Following up on the popular Stuff Italian People Like let me add a few more to the list of those things Italian people Like:
Their Family Next Door (this includes, grandparents kids, grandkids, aunts, uncles, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins once removed, even the family dog) -- actually next door would be ideal, but downstairs, upstairs, across the street, or down the block -- but no further -- will do.
Whether this dates back to the old country when villages were small and families didn't move around all that much I'm not sure, but in the modern western world this one becomes harder to manage. Maybe it is just knowing there is always a plate of pasta available somewhere nearby. The trauma endured when Italian children move out of the house is where the term separation anxiety likely had its start.
Limoncello - This Italian liqueur mainly produced in southern Italy usually around the gulf of Naples and from the rinds of what should be Sorrentino lemons (full disclosure, I have a bias here as my grandmother's family was from Sorrento) but this popular drink is made throughout Italy with lemons from all over southern Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia. It is simple and inexpensive to make and often is made at home by many Italians with just lemons, sugar, and alcohol. Served ice cold, it is especially popular in the summer. Made famous not long ago by a drunk Danny DeVito appearing on live TV extolling the virtues of Limoncello shots. Danny must be on to something.
Street Festivals - usually honoring the patron Saint of something-or-another and somehow involving the local parish, knights of columbus, the Italian-American society and plenty of tables - these involve excuses to gather and over produce vats of ziti, lasagna, sausage and peppers, and multitudes of other Italian specialities. Usually the men carry a statue of said Saint on there shoulders, a parade ensues, the priest gives a blessing and the eating begins. The following month you find another Saint, another religious holiday and bring out another statue. And Repeat.
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