Native Italian and fitness expert Paul Frediani recently returned from his annual trip to Italy. Paul is passionate about Italy and the Italian lifestyle. While he always loves the precious time spent in his native village of Bozzano in Tuscany, Paul is bothered by a disturbing trend. Are the Italians emulating some of America’s negative habits?
Here are Paul’s thoughts:
“Tutto il mondo é un paese” – an old Italian saying meaning “the world is a village” – is certainly true when it comes to the alarming increase in the rate of obesity in western society today. The Italians are no exception. The obesity levels in Italy are up 25% since 1994. Italian obesity is at 9%, while America’s is at 30% but the Italians are gaining fast. It’s no wonder Fiat bought Chrysler. It was a strategic move: At the rate of their fast expanding waistline Italians will no longer be able to fit into their Cinquecentos. I was shocked and baffled by what I saw in Italy this past year. Young teenage girls with big bellies hanging over their waistline, men so fat their Armani’s are busting at the seams. Although I have seen the slow but gradual weight gain of the Italian population over the years, this last trip simply “blew my mind”.
A historic city within a city, it’s difficult to find a house within the old, Renaissance walls of Lucca, but apartments are more plentiful. Its handsome centro storico (or historical center) is little changed since local son Giaccomo Puccini served as church choir master, according to Schultz. The shaded three-mile path atop the city walls is a favorite bike ride or passaggiata for the lucchesi, she adds, and Lucca is the epicenter for Tuscany’s world-class olive oil, so you know food and wine are revered here. Living outside the city, in the surrounding hillsides, is just as idyllic. “To live in the city in the winter and come into the hills in thesummer, that is heaven on earth,” says local Realtor Sarita Vincent.
At their best Italians are tenacious, resilient and infinitely curious. These traits are perfectly personified in 76-year-old Leonardo Altobelli who just obtained his tenth university degree in biotechnology.
Leonardo (from Ansa in the Foggia area), is a retired physician, married with children and the ex mayor of his native town Troia.
“There is nothing extraordinary about this,” says Leonardo. “I only study before each test.”
His first degree was in medicine followed by degrees in law, political science, the arts, philosophy, agriculture, science of tourism, history of science, social history and this last one in Biotechnology.
One wonders what he might do next!
As the summer months create a warm and lazy atmosphere, why not curl up on your couch during the sultry evenings with a cooling drink and enjoy some great movie viewing? If you can deal with subtitles and love cinema history, there are some wonderful Italian offerings for your viewing pleasure.
Readers have been asking for a list of movies that are representative of the Italian lifestyle through various decades. The following list is from movies I have viewed (many for the second time) this year.
After you watch these movies, please share your reviews or comments with us.
Films from the list below are available for rental or purchase. The information on these movies is from The Internet Movie Database (IMDb):
In the streets of Pontedera (province of Pisa), Italy, passers-by are doing double-takes at the sight of the new DustBot. These Wall-E-like robots (also reminiscent of R2D2) can be summoned by the inhabitants of Pontedera to dispose of different kinds of waste and recyclables.
A project and creation of the students of the Scuola Superiore di Sant’Anna of Pisa, a scientific research institute of the University of Pisa, the DustBots are part of a 3-year project aimed at finding new ways to dispose of urban trash. The project is gathering world-wide interest.