Love is EVERYWHERE in Italy! As I look outside my apartment window, I can see people of all ages walking hand in hand through the narrow cobblestone streets. At cafes, couples are sitting close together, sharing what look like secrets to a curious outsider. Government officials name streets after love, musicians play and sing love songs throughout the ageless piazza and artisans offer a plethora of roses for sale. And although I hate being asked every five minutes if I want to purchase a rose (even if I’m somewhere by myself…), the fact that I can shows that Cupid’s arrow has hit Italy right in the heart!
The sunsets over the Arno River, the gentle singing in the piazzas, and the narrow, dimly lit paths all contribute to Italy’s perfect “atmosphere”. It’s easy to see why Italy is full of love and romance (after all, it’s home to Romeo and Juliet!) At times, I almost feel like I’m living in a movie (The Lizzie McGuire Movie anyone?) Or, at the very least, it makes me daydream about riding on a Vespa and watching fireworks with a cute Italian pop star.
It’s easy to say that everyone can fall in love here because of the setting, scenery, etc. But, we need to remember that we live in one of the prettiest campuses in the country. Duke is surrounded by forests and a garden full of color and sweet smelling flowers. We have a chapel where people line up to be married and a poster in Perkins proudly deeming, “Duke is for Lovers”. So it can’t just be the Italian environment. It must be something about the Italian people, right?
We need to learn from the Italians and do as they do: Italians enjoy everything and everyone around them. It’s time to make something “ordinary” very special. We get used to the things around us and take advantage of the beauty that surrounds campus. Maybe there’s more love in Italy because people take the time to appreciate life and each other instead of watching everything fly by so quickly. So, instead of taking things for granted, take the time to look at the chapel when it’s all lit up, or go for a walk in the gardens when the sun is setting. Don’t be afraid to walk hand in hand through the Main Quad, dress up and go out to a nice restaurant, or sit under the chapel looking up at the stars. Life’s too short to spend in an endless state of routine. So go outside and look, really look, at all the “little” things you normally let pass you by and maybe they won’t be so little anymore.
Ciao for now,