A California girl landlocked in Kansas...
musings and life updates to keep in touch with family and friends left behind on the coast
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Bel Far Niente
One of the best parts of our trip to Italy was learning the art of bel far niente. I think if I was there another week I could have mastered it like a true Italian. Bel far niente, the beauty of doing nothing, is not only an art form, it's one of the fundamentals of life in Italy. Italians take great pride in the ability to 'do nothing'. To 'do nothing' the Italian way is actually quite difficult for an American that is used to being plugged into work, computers, cell phones and generally moving at the speed of light.
'Doing nothing' the Italian way doesn't mean to sit around and literally do nothing...it's the ability to enjoy doing nothing imparticular. It's mastering the passeggiata (evening stroll in the piazza), people watching with a gelato in hand, sipping a glass of chianti classico watching the sunset...and so on. Italians will do this for hours...much longer than is comfortable for an antsy American. More importantly, doing these things is expected in Italy. It's unnatural not to take significant time out of your day to 'do nothing'.
I love the entire concept of bel far niente and I'm trying to find beauty in doing a little 'nothing' each day. So far, I'm finding it's a lot easier to do in Italy...sipping wine watching the sun set over the vineyards & olive groves with the scent of rosemary wafting in the breeze. Lucky for me, all I have to do is look at this photo, close my eyes and just like that...I'm back in Italy practicing the fine art of 'bel far niente' like a true Italian.