"If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change." is a famous quote from Italian writer, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, in his novel 'The Leopard'. Those words, which are present across Italian society, explain why heritage and tradition are so important to Italians.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
The Italian Family
Family is everything to Italians. All of their traditions and heritage are a part of that family and its place within the local comune. They will do almost anything to resist change.
The family is the most important thing in Italian society. In the UK, attention is much more focussed on the 'nuclear' family. In Italy, family represents the widest possible definition. They include every branch and every generation. A family event, often held several times a year, will often include 20, 30 or even more, gathering together to celebrate national events, religious occasions or family celebrations. Weddings can include 600 in the guest list. You will often see three or four generations spending time together, including parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
The main focus for the family is 'Pranzo' or lunch. This is not fast-food! Lunch can take up the whole day. The table is set with a huge array of delicious, home-made dishes. Italians take their time over it, savouring every minute and filling the air with animated discussion, accompanied with wine and laughter.
Our collections of hand-painted, handmade, traditional ceramic tableware sets the scene for these occasions. Click here for more details
Italians are warm-hearted and attractive and extremely friendly people. They are sincere, sensitive and value style over fashion. They work hard and are concientious, striving to maintain the values and traditions the grew up with. They seem to have endless energy. They talk a lot and wave their hands a lot and seem to be able to carry on several conversations at a time.
They are very affectionate and touchy-feely with no concept of personal space.
Italians are deeply loyal to the comune, province and region in which they live. Often to the extent of dismissing any good qualities belonging to other regions. There is a phrase for it in Italy: 'Campanilismo' (the love of one's own bell-tower). This loyalty seems to last forever, passing on through the generations, even when the family emmigrated many years before.
The stemmi and gonfaloni that represent each comune, province and region of Italy, carry with them the heritage of all the people that live there, or have lived there in the past.
That heritage is immensely important to Italians. Local festivals are highly cherished and Italians are happy to repeat the same sequence of events year after year, taking genuine pleasure in maintaining these local traditions.
Gonfalone of Cosenza, Calabria
A selection of stemmi from different places in Italy
We can find your family's local Stemma, and produce a hand painted tile for you to treasure. Click here for more details
Large numbers of Italians left Italy in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as later, after the second World War, settling in many different countries all over the world. Wherever they went, Italians took with them a cultural heritage of thousands years of history, art, traditions, music and cuisine. It is the mission of their descendants to keep that great heritage of Italy alive. They are often keen to find out more about their Italian roots, visit the areas that their ancestors came from and forge stronger links with their past
‘Pure Ices’ Ice Cream Cart in a London Park, c.1910 (Courtesy of La Voce degli Italiani)
Official Italian consulate estimates put the community in Britain around 700,000, making it the largest Italian presence in the world, outside Italy. Italians now form the third largest European group in Britain, after Polish and Romanian communities.
Italy has played a significant role in world history from before the Romans, through the Renaissance period and to the present day. There are many people in the UK and around the world with a great affection for Italy and Italian heritage. It might be because of an unforgettable holiday they spent in Italy or just because they love everything that Italy represents.
There are many people in the UK who are of Italian origin, proud of their heritage, passionate about their country, their culture and especially their football! They remain proud of their Italian roots, even though they may be far from home.
The quality of Italian products is renowned across the world. This leather bag has been made from the highest quality leather by expert Italian artisans.
Our handmade Italian leather bags are available in many different styles and at all different prices. Click here for more details
How can you describe Italian heritage? Above all else it is quality of life. Warm Mediterranean sunshine, stunning scenery, delicious food, excellent wine and great company. And, or course, there's the history! Thousands of years of important events that form the heart and soul of Italian society.
History is present throughout Italian life. Every village, town and city reflects that history. Every Italian is proud of the country's many achievements and they treasure that heritage, culture and tradition during their everyday lives.
Just take a look at the Sistine Chapel ceiling to see how Italians take pride in a job well done!