An Italian friend of mine suggested I write about my “Italianity” and all the efforts of my Italian friends to transform me via the wonders of really good Italian coffee, football, Italian politics, and the nuances of certain phrases in the Italian language.

There’s really only one way for me to respond to this: Mi hai preso per un coglione??!!

I prefer to regard people as individuals rather than as a set of stereotypes, but I have to admit that there is a certain set of characteristics that all of my Italian friends seem to share; their “Italianity”, if you will.

For starters, all of my female Italian friends are freaking gorgeous. Seriously. Now I’m sure that unattractive Italian women exist out there somewhere, but all the ones I’ve met have been smoking hot. In fact, as I was finishing my PhD the first place I looked for postdocs was Italy. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any in computational biochemistry, but that’s probably for the best since if I were constantly surrounded by Italian belli ragazze, I most certainly wouldn’t have gotten a whole lot of work done.

Not that I’m getting a whole lot of work done here in Beijing when I’m surrounded by hot Chinese girls, but I digress.

Another thing all my Italian friends have in common is a pure passion for life. Whether it’s good food, great coffee, football, or Italian politics, their commitment to quality consumption, quality fun, and quality discussion is truly admirable. And their enthusiasm is pretty infectious. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re surrounded by a bunch of happy Italians having a good time.

And then, of course, there’s Italian men. I’ve never seen an Italian guy be shy or insecure around a woman, and all of my male Italian friends seem to be able to talk about how great they are without coming off as arrogant assholes. Seriously, if there was one Italian characteristic I could emulate, that would be it.

Unfortunately I think it must be genetic, because even my American friend of Italian ancestry seems to have inherited this trait.

It’s impossible for me to capture, distill, and describe the essence of Italianity in a single blog post, but I can’t deny the effect my Italian friends have had on me. If nothing else, they’ve always helped me to not take life and whatever problems I happen to be facing so seriously, and they’ve shown me the joys of the Italian outlook on life. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Si lavora e si fatica per il pane e per la fica….


About Critical Awesomeness
I'm a 32-year-old American with a PhD in chemistry and a green hat. Only one of these two things is really important.

3 Responses to Italianity

  1. Trish C says:

    I love Italy!!!! I would go there again in a heartbeat. We were lucky enough to meet one of Andy’s friends when we were in Lecce and he fit Andy’s description perfectly. He gave us a tour of Lecce that was most enjoyable and took us to a restaurant that had wonderful food. And we had a great time with him.

  2. Mino says:

    Very nice shot Andy!!!! “Taglia la testa al toro” and come to Italy!!!!! 😉

    and Trish, I had a very good time with you as well…I hope to see you again!!! Andy is a very special guy because he has very special parents…I would call it Christoffersonality!!!! A big hug!!!!

  3. Carlos says:


    What about the Spanish view of life????

    There is nothing nicer that living constantly annoyed!!!!!!

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