„Tutto con calma“

To be honest, I was incredibly flustered about travelling to Italy. Not because I was afraid of meeting new people and neither of staying in another country. I was very nervous simply because I was going to plunge into another culture with different habitants and I was not sure how to manage with all my problems and fears for paperwork at the beginning. But “tutto con calma” as the Italians say. Every event has to be taken step by step. Therefore I chose to write about how I have experienced the Italian culture so far for my first blog. At this point I have to note, that I indicate some kind of stereotype of the Italian culture, nevertheless I would like to tell you more about how I experienced “tutto con calma”.

This slogan is actually a good way to describe the Italian culture. For sure, not all over in Italy the people are the same and I can just write about my own experiences and how “tutto con calma” impacts me so far. So it is important to mention, that I merely can report about my own adventure in this area of Italy where I am doing my Erasmus Semester, which is Cesena in the Province Emilia-Romagna.

Coming back to “tutto con calma”; thus far as I got transmitted this motto, is not only saying that you do not need to rush or hurry, in fact it means more. The people I met seem to have a very sensitive awareness of life, in sense of appreciation. I make some examples, what I mean with this; my first experience concerns the time planning. Arranging an appointment is taken some kind of relaxing by the people I come across with. Compared to my environment in Switzerland my surrounding field in Cesena does not take the arranged time for an engagement that precisely. Being five or even ten minutes late is really no problem here whereas compared to my surroundings in Switzerland it is a really no-go being late for an agreement. Even the lessons at the university sometimes start five to ten minutes later as it is written in the schedule. So the first time I went to lesson and arrived 5 minutes before the lesson started (as I have been used to do it in Switzerland), I found myself with just maybe five to ten other students in the lecture hall and the Professor was absent. I immediately started to check if I was at the wrong place or the lesson maybe does not take place. But neither of my apprehensions had be right, so I decided to wait. After some minutes I waited, I was a bit fraught not sure how long I should wait or if I should leave, the Professor and also some more students arrived in the hall. Finally with a delay of some minutes the lesson started as if it was completely normal starting lessons with a delay.

Another example refers to the “aperetivo” here in Cesena (and so far as I have been told, this is all over in Italy the same). When work or university finishes and there is nice weather in the afternoon some people arrive at the “Piazza” for having a restful chat with each other during drinking a beverage and eating some pieces of “antipasti”. The first time I went with some of my friend for an “aperetivo” I was very surprised that it is normal, that you get some “antipasti” or other morsel of food for free besides your ordered drink. So when I meet for an “aperetivo” I am not only go for a drink, but also for some food for free just naturally next to my beverage and enjoying time together and having some nice chats.

All things considered the environment and also the people here in Cesena give me the sensation of feeling home and comfortable where I live. For me it has been amazing to see that life works even if sometimes you take things not always this serious and this precisely. My stay helps me actually a lot to appreciate things that I sometimes take for granted. Overall I really enjoy my time here and I am excited for every new experience which still awaits me.

Sarah Bargetzi

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