Finding “La Dolce Vita”?

posted in: Blog 2

I’ve just returned from Italy with a couple interesting observations…

What was I doing in Italy?

I was a guest performer for a music festival in the quaint medieval village of Mondaino (“Mountain of the Deer”) where I performed some of my original solo piano music. I also had the opportunity to play with an Italian opera singer named Katja Natalini – a mezzo soprano with the Filarmonico Rossini. It was a magical experience.

Wine and Dine

During my stay, I got to enjoy lunches and dinners with some of my close Italian friends and their families. I quickly observed several things which got me thinking:

  1. Ask an Italian “Do you cook?” – they all seem to cook… and really enjoy it! There’s a genuine connection with food – including the local (organic) source where their food originates.
  2. During my meals, none of the Italians were using their cell phones or distracted by TV/Computer, etc.. they were conversing with each other (and me) over food and wine. The dining experience was a human matter – not the place for gadgets.
  3. Italians don’t eat fast. Evening meals can last several hours. Of course, there’s “Fast Food” throughout Italy – but “at home”, they enjoy meals (especially dinner) as a family – and at a leisurely pace.

Finding “La Dolce Vita”

These seemingly simple observations got me thinking about the phrase “La Dolce Vita” – which means “The Sweet Life”. I believe there’s something to be learned here. By making a connection with food (enjoying cooking and understanding where your food comes from), eliminating distractions (being “present”), and taking your time with your table-mates – THESE are vital ingredients to the Sweet Life. It’s not more “stuff”, it’s not more money, it’s not more “time” – it’s as simple as being in the company of people you care about, and sharing a meal.


I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic – please leave your comment below!

2 Responses

  1. Lorraine Nielsen
    | Reply

    Lucky you Gary! I am so looking forward to my trip to Italy next Fall (God willing) with a group of us ladies only friends. And we’re planning on taking a cooking class from a genuine Nonna! Have a blast at Carnegie Hall!

  2. Gary
    | Reply

    Thanks Lorraine!

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