Recently I read an article in Corriere della sera about 10 things are that are done better in Italy according to CNN’s web site. I found the list a little strange. I tried unsuccessfully to locate the original article online in part to see what the basis of comparison was. Corriere says that the classification mixes clichés with a sincere love of Belpaese. Here is the list. What do you think?
1. Thermal Baths. This is a tradition that comes from ancient Rome and that has been exported around the world. To relax in a spa is good for the body and the mind. The CNN list offers a choice between Ischia, Toscana, Bormio and Garda.
2. To Curse. Cursing isn’t always synonymous with rudeness…at least in Italy, says Corriere. If Italians raise their voice, sometimes it’s in a way, it’s true, that surprises and intimidates. But sometimes it charms—as if they were on a stage and performing. Also think of Italian football!
3. To hang out at the beach. Italy has 7,400 chilometres (about 4,600 miles) of beach, the record for Europe. The beaches have artistic and environment beauty. The seas rival those in the tropics.
4. To change government. CNN provides some chilling figures. After the second world war, Italy changed governments 62 times with 40 prime ministers. Only one lasted for an entire term of 5 years.
5. To visit volcanoes. There are 10 active volcanoes in Italy. Visiting the craters is a flourishing tourist business. Etna is the second most active volcano in the world after Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
6. Dessert. Personally, I believe that Italy is the culinary capital of the world: pizza, pasta, cappuccino, etc. According to CNN, Italy is unbeatable on the dessert front: gelato, tiramisu, cannoli, biscotti, spumoni, truffles, zeppole (like doughnuts). But wait, truffles as a dessert? Maybe chocolate. Anyway, the list of desserts is longer than the list of governments.
7. Caves. Italy is one of the countries with the most caves. The Guinness Book of Records cites Grotta Gigante in Friuli, visible at a depth of 850 meters (almost 2,790 feet).
8. Sports Cars. No one else in the world knows how to make elegant cars like the Italians.
9. River Cruise Ships. I was not aware that cruise ships along rivers was such a big tourist attraction in Italy. According to CNN, the rivers are not long and not easily navigated as in the rest of Europe, but the views are unique. Ironically, many Italians hate the cruise ships, particularly around Venice where they are an environmental hazard and a tourist nightmare. Then, of course, there is the Costa Concordia….
10. ??? Neither CNN nor Corriere list a 10th! Therefore, we can decide. What do you think? Art, music, opera, antiquities? My Italian teacher, Gabriella, votes for the people: “Despite all of their problems, the Italians are one of the nicest people in the world.”
In any case, take this list with a smile and with a grain of salt.