by Louisa Loring
Elizabeth Gilbert is by now a well-known American author thanks to her best selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia in which she describes the year she spent abroad in search to rediscover herself through other cultures lenses after a divorce that left her feeling alone. She spent three months in each country, first in Rome where she was excited by the Italian language, the food and the Italian way of enjoying life fully. She then went to India where she spend time working on her spirituality and finally to Indonesian in search of finding balance.
When Gilbert arrived in Rome, knowing not one word of Italian, she jumped right in fully immersed herself in the daily life of the Romans by renting an apartment right in town and spending her days wondering the city, map-less and meeting people. When in Rome, right? At first, she had enrolled in an Italian language course but soon learned that the best way to experience a culture and do as the Italians really do is to meet Italians and be out in the streets, instead of in a classroom. With this revelation, Gilbert dropped her Language class and used her time to read the paper, talk to the old woman selling her vegetables at the daily market, dining at restaurants, getting lost in alleys and making new friends. In this way, Gilbert really learned the pleasure of life, as the Italians live life everyday by taking joy in the small acts of making the choice to cook a fresh meal at home, prepared in the way that the old lady had suggested. By the end of her months abroad, Gilbert had not set one foot in a museum but could sit down at a Roman trattoria, read a menu from top to bottom with no trouble and order a full course meal for her and her friends with no hesitation whatsoever. She had gained a sense of confidence and had rediscovered, first-hand, how to take joy in everything she did from the challenges of communication, to the endless hours spent lost in Rome and the “dinner for one”.
Like us! Facebook Istituto Europeo