Everyone it seems is talking about bathing suit season. We hear it on the bus (“I must lose five kilos before bathing suit season”), at neighboring restaurant tables (“I need to start jogging because it is bathing suit season “) and at the market (“I am making a sacrifice and not buying those pumps as I want to find the right bikini for bathing suit season.”) I met the postman yesterday walking up the steps to our fifth floor office. He smiled knowingly when I inquired if he was avoiding the elevator because of bathing suit season. “Certamente”, he said, patting his midriff.
Wanting to further our investigation, we ventured this morning into the pastry store. Were those same Romans so absorbed in bathing suit season holding back in the pastry store ? Were they denying themselves the Carnival sweets which, despite the fact that we are now well into Lent, still so temptingly appear in the front windows ? Were they turning their back on the varieties of chocolate rabbits now on the racks ?
No, they were not. Everyone lined up for the morning cappuccino had a crisp pastry in their hand, and more than half were eating variants stuffed with pastry cream or whipped cream. The crowd to collect the Sunday luncheon pastries was formidable, and grew larger as mass at the adjacent church released it’s parishioners into the warm spring sun.
Here is Isabel, inspecting the almost fully depleted collection in the pastry store window.
The point is this : Italy is a country where everyone loves to look good. Everyone loves to eat. Everyone loves the ritual of the daily or weekly treat at the neighborhood pastry shop (ours’ is called Sweet Desires.) Nearly everyone will slip into a bathing suit this summer. Happily. Some people are somewhat overweight, but not many. In Italy you can both partake in the pastry shop and enjoy bathing suit season. What a wonderful country.