There are a lot of clichés about Italians, maybe even more than about other countries. All over the world it is easy to hear about them, also because the media speaks about them in a lot of different ways: for example, this summer, during the Euro Masters of soccer, the big company MediaMarkt produced for the German television a series of spot in which the protagonist was a fake (but theoretical) Italian who lives in Germany and is the exact incarnation of most of the clichés about my country.
I spent a lot of time abroad, especially travelling around Europe, and I heard a good number of comments, sometimes positive and sometimes negative, sometimes realistic and other times absolutely fake. In almost every country on earth Italians are known, and even if not always beloved, they got accepted and integrated everywhere, spreading some of their traditions abroad.
In fact, a lot of Italians decided to leave our beloved country to live and work abroad, looking for a better way of living and for a better life. More than 100 years ago, my grand- grand- grandfather left the West coast of Italy to begin a new life in the North of Europe, in Germany. Hundreds of families from the South of Italy decided to go ways far away and they got “downunder” in Australia, where they are still living since two or even more generations. In each one of my trips I met somebody who had Italian roots, and I always felt at home, even if I was a long way from Italy: it was touching and awesome to be so hearty welcome every time.
A thing that connects everyone who left Italy, is that all over the world they have a strong memory of their own country, which enlightens them whenever they happen to meet Italians still living there. As an Italian who is probably going to live abroad in the future, my biggest hope is to get enlightened like that and to always remember about my home country. I know that, even if it is hard to admit, I will try to go back home as often as possible, because as everybody knows, there is no Italian in the world with the capability of living without a close connection with his home and family (and I really don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing…)!