Posted 20 hours ago

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing: Live Life the Italian Way with Dolce Far Niente

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Dolce far niente is a soul-expanding celebration of doing nothing – something that’s actively discouraged in much of the world where the cult of “busy” is ubiquitous. Italians do 'nothing' like no other nation and perfecting the art takes style and skill – because there’s more to it than meets the eye.

The idea that you can indefinitely stretch out your deep focus and productivity time to these arbitrary limits is really wrong.As Virginia Woolf wrote in a Room of One’s Own: “Drawing pictures was an idle way of finishing an unprofitable morning’s work. This Latin proverb, which translates to 'the sweetness of doing nothing,' has been embraced by many cultures throughout history as a reminder to slow down and savour the simple pleasures of life.

You still hear this Latin phrase a lot in Italy, and there’s a sense that tomorrow might never come, so you should live now – and, more importantly, spend now,” says Chiara.What if, instead of saving up our “fun quota” for an annual escape, we spread it over the minutes, hours, and days throughout the year and gave “enjoying life” a go? This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.

It began (under a different name) in 1986, with an aim to stop a McDonalds opening in Rome near the Spanish Steps. Many times we continue to do work someone else can — or worse — the task need not be done at all — because it adds to our ‘importance’ and ‘significance’ at work — ‘people want me’. Excursions offered by Belmond in Tuscany and Florence take guests to meet local artists, pizza chefs, designers and gamekeepers, each of whom has their own idea about how the pleasure of doing nothing can be enjoyed in work and life.Thoreau spoke of this in Walden when he said, “When I go out of the house for a walk, uncertain as yet whither I will bend my steps, and submit myself to my instinct to decide for me, I find, strange and whimsical as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle south-west, toward some particular wood or meadow or deserted pasture or hill in that direction. While I loved the novelty and rush of the big city, along with all the wonderful opportunities London was giving me, I also missed Italy with all my heart: the endless Sunday lunches with my family, meeting my childhood friends for a drink before dinner, walking around my neighbourhood and seeing familiar faces on every corner, drinking coffee each morning at the place I had been going to since I was a baby and the absolutely gorgeous architecture and art at every turn.

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