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Ciao, Bella!

November 18, 2013 3 min read

Ah to be young again…

Today we have a fun Guest Post by Ashley. She’s a college freshman at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy! Can you imagine going away to college in Italy? Okay, now can you imagine your kids going away to college in Italy? Hmm, I’ll worry about that later…

 Ashley is very near and dear to the Sweetbottoms family. Her mom is the lovely, Tanya, who does a lot of our Customer Relations, Facebooking, Human Resources, Leap Froggin Woolies knitting, and so much more. And when Ashley was still a student here at Sanderson High School, she used to work part time in our shop doing odds and ends like cleaning and wrapping. We miss her smiling face and are excited to see where life takes her next!

Here’s a look into how she’s adjusted to the culture and slower pace of life that Italians are known for. It’s a good reminder for us all to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment we are in.

Passion Throughout the Course of a Day

“Don’t worry, they’re not arguing; he’s just buying fruit.”

The passion that runs deep in Italian culture is not one fabricated by the American film industry. Italians are truly passionate about life. This intensity of emotion can be observed in the way they eat, the way they speak, the way they argue, and the way they love.


Rome in particular is a wonderful place to see this youthful culture, and for me Rome is a wonderful city in which I have learned to find passion in life. I have adapted to the art of speaking with my hands in a crowded Piazza. As well as taking very hard steps towards realizing that a part of living life to its fullest is enjoying every moment of it. In Italy, the stores do not open until the later part of the morning. In addition, nearly EVERY story closes between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm for an afternoon siesta. Workers here get breaks to rest or have a midday espresso with buddies: Working your hardest is not the same as working too hard, an important lesson not found in the “work, work, work” society of America. So, now I savor every bite of food I take along with every minute I devote to my studies. The Romans remind me that my mundane walk to class has as much joy to offer as the class itself.


Finally, just as in any bustling city, a lot can be learned about Rome by its nightlife. In Rome’s case, you see how deeply affection is embedded into the city itself. Everyone is “out and about” until the early hours of the morning. Families in Rome don’t start dinner until 9:00 at night, and children can be seen hopping through the streets as late as midnight! Also, just by walking down the street it’s impossible to dodge the whistles and catcalls; every Italian woman is accustomed to being showered with roses, candies, a nice “ciao, bella!” and a flattering “che bellisima!” Among all of this commotion, the spirit of the eternal city springs forth. A golden glow from the streetlights and a quiet murmur from the city traffic accompanies me from one monument to the next. In this manner, my passion from within emerged and flowed into every aspect of my life.



Have you ever been to Rome? I went for a long weekend when I was a Study Abroad student in Spain. We had so much fun… and I remember those catcalls!

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