Last week in Strategy, my professor led a discussion about Harley-Davidson and why their marketing campaign worked so well in the US. I won’t go into detail of that analysis (although if you are an enthusiast we can most definitely chat) but the conversation soon turned to the difference of family life in Italy vs. North America. Our class agreed that while the culture in Italy tends to lead to large families growing up in the same town and living relatively close to home for most of their lives, American culture can be quite different with more people moving to other cities or leaving the country. It was an interesting point, and coming from living in two of the biggest transient states in the US (not to mention thinking about my own family where my sister and I left the nest post-undergrad) I could definitely see the truth in that statement. And while I enjoy spending living in bigger cities (London next, perhaps?), I do love the values and traditions that come with a smaller, more intimate location.

As for Milan, even though its one of the bigger cities in Italy, for me it still falls somewhere nicely in between big city living and small town suburbia. Today my classmate mentioned how one of her neighbors passed away recently, and when I went to her house to work on a paper together I noticed a sign on the front door of the building announcing the woman’s passing and the date of the funeral. My friend said that this is more common in smaller towns where everyone in the area knows you, but I also learned that the traditions vary depending on northern and southern Italy as well. It was the first time I’ve seen a sign like this, and it reminded me of the unique customs that each culture has. And while there’s always incredible buildings to see and beautiful beaches to visit when traveling, I think learning about and finding the beauty in the small things like this is one of the best parts about seeing the world.

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