Many people in America and around the world love Italy because of the Italian lifestyle. And the foundation of the Italian lifestyle is the piazza.
The piazza functions as a powerful catalyst for community life. It has the ability to encourage social interaction, provoke a sense of well-being among its citizens, ensure a strong community, encourage civic engagement and provide a learning environment for young people.
Arriving at the piazza makes you feel like you are at the heart of a community or neighborhood. There is the anticipation of: encountering friends or acquaintances, engaging in festivities, exchanging information (and gossip) and so on. No matter how large or small the piazza, you can be sure there will always be a crowd of people walking, talking and interacting with one another.
Due to this abundance of social interaction, the piazza provides a sense of well-being to its citizens. People find pleasure in simply running into someone they know and having a face-to-face conversation. And it is often in the setting of the piazza that children learn how to interact in a wide range of social situations. The key to the Italian piazza and the community life it engenders is the feeling of inclusion; a feeling of belonging in the community.
Fortunately for those of us who do not live in Italy, there are piazza-like places in most towns and cities where one can go for a walk, meet friends, have a coffee, have lunch, read a newspaper or just watch the passing scene. American piazzas are a little harder to find than their Italian counterparts, but they do exist.
For people of all ages, the piazza reinforces a sense of belonging. And a visit to your local piazza allows you to enjoy the Italian lifestyle anywhere you go.Read More