stage in your own life.
- You will find yourself learning more and more Italian words and phrases... and perhaps take a lesson or two, in preparation for your next trip back to Italy.
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