Italy has long had a reputation for being passionate; whether there is cause for celebration or commiseration, Italian people are not afraid to show their emotion and commitment to their country. You need only look at the love and anguish displayed on an Italian football fan’s face to see how much they care for their homeland and wish for it to do well. From this passion has come the artists, thinkers and athletes of Italy who present an image of their country to the world and gain the love of their compatriots in the process. Here we’ll take a look at some of the areas in which Italy shows the most devotion, faith and enthusiasm towards its own people.
Italy is famous for the enthusiastic support that they show their national football team, so it was with heavy hearts that the country watched the team lose out on a place in this year’s FIFA World Cup. Countryman and former pro player Andrea Pirlo let his disappointment about the result show, suggesting that he would need to support another country this year instead. Despite the feeling of defeat that is inevitable when your team lose out, therein lies the beauty of the World Cup. Italians needn’t sit out this tournament altogether, they can simply choose a different team to support throughout the summer with no risk of being labelled unpatriotic.
Another competition that Italy often excels in is the Olympic Games. The most recent Italian teams brought home a healthy haul of 28 medals from the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, and an admirable 10 medals from this year’s Winter Games held in Pyeongchang. Italy has hosted the modern Olympics a total of three times so far, and the country has finished in the top 5 of the medal count 14 times. Italian sports-men and -women are clearly not to be trifled with and always have the impassioned support of their country behind them when performing on the world stage.
It would be difficult to talk about the passion of Italy without mentioning food. Famous for their pasta dishes, the invention of pizza and making a great espresso, Italians are known the world over for their skills in the kitchen. In fact, many people travel to Italy simply to sample the food and many Italian immigrants in other countries establish careers in the culinary arts.
Pizza, of course, is one of Italy’s most infamous and well-loved exports. Whether you stick with the simple but tasty Margherita or opt for a more daring flavour combination (ham and pineapple, anyone?), pizza is a global obsession. Another dish that the Italians are famous for is pasta. There are so many numerous ways to eat pasta, ranging from the stuffed parcels of tortellini and ravioli to the layers of a lasagne. However, whichever one of these staple foods you’re eating in Italy, the key thing is to use the freshest ingredients.
Perhaps the secret to Italian cooking is their use of fresh, high quality ingredients in everything that they make. From basil leaves, to tomato sauce, to bread, Italian cooks and chefs are passionate about their choice of ingredients. There are quality control boards for foods like cheese and wine and an Italian cook will always choose good quality, simple ingredients over piling on lots of second-class ones.
I guess if you start off with the very best, then you can only make it better!
Italy has been home to some of the greatest artists ever to have lived and Italians are therefore very proud of their artistic heritage. And rightly so! This is the country that gave birth to such greats as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli. It is also the place that still hosts important pieces of architecture such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Florence Cathedral. Travel practically anywhere in Italy and you will find the influence and expression of its artists still revered and appreciated.
Perhaps a more modern interpretation of art in Italy is through its great fashion houses. Designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci and Versace have had immense influence on and off the catwalk, dressing everybody from popstars to British royalty. Whereas fashion may not be a traditional artistic discipline, it is one that uses its platform to comment on social issues from feminism to environmentalism. Particularly in fashion hotspots like Milan, you will find that the Italian people find the designer label as an essential mark of quality.
As you can see, the country of Italy has a lot to be passionate about. This is where great thinkers, great artists and great athletes are born and raised, and is also the home of their dedicated fans. Perhaps the reason that Italy has such a reputation for high emotion is that they put 100% of their hearts and souls into every endeavour, and the feeling of pride across the country is such that, just for a moment, a lost football match can seem like the end of the world. There’s no doubt that they certainly have a lot to be proud of!