6 Ways to Live La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life.

It must have been 2005 or 2006 when I first saw the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, starring Diane Lane. The premise of the movie is about a woman whose husband has an affair and impregnates another.

As life moves forward, she is surprised by two of her friends with a vacation to Italy as a means of distraction as she goes through her divorce.

The movie follows her life as she spontaneously purchases a rundown villa in Tuscany as she rediscovers herself and the meaning of life.

During this time in Italy, she befriends an eccentric woman, who, in one scene is dancing in the Trevi Fountain.

That one particular scene stuck with me and it didn’t take much research to find the scene was a reproduction from the 1960 film, La Dolce Vita.

Researching further, I found that La Dolce Vita means The Sweet Life in Italian. Learning this, I became enamored with the concept of living La Dolce Vita. This phrase alone suggests the Italian’s have an inherent way of knowing what makes life meaningful.

While I realize living The Sweet Life may have a different meaning or connotation for each person (depending on your own personal way of identifying pleasure and lifestyle), I decided to compile a quick list of what living La Dolce Vita means, according to me.

Enjoy and Appreciate Great Art: There are many expressions of art; be it poetry, an expression through paint, a wonderful novel, watercolors, charcoal drawings, or photography—you get the idea. Immerse yourself in culture and history. Go to a museum, a concert, or a ballet.

Art connects us all, no matter what race, sex, religion, or income level. Art and the appreciation of such is what separates us from the animals.

Enjoy Great Music: Whether you prefer the classics: Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms, or Beethoven—or maybe soulful music from Nina Simone, whatever moves and sways you—listen to that.

Though not Italian, there are times I love to get lost in an Arabic tune dancing with my hip scarf and finger cymbals as it is pleasurable to me to move as a belly dancer—erotic in my own skin.

Which naturally moves us to the next step in living La Dolce Vita

Move Your Body: Italians love fresh air, the beautiful Italian light, and their bodies. They walk, they bike, they garden, and just generally spend a lot of time outdoors. Part of this is for obvious health reasons and vitality, but I am certain it is also necessary in keeping your body ready for amore, love. Italians love to love.

Not to mention the natural benefits of endorphins and serotonin which are released during exercise. Get outside: enjoy the sun and breathing in the natural air; purified by loving trees growing around the globe.

At least thirty minutes of exercise each day can change your life forever.

Let’s Talk Food: Who doesn’t love Italian food? In America, we love pasta, pizza, tiramisu, and all the earthly delights of Italian cuisine. But, we’re doing it all wrong.

Italians eat in moderation, eating a diet rich in fresh, seasonable vegetables. They flavor their food with herbs and garlic instead of heavy creams and cheese. They eat fresh fruit for dessert. They enjoy meals by slowly serving several small courses. They dine with family and friends and savor the flavors and conversation.

A Mediterranean diet consists of lots of fresh, natural foods, and fewer processed ones. They eat lots of vegetables, fish, fruit, beans, and nuts. They eat very small portions of pasta, rice, and bread. They flavor their foods with herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme. They use shallots, onions, garlic, black pepper, and olive oil.

When you eat your next meal, try to emulate the Italians. Buy fresh food and prepare it yourself. Keep the portions small and savor each and every bite. Eating slowly allows you to taste each flavor as it rolls across your taste buds.

Don’t rely on prepackaged meals, jarred sauces, or high fat desserts. Instead, choose fresh fruit for dessert. Try a cup of tea or a small espresso instead of a milky coffee drink. Buon Appetito!

Enjoy Tactile Pleasures and Feeling Sexy in Your Skin: Bring luxury to your home and your attire. Pay special attention to the way silk feels against your bare skin. Wrap yourself in a down comforter while completely nude. Appreciate the softness and comfort of cotton and flannel.

Let your secret be the same as Victoria’s. Buy yourself some lingerie and matching bra and panty sets. This pleasure is for you and you alone. It’ll become your little secret as you feel sexy knowing what lies beneath your attire.

Here is where I will also briefly mention that even if you are single and do not have a current lover, maintain your sexy. Shave your legs. Get a Brazilian wax. Try a first time Sugar Wax. Buy a sugar scrub and some body butter. Enjoy a candle light bath. Self-care will make you feel sexy in your own skin (which is infectious).

Make Love Like an Italian: I couldn’t explain this better than Aminda Leigh and Pietro Pesce did in their book, La Bella Vita: Live and Love the Italian Way:

“Try to explicitly tell your lover what you do and don’t like in bed—not in a schoolmarm way, but by gently steering him in the right direction. If that is too difficult, at least don’t stifle your gemiti (moans of pleasure); they can be just as good a guide for the attentive lover. Like the accomplished Italian lover, sharpen your awareness and learn to spot the variations in your partner’s reactions…”

In Italian love making, or living La Dolce Vita, noise matters. “As you can imagine, Italians are not buttoned up and silent when making love—they tend to be highly vocal in the throes of pleasure. This verbal passion helps drum up excitement and heightens arousal.”

Be passionate, be experimental, and most of all—cherish each delectable moment with your lover. Enjoy their body. Make love slowly. Investigate their nakedness. Kiss each imperfection and scar. Ask them how they obtained certain injuries. Be intimate.

Wanting a deeper connection? Try tantric love making.

What does living La Dolce Vita mean to you? How can you find pleasure even in the mundane?

Author: Mary Rogers

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Resources: Adapted from Donna DeRosa

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