Behind every catchy phrase acute enough to be remembered, funny enough to cause good humor and witty enough to decorate our garments and accessories, hides a great truth! Case in point is the famous: “I DON’T NEED THERAPY, I JUST NEED TO GO TO ITALY”.
The disarming reality is that many of us, sometimes, feel we really need some sort of therapy, but instinctively know that a good dip in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea would probably work wonders instead… That is not to say that our more conventional therapists are uneffective or dispensable… On the contrary, only that Dr. Mediterranean has practiced for a bit Longer than most, and with commendable results.
When in doubt…
In this rather unusual perspective, Italy holds its own age-long therapeutic practice and boasts countless enthusiastic patients! When in doubt, a trip to the little peninsula called Italy can be just what the Doctor ordered: “take two weeks of this and call me when you get back!”
Starting the therapy…
The ‘therapy’ can start in a cute small Pensione (a Mom-and-Pap inn) booked online, in a quaint little seaside town somewhere in the southern part of the Italian boot. Just as you plop the suitcase on the bed and open the shutters onto the blue sunny sea, the medicine starts working…The dosage of beauty and perfumes can vary in intensity as there are little, if any, side-effects reported in centuries of documented Italian therapeutic research.
The physical part of the treatment envolves: strolling, shopping, and picture-taking while saying hello to locals (who use the Italian hand-vocabulary to communicate in a surprisingly effective manner).
Italy’s most potent medicine
As to the oral part of the ‘cure’, the patient can procure him or herself the necessary ingredients at the local street-market: orchard-fresh fruits and vegetables can be obtained from locals who will likely illustrate ways to clean, prepare, season and cook the produce. Locals vendors will sometimes even call out to a nearby window for a neighbour’s translation of a particular term not found in the Italian hand-vocabulary!
Alternatively, a patient can simply find a cute and rustic Ristorante, possibly by the fisherman’s port, and sit at a table with wooden straw-cushioned chairs (usually a bit wabbly) and blue-checkered tablecloths to assume the alimentary dose of Italy’s most potent medicine: her food… (yes, Italy is female).
Beneficial effects soon commence
As the sea-antipasto is served and the patient has already ingested a fresh glass of mineral water followed by a sip of good, cold, local white wine, the beneficial effects soon commence: relaxation, good humour, flavour-aroma inebriation, occasional giddiness.
The main course can be a savory homemade fresh pasta with shrimp, muscles and zucchini sauteed with white wine and seasoned by Sardinian saffran with a sprinkling of white pepper. Follows a lenghty meditative and digestive pause, while gazing at the Mediterranean, before ordering an espresso.
At this point, the alimentary part of the therapy could be over, if it were not for Signora Maria, the owner’s Mother, who still runs the kitchen out of the sheer joy of cooking: Maria will not let you go away until you have tasted her homemade Limocello!
The tinkling of distant forks
Our patient is now ready for the next, crucial part of the therapy: the siesta… As he or she makes way towards the Pensione, the cobblestones resound with the soft tinkling of distant forks twirling spaghetti over colorful Majolica plates. Even the birds seem quieter at lunchtime…’l’ora del pranzo‘.
At last, once entered the room, with a calm and resolute healing intent, one can now close the shutters, lay down on the fresh-smelling sheets… and nap.
This, in essence, is one of the many ways of how to correctly commence an Italian Therapy session.
Text by designer/writer Claudio Assandri