Living, or even traveling in Italy requires a dramatic departure from your accustomed physical and emotional geography. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” goes the cliche. Emotionalism is a national Italian trait, which is potentially contagious.
On a ski trip to Bormio, my frustrations about my inability to improve my skills lead to a tearful and inappropriately overemotional reaction. Ironically, it was here that I first heard the song titled Stuck In the Moment.
After visiting Assisi, I came back to the US, joined an Episcopalian Franciscan group in New York City, and spent a weekend at an Episcopalian Franciscan monastery in upstate New York.
Then, there was the summer I spent at the Universita Per Stranieri in Perugia. As we have seen from the Amanda Knox case, Italy is an emotional force of nature, often equal to the devastating force of a tsunami.
I once pictured a life in Italy, living on the Amalfi Coast like the Donna character in Mama Mia, but since I am less of a Dancing Queen and, unfortunately, more of a Drama Queen, an emotionally calm country like Uruguay suits me just fine.