Culture shock when a boomer travels to Italy

This is a simple story written for BoomerCafé by a baby boomer from Denver who recently retired as an art teacher and traveled with her husband to Italy. And WOW were things different. Hard to get used to at first, but wonderful to remember. For Cass Morgan, it was a little culture shock in Little Italy.

cassidy_morganI just got back from my first trip to Italy! My husband took me for our 25th wedding anniversary. It was a great experience, and I have so many photos to share! It is amazing how the culture and the landscaping are so different than what I am used to. I also have to say that I was intimidated by all of the bidets. It was awkward at first, but I have a small bladder, so I had to make the decision to figure it all out.

Using the bidet at the hotel was easiest because I wasn’t in a rush. I took my time to figure it out. My husband was very encouraging too. I had never used a bidet before and so it was quite different. We take something as simple as the way we use the bathroom for granted! The next day, I tried a bidet when we were out in public. It was different than the one in our hotel, but I was able to figure it out.

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Venice

By the second day of our trip around Italy, I was getting comfortable with the bidet options. In fact, there were very few bathrooms around that didn’t have a bidet in them and I have to say that by the time our trip was done, I really did like using them. I felt clean and fresh afterwards, and that is important.

The food around Italy was also very different from what I am used to at home. I make Italian food and we do have some great restaurants in Denver. However, nothing out there compares to the food that we had during our visit to Italy! Our favorite food was in Venice. The portions were huge, the food was authentic, and we tried so many great dishes! I think I may be disappointed when we go back to our hometown Italian restaurants now!

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Amalfi Coast near Naples.

In addition to the food, we enjoyed the atmosphere in many of the places we dined. The music and the décor were amazing. We often drank wine with our meals, and enjoyed some great tasting desserts. I have been trying to pick my favorite meal and favorite dessert and I just can’t do it!

Another thing that I found to be very different in areas of Italy was the culture. We live in a society where everyone seems to be looking at a mobile device or rushing around. Yet many of the locals here seemed to live a simple lifestyle. They were dressed similar to each other, they seemed happy, and they were more relaxed. I have to admit, I was a bit jealous of that!

Ponte Santa Trinita in Florence.

Ponte Santa Trinita in Florence.

I didn’t understand much of what was being said in many areas of Italy due to the language differences. Yet I liked the way they sounded. I think that I might try to learn to speak Italian on my own. It would be fun, and perhaps I can understand more the next time we get to vacation in Italy. I certainly plan to return!

1 Comment

  1. Great reminder, Cassidy! I encountered the same ‘issues’ on my first trip to southern India! Another wonderful example of why I love traveling to other countries…it reminds me of how very small my world is and how much there is ‘out there’ to explore!

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