Rule #1: ALL forms of beauty are to be appreciated - period.
One of the first things I noticed in my journey to Venice was the blatant staring. Not just from men - from EVERYONE. Everyone checks out everyone. And when people aren’t staring, they’re flirting. Again, not exclusive to men and women, young with young...there were no restrictions as far as who would flirt with who. There’s no real condition which takes away from the beauty of the female form in these people’s eyes. Whether it be pregnancy, gender, age, acne, weight...none of it will stop you from being stared at or flirted with. I realize that there are some individuals who are uncomfortable with this sort of attention (may not be the best country for you, if so), but I found it incredibly refreshing to receive overt appreciation from everyone you saw on the street.
Rule #2: Beauty is everywhere.
Beauty in human form isn't limited to an exquisite piece of art or a supermodel. To the Italians, beauty is inherent in its very language. It lives in its food and its presentation. It lives in the interactions between its people, in the way they treat each other. There’s a flair for a little bit of drama, which, granted, can be excessive - but it’s just that they wish to live so deeply that everything is taken in completely. And each day, every moment is so filled to the brim that the day is overflowing with simple pleasures.
Rule #3: Indulgence is beautiful.
I've been on an elimination diet for the past month or so, and I can't tell you how offensive saying "no" to food is to an Italian. If I were to go to a cafe to order coffee, I would be asked, "Any breads or pastries to eat?", followed by a very concerned look for my well-being. While I don't particularly agree with over-eating or binging on carbs all day long (a big slippery slope for me), I do see the benefit in treating yourself as a reminder not to take things so seriously. Life is meant to be enjoyed - so when in Rome, eat the damn pasta.
Rule #4: Show your appreciation.
There's no hiding appreciation in a city like Venice...and that includes flirting. There's a lot of stigma right now around flirting in countries like the US, Canada and Britain - but in Italy? Not so much. If someone on the street thinks you're attractive, you're going to know about it (and not gonna lie - it feels nice to be ogled at sometimes!). If it's not flirting, try showing appreciation in other ways: feel like verbalizing a loud "mmmmm" after eating a slice of the best chocolate cake you ever had? Do it. Want to show your friend gratitude for all the love they show you? Buy them dinner. If you want to take a photo of something, take a moment to really take in the moment before you whip out your iPhone - you might miss something you can't get by swiping.
Posted by Sadie Upwall
Project Manager and Editor for the best little beauty business in town.