I traveled to Milan, Italy in July 2011 and lived there for 31 days. It was an unparalleled experience. The food, the fashion, and the scenery left me breathless. If I could bring one thing and one thing only back with me to the United States, I would be compelled to implement the philosophy of living – La Bella Figura to the culture of the United States. La Bella Figura means “The Beautiful Figure,” but really signifies much more than just a beautiful body; it’s a way of living that embodies an authentic image, being very well behaved, beauty in all forms, and aesthetics.
Style, not fashion per se, is a way of life here. No one would be caught dead in public wearing tennis shoes, sweatpants, or looking sloppy period! The Italians are not labeled conscious, rather everything is very simplistic, like their way of life. If you care about how your image, you put thought into how you look, what you are wearing, and being well-groomed.
Italians, and most Europeans in general, live quite different from Americans; Family, friends, loved ones, and relationships are considered to be of utmost importance. While there’s work to be done, nothing comes before relationships. Italians live from love and beauty. They believe life is to be lived, that you have earned the right to experience beauty and love just because you were born and because you are here. No need to treat yourself because you worked hard, rather treat yourself because you deserve to be treated. Food is to be enjoyed, slowly. We couldn’t get a meal for less than 2 hours, and we enjoyed it immensely.
Italians believe that you don’t just represent yourself, you represent your family, your country, your company and so it’s important to hold yourself to a higher standard by your poise, behavior, and conversation. You don’t see people running around acting crazily, and being generally uncouth, it just isn’t done.
And so with all that being said, having hailed from an Italian background, I found myself some very much at home in Italian culture and realized that I had La Bella Figura all along. I hope to spread it to each and every person that I come into contact with from now until the end of my time here.
What do you think?
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