This week was all about gratitude and appreciation. I am thankful for my family and my friends but I am also really thankful for all inspiring people I have met online and definitely one of them is Ishita!
You need to know that I am a big fan of her blog. Ishita’s blog is THE ONLY INDIAN BLOG ON ITALY, how cool is it? Personally, I love it because, first, it is a big dose of inspiration and positive Italian vibes. Second, because it give me the possibility to see Italy with eyes of someone who lives far away from European culture.
I think it was in March when we have called each other for the very first time. Immediately, it was clear to me that we have so much in common, so much more than love for Italy (of course). I am really happy that Ishita has agreed to share her thoughts and observations about Italy with us. I am more than sure that it will be a powerful source of inspiration also for you.
Signore & Signori, please welcome
Do you speak Italian, and do you think it’s important to speak the local language?
Yes I speak Italian. I’m studying Italian since 2015 and currently hover between a lower and upper intermediate level. It is important to speak the language if you’re living in Italy or if you’re passionate about it. Other than that, it totally depends on your aim and focus. Although I don’t live in Italy, Italian is a passion project for me and also my means of living.
But if you’re traveling around in Italy or any new country, it is imperative to know some local words that replace English words such as Please, Thank You, Excuse me, Where, When, Food, Train, Bus etc. Don’t you think??
What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn Italian?
Just jump in and think less. If you’re learning Italian, just talk, talk talk.. without hesitation. This is one of the biggest mistakes I made in my initial years of learning Italian. I wish I had a better sense (and a better teacher) to talk more. Leave your shyness behind and speak to locals.
What is the first Italian word you have learnt?
I think the first word I learnt was Piazza. I remember walking around in the Roman Forum with a map of the city when I saw the word and thought to myself, “it sounds so similar to pizza.”
What is your favourite Italian book and why?
It is enormously tough to pick an Italian author but my current favourite Italian book is Tiziano Terzani’s “A Fortune Teller Told me”. I have been reading this book in Italian since a few months now (I’m slow!). I’m simply in awe of the author and his travel descriptions of my continent. They are so elusive and beautiful.
What is your favourite Italian song and why?
I am currently on a time travel in the 80s and enjoying songs by Fabrizio de Andre’.
How is it to work with Italians?
Very different from the normal tourist trail of talking to them on the street. I have been professionally working with the Italians for over 2 years now. The ones I have come across (so far) are super meticulous. They are very proper about their time and won’t put in a minute more. They talk a lot! Most of them are extremely thorough in their approach for their work, seeing the current climate in Italy. But then there are others who wouldn’t put in any work unless you poke them 😉
Do you have any favourite Web sites or blogs about anything related to life in Italy?
Tons of them!! But if I had to list the last 5 I have read recently it would be –Sicily Inside Out, LaRosaWorks, MyDearItalia, InstantlyItaly and LearnAmo. These are not just blogs related to Italian life but also focus on Italian food and culture. LearnAmo has an excellent Youtube channel too.
Have you become more “Italian”?
Even though I don’t live in Italy, I certainly have become more Italian. I love Italy with all my heart and try to imbibe the Italian way of living in my daily life. For instance, I study Italian more regularly now so that I’m better prepared to talk when I’m in Italy next year.
I also enjoy a cup from the GRANDE moka pot every single day. My husband and I love taking things at our own pace such as talking more mindfully, enjoying a beautiful sunset together or even a cup of hot tea. I’ve begun to appreciate the beauty of the smallest things, thanks to Italy. I also look in the eyes of the person I’m talking to, something I’ve learnt being in Italy. I miss socializing with my Italian friends. Their warmth and attitude of life is worth respecting!