When I spend time in Italy, one of my favorite things to do is people watch. I love to observe the locals in action. They are similar and yet different from my culture here in the states. Although I remain almost always an observer, there have been times where I got pulled into the action.
On a recent visit to Puglia, the southern region down in the “heel of the boot” which is Italy, I found a piazza with large groups of men sitting and visiting with each other. There was no woman in sight, only the men. As we stood back to watch them, I noticed a couple of “young buckaroos” waving me over with big smiles. Shocked at first, I just smiled back with a brief wave. But as you can see, I gave in to their wishes and joined them for a moment. They sat me down in a chair and posed for photos. I don’t recall the last time I laughed so hard with these charming, fun-loving gentlemen. Each one of them was neatly dressed and groomed. I admire this special emphasis on dress and cleanliness among the Italians.
Enjoy the photos below of this entertaining evening in the piazza…
The green door in the background is the entrance to the Puglia Wine School, where I spent the evening tasting some of Puglia’s delicious wines.
Later that evening, I looked out the window from the upper floor of the wine school. All was quiet on the piazza. The men had folded up their chairs and vanished into the night.
The evening gave me an interesting and unforgettable window into the lives and culture of the people of southern Italy. Not only do they highly value community, they know how to relax and enjoy themselves with each other. In a world of people who often seclude themselves, I found this to be refreshing. The Italian people truly know the importance of camaraderie. Bella cosa far nienta~Idleness is a beautiful thing.