Thursday, 10 March 2011


Is it just the title of a Fellini movie, or is is a concept which describes the essence of italianity?

I remember a time, when I was about seventeen (it felt so grown up, being seventeen!) My friends and I would drive to yet another small town, this time right on the seafront. We would walk into the sea, find a rock big enough for all of us, a small island, almost, and we would all sit there... just  us, a guitar, the moon and the stars.

(Young people sitting outside a BAR in Italy)

The Italian sky was so full of stars, on a Summer's night. They danced with the Moon and the Planets, holding hands. Someone would play a tune and we would all sing, our shoes off, feet in the water, still warm, even at night. The rocks were prickly, but we didn't mind... we would lie down and count the stars... millions... billions of stars making sweet music and reminding us we were part of the universe. The seaweed would taste good and sweet in our mouths. We didn't need anything else. WE WERE HAPPY!

The music and the songs would travel in the air, mingling with the sweet smell of the olive trees. We were happy to be there and lucky to be not just surrounded by, but part of, what was and still is a Land blessed with much beauty!

The sound of Guantanamera would mingle with that of popular Italian songs and we were happy... happy and alive. WE would sing loud, as life was good and generous and sweet... The Sweet Life! La Dolce Vita! Swimming in the sea, at night, under the Moon was so sweet, and scary!

How right was the MAGNIFICENT film director Federico Fellini to name his movie "La Dolce Vita", "The Sweet Life" as life in Italy was and still is, sweet, very sweet and beautiful. How could life not be wonderful in a Country where you are surrounded by so much beauty, art, music, architecture, love and passion?

When I'm in Rome, I like to walk to the Trevi Fountain  (featured in the Fellini movie) with my husband.

(A charming old Roman street. LOVE IT!)

 I like to wear my black Costa dress, reminiscent of the one Anita Ekberg wore in the famous Trevi Fountain scene... bit silly, I know, but one of life's rituals to me! We walk down the little streets of beautiful old Rome, finally reaching the fountain we love so much.

(Trevi Fountain, Rome, in all its glory)

We buy an ice cream (I wish it could be Champagne, sometimes, as being in Rome is always something to celebrate!) and stand there, in awe of the magnificent Bernini masterpiece. But what we love the most, apart from the sculptures and the majestic fountain is... the sound of the water.

It's just fantastic! It makes you want to shout:  "Marcello, come here!" And I quote Anita Ekberg in the famous movie, though I am very Happy to be with my husband and I wouldn't want to swap him for Marcello, really. Poor, gorgeous Marcello Mastroianni, sunglasses and all is in the land of beyond,anyway. But still with us, in a way... a big way, mind you!

 "La Dolce Vita" is and will always be there. The sentence summarizes what it means to be Italian. And Italian we are...  and we will stay. No matter what some ugly politician full of bad intentions might be trying to do to the Bel Paese where I was born.

There's beauty everywhere you look

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