What is it that draws people to Italian restaurants like the nationally known, Olive Garden, and local Restaurants like Mama Jennie’s in Miami, Florida? It is the friendliness, relaxed atmosphere, good food, and fine wines. Italian food is associated with feeling full and satisfied. It is the traditional Italian families that have members who stick together and support each other. It is the ease of becoming “part of the family” when you visit an Italian home.
There was a refuge stranded in Italy with no money and he knew no one. In no time he was helped out with shelter and food. He eventually was able to get a job and support himself. In all his travels, he had never been around such kind hearted and giving people. The experience changed him forever. Though the movies may portray Italians as violent mafia members, most people picture kind-hearted people with big families gathered around a table with lots of delicious food, when they think of Italians. They think of wine glasses held high and toasts to family and friends.
When around Italians who speak their native language or English, the conversation is often animated, intense, and passionate. In Italy it is common to see old and young a like in near constant discussions, which can be on a variety of topics. Socializing is a big part of the Italian lifestyle as people interact and share their life stories. There is almost always a town square (piazza) that is full of people at almost any time of the day, except during mealtime. The midday meal is more like our dinner. It is large and everyone gathers together to leisurely enjoy the food.
In the United States you find front doors with locks, bolts, and security doors. In the small villages in Italy you can find homes that only have a curtain for a front door. There is less crime, comfortable weather, and trust. With curtains, the residents of the village don’t miss interacting with neighbors or even foreigners that may be passing by their home.
Extended families are important in Italy. Here in the United States family members are often separated by several states. One of the draws of the Italians is how their large families tend to be close and visit each other regularly. They are supportive of one another and care for the young and elderly. Though as some areas of Italy become more westernized, there are still many areas in Italy that still have traditional family values.
When in the Miami, Florida area, you can get a taste of the Italian lifestyle while at Mama Jennie’s Italian Restaurant and eating delicious Italian food like traditional spaghetti with sauce, lasagna, stuffed shells, Miami Pizza, eggplant Parmesan, and baked ziti.