My time in Italy…and healthy lifestyles…and PR

March 25, 2008 at 10:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

After spending 10 days touring Italy, the only worries I’ve had have been catching trains, communicating without knowing much Italian, and dealing with the disappointing exchange rate of the American dollar. Because of limited access to the Web while jumping from one city to the next, I wasn’t able to research any trends regarding health and PR. But I think my exposure to an entirely different culture will give me more than enough to write about both…and I’ll try not to not brag too much about the amazing time I had.

On Health

Suprise, suprise…Icinque2.jpgcinque2.jpgtalians beat out Americans regarding healthy lifestyles.

Food: At restaurants in America, pasta dishes can feed a family of four, whereas portions in Italy fed me. I was never stuffed, but satisfied. Gelato places every 20 feet compensated for the saved dinner calories. But again, a large gelato equals a Dairy Queen small. Coffee was very un-Starbucks like.  A coffee in Italy wasn’t 16 ounces of espresso,sugar and sugar—and never To Go. I was a little disappointed about no coffee on the run, but it was nice to truly relax and drink a cappuccino.

duomo.jpgExercise: I climbed to the top of the Duomo in Florence, top of the St. Peter’s Cathedral, and hiked the st-peters.jpgmountains of Cinque Terre. Aside from the work outs from those three, the walking alone is a work out itself. With the gas prices rising at home, I’m half tempted to get where I need to go like the Europeans do—with my own two feet!

Alcohol and Smoking: Drinking alcohol, which is a larger part of the culture over there than it is in the U.S, is much calmer. Many people order wine with dinner, but the only stumbling drunk people I saw were American students who were overseas studying abroad. Looks real good for Americans eh?

Smoking is the only area of health that the Italians disappointed me in. Seeing cigarettes dangling from lips was just as common as seeing Italian leather.

On PR:

I wasn’t given much time (or that cared too—c’mon it was spring break!), to evaluate PR in Italy. The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management called PR in Italy “multifaceted and strong in development.”

cinque2.jpgMy trip to Cinque Terre, five beautiful villages on the coast of the Ligurian Sea connected by hiking paths, proved to me that Italy is behind the U.S. with its PR, or communications in general.

This word-of-mouth place had a lack of communication which was actually refreshing. In America, this place would have turned into an commercialized tourist hub selling over-priced meals and souvenirs. Instead, Cinque Terre, which is called one of Italy’s major “tourist spots” appeared our own secret vacation spot.

One place where a lack of communication wasn’t good was when we set out hiking from village to village. There was no distinction about the intensity of the trails we hiked. One book we read (after the fact) noted that some of the trails required the endurance of an Olympic athlete. I’m guessing the book was referring to the trail we ventured to on day one.

I’ll arrived back to the communications-overloaded States last night—to the sound of constantly ringing phones and nuisance of replying to 50 e-mails a day. Call me a work-a-holic, but I missed it. I just hope Italy remains the same–healthy and little behind the times on communication. So next time I need an escape, I know where to go.

 Until then…back to the grind.

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1 Comment »

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  1. Nice post, Julie. You actually got pleasure from the overload of emails the morning after we got back to the States? Geeze. You are a workaholic. I, on the other hand, wanted to pull my hair out and cry. But I agree, Italy was a wonderful get-a-way because it’s a little behind on communication.


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