This article is a result of a series of 7 interviews done to the 35 participants of Aroma: design the smell of challenge project — organised by Aventura Marão Clube in Amarante (Portugal), between 2nd to 10th July.  During 10 days, the participants from Greece, Romania, Italy, Palestine, Tunisia, Egypt and Portugal, worked together to organise a Bike Parade, an Euromed Food Day and support a local street festival called Festa Amarantina. During the interviews we had the opportunity to know them all better, find out why they chose to be a part of this project and how this experience turned out.

A country we also had the pleasure of interviewing was Italy, represented by Elizabeta, Angelica, Paola, Alice, Donatella and Marcella. When we asked them what made them want to participate in this project, the girls simply said – because it was in Portugal. Another reason they mentioned was the opportunity to meet and interact with other countries and cultures, while having the chance to work on themselves.

Italian Team coming from Dinascitá Europe organization

For Festa Amarantina the Italians brought us their passion for food and love for cinema. All of this in an authentic Italian setting. They arrived with a lot of traditional food, complaining that all of their clothes smelled like cheese.

Something the girls wanted to clear up is that although the Italians really like pasta, they don’t actually eat it for breakfast. Other misconception about the Italian people is that they spend most of their time relaxing and living day by day, not stressing about anything. About that they felt the need to say that Italians can be serious and hardworking.

What they would share with their friends and family about Portugal would be the Sao Goncalo cookies. The girls found it very amusing.

One surprising thing about the Italian culture is that they have two ways of saying “I love you”. One is for close friends and family – “Ti voglio bene” –  and the other – “Ti amo” –  only for their lovers.  So the Italian girls advised you to keep your “Ti amo” only for very special people.

Regarding the challenges that youth is facing in Italy, we spoke about the social and economic independence. Due to the lack of opportunities to find work they are sometimes obligated to move to other countries. In the group’s point of view, the solution to this problem is that young people should try to find their own path in life, by being creative and do things their own way. 

Interviews and article by Denisa Gavriloni
(Participant of Aroma Project)

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