In the streets, in the alleys, in the artwork, in the food… Love is everywhere in this city. Much like the movies say, most of my walks around the city have included seeing a couple making out on the street or down an alleyway. And I don’t mean a peck on the cheek, ladies and gentlemen. Normally I would scoff at such an action, especially when it involved two pre-puberty teenagers with bad clothes making out in the hallway between high school classes. But here, I can’t help but glance over in awe at the marvelous couple and feel happy for such a spontaneous act of affection.
Living in such a wonderful city with beautiful views, you can’t help but fall in love with every aspect of life. They take their time, they are never seen in sweats, they enjoy their meals with family and no TV… Italians know how to love. Surrounded by these passionate influences truly makes you question what love actually means in America. I mentioned to my roommate that I was working on a blog about Italian love and she quickly said, “I wish there was a stronger word for love these days”. After thinking about it for a few seconds, I realized that she was entirely right. Nowadays, it seems that the word “love” gets thrown around like a ball, passed from person to person, from one object to another. I hate to throw another dart at social media but Facebook and Instagram do seem to truly denounce the word “love”. Whether it’s the love struck teenager posting an “I love him!” status about her new boyfriend every month or the recent piece of clothing you just “can’t live without” (guilty), it seems as if these days we should be categorizing how we use the word “love”. I certainly don’t feel the same love towards friends and family as I do towards clothing yet the same noun is used for both exclamations.
While exploring Florence yesterday, we came across a quiet little flea market decked with beautiful antique odds and ends. At one of the very last stores, we found a shoebox full of old love letters including mismatched envelopes from all over Europe. I couldn’t help but be inspired by the sheer vulnerability of it. Since one of my goals while abroad is to become comfortable with exposing my vulnerability, I used this as my spirit guide and bought 3 envelopes and 3 letters, none of them matching each other. The Italian words used in these letters are so beautiful in their pronunciation and resemble something truly lovely (so that’s why they call it a romance language!). I know our American usage of “love” can’t be changed with just one blog post but think about it the next time you use the expression. Do you truly love this person or thing you are referring to or is it just a way to express an excitement about a happy purchase or your newest crush?
Until next time I will be traveling around Italy. Expect a marvelous post next week about my findings in Rome this weekend!