As someone who has had the (mis)fortune – depending on who you ask – to have lived in Italy for most of my life, I believe I am in a pretty qualified position to speak about the country.
Specifically, in this entry I would like to focus on the negative aspects that I have experienced first hand while living in Italy. Mind you though, this doesn’t come from a place of malice – as a matter of fact, I love the country that I’ve basically grown up in and I’ll forever be grateful to it for the valuable life lessons I learned while there. But since nowadays, only controversial articles seem to fare well in the world of the media, I’m bound to write something borderline inflammatory. You may want to consider this your trigger warning, but if you’ve decided to bear with me thus far or haven’t bothered to read the introduction, well, get yourself ready for some of my personal (un)popular – again depending on who you ask – opinions on Italy.
- Fix it, dammit!
I lived in a region in Northern Italy, which is supposed to be the most economically developed part of the country, but when I showed my friends my town, they thought it was a village located somewhere on the outskirts of a big city. What pisses me off the most, is that people don’t even bother to fix it, and by fixing it I mean fixing the roads, the schooling system, public transportation, local job prospects etc. Don’t some of you want to improve your living conditions in the slightest? Maybe this question is too broad and might even come from a place of ignorance to a certain extent, so let me narrow it down for ya. Have you been socialized to believe that this is the best anyone can ever have? Have you perhaps lost hope and now don’t even bother (and honestly, who can blame you)? Has your municipality sunken too deep into the quicksand of laziness or corruption by any chance? Is change completely infeasible due to a myriad of factors? Do you feel defeated? Or is it maybe everything I listed? Point being, I’ve never understood why some people just blindly accept their fates, as if any sort of resistance will be futile.This doesn’t only occur at a local level as I’ve mostly spoken about right now, but also nationally. Except maybe for younger generations, I rarely saw in my experience people standing for what they deem to be right and often just complain about the problem they are facing, without doing anything about it, or just blatantly ignoring it.
- Why do you hate yourselves?
Living in the North, when I was a little boy I’ve always been warned from an old man in a white undershirt and flip flops drunk on Grappa in a sagra, about the Southern Italians – which according to his genius are apparently some sort of creatures in the south of Italy who are extremely lazy and are the sole reason why Italy is sinking down. A socioeconomic assessment as deep as the decades-old pothole in front of his house. Anyway, what that old man needs to learn soon is that Southerner or Northerner, both are quite frankly living through the same shit. Now to avoid oversaturating this point with cheap comedy only Italians might understand, my point is that the North versus South rivalry is probably one of the most pathetic and laughable rivalries I have ever seen. Not to mention that outside of Italy, people see Northerners and Southerners alike as literally the same people, so why not realize that this is nothing but mere pettiness that you would have never picked up, had it not been for some politicians or old people telling you to believe in this? Despite the dialectal differences and cultural variations, Italians throughout the peninsula still share a language, culture and way of life, so put your soul at ease and perhaps focus on real grown up problems. Now I can only speak from my own experiences, having just ever lived in the North, but it would be interesting to see how Italians inside and outside of Italy see this.
- Corruption and unemployment
Do I even have to explain these two? Yes, it’s bad. Yes, it’s worse than what you think.
- Let other people be
Now I’m speaking to what I believe (or hope) to be a very small portion of the population. I’ve seen and heard many Italians getting overly protective about their culture, which is understandable, since Italy has an amazing one. But what I want to highlight here, is that some people might want to enjoy Italian culture differently from how you enjoy it. Let me explain it in a way that the reader might understand. If someone wants pineapple on their pizza or wants to play around with pasta recipes, who are you to tell them what to do? It’s funny and cute to see some Italians reacting triggered and all when you ask them for example if pineapple belongs on pizza, but for God’s sake, it’s not affecting you in any way – so stop hating. Trust me, if it wasn’t for popular culture hating on such things, you would never hate it the way you now do. You’ve probably never even tried pineapple on pizza, so you’re in no position to even have an opinion on such matters, unless you acknowledge the limitations of the foundations for your argument. To be completely honest (and kinda hypocritical at the same time), the sole idea of pineapples on pizza is fucking disgusting to me, so I’m not gonna try it anytime soon, but I won’t force others to comply with my own tastes.
All in all, these are just some of my pet-peeves about Italy that I wanted to share with the world. As a final note, I would like to say that these are no reasons to necessarily hate Italy, any other aspect of life there, or other particular aspects of the country itself, such as its history, culture, people, customs and traditions. I hope you get my point. Even though I personally did not like living in Italy myself, I encourage people to formulate their own opinions on the matter and at least visit the country once in their life.
Nonostante tutto, la mia cara Italia è il paese che mi ha offerto così tante opportunità, ricordi e legami che lo trovo difficile, se non impossibile odiarla. Ci tengo a questo paese, per questo nel futuro voglio vederlo fiorire e sbocciare.
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