The Mysterious Tuscans and How They Live Life

By: Serenella Leoni

A true Tuscan is a campanilista - a localist peacock-proud of his or her region, town, village or district! This campanilismo can contribute to the disdain of other, neighboring places and culminates in inter-city soccer matches.

Tuscans tend to remain in the same location throughout their lives Within the distance of just a few kilometers, villages have differing holiday traditions, food specialties and speech cadences.? Yet all Tuscans are united in their pride for their country, in their compassion, in their creative expressions, in their curiosity and willingness to learn, and in their unique philosophy of life.

Tuscans are a study in contrasts; both conservative and independent, these curious people defy definition.? Tuscans tend to vote nationally for right-wing governments and locally for left winged councils.? A true Toscano is a free spirit - a non-traditional Catholic experimenting in a mix of religion, spirituality and superstition; one who explores and practices other religions and philosophies; or one who refutes these altogether.

Tuscans will never hold back.? They will quote local a proverb for philosophizing on any situation.? But never attempt to tell Tuscans how to think, live their lives, act, vote or drive - even if you are family!

Of course La famiglia is the foundation of Tuscan life.? Women are often professionals (with equal pay for equal work) but are still key in the running of the home.? It is common for the same family to own a business over many generations.? Family members take care of and support one another and frequently poke their noses into each other’s business.

The elderly are respected and cared for. Children are adored, over-protected and spoiled – often into adulthood.? Emotions run deep but quickly rise to the surface to find expression.? Vociferous outbursts are at the order of the day yet vanish as quickly as they appear.? Everyone is united at meals to enjoy the Italian mother’s expression of love: carefully prepared food (usually accompanied by a local wine). The lively conversation – make that several, simultaneous, high-volume conversations – is ever present.? To share is divine.?

Family guests (and some lucky tourists) are treated as adopted Tuscans and experience exquisite hospitality.? You are pampered, fussed over, catered to, waited on, exposed to all the local sites and gastronomical delights, hosted at restaurants and served enough food to feed the Three Tenors. Fortunately, it is the Italian custom to take very long walks after meals…

Tuscan homes – from the most affluent to the most humble - exude the Tuscan spirit; welcoming, warm and a reflection of the occupants’ pride in the dwelling, these often small residences reflect the uniquely personal touch of the occupant and a well-balanced blend of shapes and colors, from exquisite ceramic tiles to the ubiquitous Carrara marble.? Ownership pride is reflected in the details that complement each other and create the overall effect – some type of cherished artwork on the walls;? precious photographs of family members and ancestors carefully positioned for display and the ever-present fruit bowl - bearing the season’s best samples - arranged with the artistry of a still life painting.? Enticing aromas from the last, unforgettable meal linger in the air. If possible, there are herbs and vegetables in a garden or lemon plants (symbols of wealth and abundance) in clay pots on a balcony. Color bursts of flowers cascade from the windows.

Satisfaction and fulfillment are found in the process and in the simple but essential details of everyday tasks –the perfectly executed, deeply rich cup of espresso or the precisely cooked, al dente strand of pasta; the immaculately washed, sweet smelling laundry hung out to dry in the pristine air under the bright morning sun.

God is in the details. After all, a combination of single notes created the sweet Puccini arias.? It is in the execution and harmonizing of each person’s particular details that a product is made unique; one neighbor’s Limoncello (a lemon liqueur) may bring raves or another’s Cacciucco (a traditional fish stew) might be the talk of the town.? Which fish were used in the Cacciucco, in what order were the ingredients addedFree Articles, what type of tomato preparation was utilized? Care in the details and combining them “just so" makes all the difference.

Visit http://www.ToscanaMia.biz? to learn more about the Tuscan lifestyle.

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