Italy is known for being a very romantic place, full of history and traditions. But to understand the heart of Italy you must know its people. What makes Italy so special is its strong family values, while evolving through modern times, yet remaining faithful to its secular characteristics. Family is the pillar of this country, and this article will speak to you through two couples from different generations. What’s interesting is these two very different couples share the same values.
If you are planning your honeymoon in Italy, their incredible journey in the land of romance and love will surely give you an insight into this amazing country.
Rosalba and Giuseppe
“The first time I met Rosalba was at the Palermo Centrale Railway Station. I was going back home with my best friends – they were engaged to two beautiful women: Rosalba’s sisters. Yes, my best friends were engaged to two women of her family, and that’s why she was at the train station. She took me home in her grandmother’s Fiat 500, and we talked a lot!” Giuseppe says.
Coming from the 60s generation, their love story took place in the 80s, in Sicily. At that time the family was very involved in their children’s relationships. The man had to have a degree and a good job to be the “right” person to marry their daughter and spending Sundays at home with their in-laws was customary. Rosalba and Giuseppe were very respectful of traditions, but as a young couple in love, they used to tell little lies to spend the day alone walking on the beautiful sandy Sicilian beaches, and driving around cities like Palermo, which is an enchanting mix of antiquity and modernity; the couple was building memories that would be cherished for a lifetime. Their love story is the story every woman dreams about: visit romantic places, walks on the beach, the man waiting for her at the bus station after school just to spend a few minutes talking to her; this is the simplicity of a land that makes everything so special.
Rosalba reminisces about a particular special day. She says, “Giuseppe still remembers the day we went to Mondello beach. There were many waves that day, and I am not a good swimmer. I was in panic (for no reason) and I looked at him and said: ‘Don’t worry about me! Leave me here, go away and be safe!’ But, of course, he took me to safety with him; he still teases me for what I said. I acted like a drama queen!”
Respect, laughing together, sacrificies and love are the ingredients in Rosalba and Giuseppe’s marriage for 30 years. What an inspirational couple! For the generation growing up in the 60s in Italy, building a family was the most important goal. Men made sacrificies to get a good job to provide a future for their children – setting good instructions and examples was paramount; women took care of the house and the children, but many of these women also had careers. In essence, the core of their relationship: working together to build a strong family. Unfortunately, sometimes such commitment in the modern generation is not prominent.
Rosalba and Giuseppe observe, “The newer generation seems unsatisfied, even if they have much more than we had in our youth. They are less tolerant and more pliable. Family is the most important thing in this world – births and the family you build later is precious. When you are a child, it’s time to learn the right values; then when you are a parent, your duty is to give to your children what you’ve learned; that’s what we did with our daughter.”
Davide and Vittoria
“We met in 2003; we were part of a theater company: she was a professional dancer for ten years, and I tried to be an actor,” Davide says.
Beautiful, fresh, young. I love this couple. Davide and Vittoria were born in Sicily in the 80s; their personalities, lifestyle and age make them a very modern family. Their love story is different from Rosalba and Giuseppe’s, but as you will read, their values are exactly the same.
They had a baby, Emanuele, when they were very young, prior to the wedding. In the Italian culture, especially in Italy, it is usual to follow particular protocol: education, degree, job, weddings, family. Davide and Vittoria didn’t follow these steps; yet, they are an example that if you really love each other, you are ready to take your responsibilities seriously. And, with the right values, there is no “wrong” or “right” step to follow.
Davide says, “I believe that the path we chose is 21st century versus the historical and cultural traditions of our parents. Today is not so easy to find a good job that lets you build your family, at least in Italy. So for us, we had the good fortune to marry young and build our life together.”
“Our families were very understanding and modern, they believed in me and Davide and in the strength of our love, and they accepted our decision of having a baby and then getting married. If you are lucky enough to find the right person, the one you can count on, the one who wants the same of you then the marriage will be long lasting, and there is nothing better than that,” Vittoria says.
In the 90s, Italy was a place in which kids used to spend their afternoon playing football in the backyard with their friends, bike racing, and skate boarding. Nowadays having such real connection is becoming uncommon. The modern generation is distracted by social media – casual connection seems to be replacing real friendship and diminishing the sense of reality. For that reason, it is so important to keep the values our parents taught us and transfer them to our kids as well.
“Emanuele is very lucky: we are young parents, and we are involved in our child’s passions. Davide loves cooking, Emanuele is learning to cook from him. I love to take care of my health by working out and eating healthy foods, Emanuele is learning that from me. At the same time, he is discovering new passions of his own – windsurfing and archery, and he makes us part of it; we are all discovering new passions thanks to our son!” says Vittoria.
Unity is strength. Davide and Vittoria work on what should be in their marriage: two different people, with different passions who find a common purpose for a life together, without forgetting themselves as “individuals.” Vittoria is the curator of an art gallery; she loves art, dance, drawing, playing the piano, and reading books. Davide has loved music since he was born; he started as a DJ when he was in high school, and never gave up on his passion. And now he has a wife who encourages his passion and a son who embraces learning and working with his father. (Of course, they are always under the supervision of Vittoria; she knows when it’s time to go to bed.)
“If a couple has love, trust and respect, it is imparted in some way to their children, who in their own way, recreate within themselves a nucleus with the same characteristics,” says Davide.
Regardless of your heritage, these two families show us that great values and legacy, and passing them on to the next generation is the cornerstone of an enduring relationship. Their lives and words reflect what is so special about Italy. It’s a trip that every person should take at least once in your life, to discover a country that is both traditional and contemporary. That’s what can make your trip, wedding or honeymoon there unforgettable. So, are you ready for love and romance?
Annalisa Arcoleo is a filmmaker and journalist at heart. She started her journalism career working for Utility Magazine, writing about movies and some of the most important italian events taking place in Italy. After graduating at ACT Cinecitta’ Studios in Rome, she started to work on movie sets and Italian television companies. She was able take part in two TV series at “5 Stelle TV” as an Assistant Producer. In 2012 Annalisa joined one of the most famous Italian television networks, La Rai, to start an internship and a collaboration as filmmaker and journalist conducting interviews and creating news reports.
In 2013, after winning a scholarship in journalism and movie reviews at Sentieri Selvaggi, her writings have gone on to appear in “La Voce” Magazine.
Now while in New York she continues her passion for learning by interning at World Bride Magazine to sharpen her journalism skills while still pursing her filmmaking career.