Living La Dolce Vita

Living La Dolce Vita

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I am on holiday in Italy this week. I was thinking about taking the week off and not writing a post, but I realised that I learn just as much about life when I have time off as I do in my normal routine. Sometimes more. For me, it is very important to share with you that taking time off is really valuable and productive in the long term.

I am writing this post sitting at a table overlooking a Tuscan hillside. Imagine a vibrant green landscape, warmth and perfect stillness. I love Italy. There is something about it that connects with my soul. Every time I return, it never fails to captivate me. No society is perfect, but there are always positives in any place or situation. Italy  is one of those places for me, that has so many more positive, and gives so much more than it takes away.

I have a 2 year old. It’s amazing how both the young and the old are held is such overwhelmingly high regard in Italy. You walk into a restaurant or down the street with a young child, and every face lights up. Walk into a similar place in Britain, and every face seems to say “Oh, no… Please don’t sit next to us!” I say this because I probably thought that myself, before I had my own son!

The same goes for the old. Generations of families still live together in Italy, and it is very much every family’s responsibility to look after their elders. It is more than that, though. There is a respect for the wisdom of age. In the ever-accelerating society I live in, the older generation is becoming increasingly marginalised in society – considered inconvenient and out of touch. True wisdom is timeless, and much is being lost in our own society.

There is also the ‘life first’ approach to work in rural Italy. Whilst it may not be the most ‘pro-business’ place in the world, I see a lot more happiness here. Although much of it could be attributed to the fine weather, it has to be more than that. Shops still close in the afternoon,   long lunches and siestas are encouraged, efficiency is sometimes comically absent, and yet it somehow works. People get fed, society somehow functions and yes, the sun does rise every morning – despite all this. So I ask the question: what are our own businesses actually delivering to us, personally?

And in Italy, there is the passion for the here and now. From the high quality of fresh food eaten in every meal, to the passion and animation exuberantly displayed in an everyday conversation, Italy is a society that lives in the moment. The Anglo-Saxon  problem of deferring your life while you get on with work does not seem to be prevalent here. Life is for living – now.

And despite all of these differences, it’s truly remarkable that I feel a truer connection to this ethos than to some of the values I perceive at home. Somehow, at home, thousands of decisions based on good intention have created a society that is less whole.

Italy reminds me that having a great life needs time, not money. Time to really be with family, time to enjoy the small things, and time to create things that are worthwhile. It is a wise investment for me to spend time in places like this, because striving every day for something better can actually take away the good that already exists.  Set your sights on a distant target and you miss the simple delights that are right in front of you.  CLICK TO TWEET

So I ask you to reflect, as I am doing, and consider the good life that is already around you and take the time to enjoy it.

I ask you to live with passion today and not wait for tomorrow.

I ask you to do less, to achieve more.

Wherever you are, I hope you’ll appreciate the sweetness of life, join me in spirit, and raise a glass: To La Dolce Vita!

If the above topic, or indeed any of my blogs are of interest to you, then contact me and let’s talk! Drop me an email at

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