My experience in Italy has been one in patience and learning about La Dolce Vita from those that invented the lifestyle. Most days, when I set out to accomplish something “American Style” like errands, I end of humbled and frustrated by just how much I still have to learn about slowing down.
If you try to rush through the Italian markets for groceries, or think you can pump gasoline between 1-4 PM or think you will post a letter in under 10 minutes, you are wrong. Lately however, I have been blown away by some very ingenious inventions, I have only seen in Italy (although they may be other places, too).
While driving through a huge mall parking lot outside of Rome, we noticed lights above each parking space with red or green. It took us a minute to process what we were seeing. From our car we could look down any parking garage lane and if there was a green light, that spot was open. Not only did the lights indicate the spot but a number board at the beginning of row flashed how many spots were open in this area. It was amazing. No more, driving down the eternal aisle to see the mini parked behind the pick-up. It was fool-proof – under that green light is my spot OR there are no spots down here so don’t turn! Ingenious!
My absolute favorite slice of ingenuity, however, is what the owners of the family resort we are staying at call a “lagoon pool.” The entire pool is wading depth, full of ramps and slides and made of a soft rubber surface! I have watched kids from newborn to 80 splash around these past weeks and I marvel at the number of ways to have fun, without the usual dangers of a swimming pool.
There is a traditional swimming pool as well, for laps and practicing strokes, but the bath temperature lagoon pool is the main attraction. It is remarkable for any parents that have ever joked about living in a “padded room.” This is the closest I have ever come and it is ingenious! I know this because I am drinking a cappuccino, poolside while my children play safely with kids from every corner of the globe in a padded pool!
Italy, with all of its ancient hill towns and mysterious traffic rules, offset by its innovative technologies, continues to astound me.