Left-wing and right-wing Summer destinations (and lifestyles)

Ciao a tutti! I’m very sorry for not posting for such a long time but my new project on Patreon is taking me more time than I thought when I started my half-serious lessons on ‘How to be Italian’. Besides, how is it that Summers fly and Winters walk? We also went through a major change in our life, which kept us away from the world for a while.
Thank you, Rhonda! If it weren’t for you caring and asking me if everything is ok, I guess I would not be here posting today. You are such a good blogging friend. I think you are a real blessing to the people living around you – be it your family or friends!
So, here I am again sharing with you part of one of my latest posts on Patreon!
Enjoy and, if you have a chance, share my project with your friends! Thank you 😉
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Going on holidays is a serious affair for us Italians. Choosing the right Summer destination may be crucial for you career and/or for the rise or downfall of your social status (at least within your neighborhood or restricted circle). Of course we all know that most Italians are ashamed of the way most Italians behave while abroad (the ones who show the most outrage for the obnoxious behavior of their fellow countrymen are usually the ones who behave worst of all).Anyway we are not talking here about the never-ending catalogue of bad behaviors Italians can come up with while not in Italy (in Italy, if possible, they generally behave even worse); we are dealing, instead, with different Summer destinations choose (and consequent different holiday lifestyles) left-wing and right-wing Italians. I don’t know if this applies to other countries, but I’ve always found it hilarious how different vacanze di destra and vacanze di sinistra can be, so I thought I might as well share this oddity with you.

Before getting into the very essence of this post, I’d like to state a few basic assumptions concerning the relation between Italians and holidays. For us Italians these are self-evident truths but, for most ‘sane’ people, can be obscure:

– Until before 2008, the year of the big economical crisis we Italians are never going to recover from, Summer holidays actually were August holidays. In Italy the entire world as we knew it used to stop for the month of August. Factories, offices, shops, everything was closed down for most of the month. Therefore August was the month of proletariat and of upper-class vacations. Different in their destinations but lined up in the same never ending queues on the high-way (the difference here was between cursing from inside an air-conditioned car with a certain allure allowed by your fresh and immaculate linen shirt, and cursing sweating like a pig from within your soaking T-shirt advertising some nerdy soccer team nobody ever heard about). Even though after the 2008 crisis companies encourage (force) their employees to get as many days off they can (so they can stop the expensive machines) – and as a consequence people take their weeks off in June, July and September as well – most Italians still tend to go on holiday in the month of August. I strongly suggest you to watch the funny (and instructive) Italian movie by Paolo Virzì ‘Ferie d’agosto’ (one left-wing and one right-wing family getting acquainted in August, as they spend their ‘ferie’ in two neighboring houses in Ventotene);

– While choosing their Summer holiday destinations, Italians always consider the ‘social status’ factor. ‘Will I look like a loser or a winner?’ is a bigger concern than ‘do I really like this destination?’ or ‘can I really afford going there?’. There is another illuminating movie called ‘Mari del Sud’ which I suggest you watch. It’s not really a good movie, but the basic idea is brilliant: Alberto has lost all his money and his position as his financial consultant ripped him off. He was supposed to leave to the Caribbean with his wife and daughter. To avoid the ‘brutta figura’ (I covered in a previous podcast, you will recall) within his circle of friends, he decides that his family members are going to spend their vacation in the cellar at home, pretending to be at the Caribbean (and telling their friends they actually left for this exotic destination). I don’t want to reveal the ending in case you may find it somewhere on YouTube and decide to watch it!

– Another dilemma is: vacations alone or with your family? Holidays with friends? Vacanze with the in-laws? No matter which kind you choose, you’ll always end up with a guilty conscience (we Italians do not seem to be able to live without it!). ‘We should have taken la nonna along’ is one of the most frequent regrets a woman pronounces as soon as she gets off the car upon arrival (while the man suddenly rediscovers his faith in the Almighty and starts murmuring an incomprehensible litany with his eyes pointed towards the sky).

Now we can get to the heart of the matter: what do left-wing and right-wing Italians choose as far as their Summer destinations are concerned? And what means of transportations do they use? What about their favorite arrangements?

One comment

  1. Really fun post Simona!! Your movie recommendations sound funny and enlightening! And interesting about the change in vacation months– In Spain as well, August was the month when everyone left the city back when we lived there (much before 2008). So waiting to read about the other vacation issues you posed at the end… I’m happy now Larry has retired we can vacation whenever. Off to San Francisco (not really a vacation, but a trip) to see kids and meet our new grand-guy next week! Lovely to have yo posting again!! hugs!

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