Now after a month of living in Greece, I made my first trip in Europe to Rome, Italy! Even though Italy and Greece are neighbors in the mediterranean, their cultures are anything but the same. Gyros to Pasta, cobblestone streets to concrete roads, stray cats to designer dogs. Italy and Greece are starkly different. The main difference is in culture. To say good morning in Greece, Kalimera, is the way to go. In Italy, its Buongiorno. There’s services fee for restaurant where there is not in Greece. I’ve learned it and other phrases through my interactions with the locals near me. My favorite place in Greece is Papadopoulos Bakery down the street from me. A family owned bakery, I swear they have the best spanakopitas in Greece. Nothing can compare. My friends and I go often that now the workers can identify us! Daphne, an older Greek woman, who’s lived in Greece her whole life is now trying to learn English. So we practice with her to learn English and she speaks back to us in Greek for us to learn. A valuable trade off with each other I think.
Between the Greeks and Italians, I believe Greeks are more friendly and welcoming. They want to know where you are from, how are you liking Greece, how long you will stay, what state are you from (if your from America.) and what they thought of the states when they went. It’s more of a warm experience talking with the Greeks. I’ve lost track of the many conversations I’ve had randomly with the couple that owns the gelato shop down the street, any of the greek students on campus, and even some of the locals in the supermarket. When I was in Italy, they felt more nice but distant. As if they’ve gotten use to seeing many travellers and visitors from all parts of the world, their not interested in you. I had good conversations with the waitress and hostess of the restaurants we visited, but their use to meeting strangers. I tried to make that connection with the locals but due to my limited time, I couldn’t.
Another fun difference between the two countries is the fashion. In my opinion, all Europeans are fashionable. Sweatpants and oversized sweatshirts are only worn for the gym. Not an all day casual look. In Rome, fashion is taken to a whole new level. Even the dogs have on sweaters and jackets that are fashionable. Greece, everyone does dress nice, but it has a more approachable aspect to it. I don’t feel like I’m walking next to a runway model on my way to the metro station. It was fun, to people watch more in Italy with all the amazing outfits and styles of its citizens. Each location was rich in ruins and ancient history since both are intertwined with the other. It’s hard to choose which location I like more. Both are different, unique, and strong in their own right and who am I to decide which is better?
Until next time,