My A-Z Challenge series is about Italy, it's lifestyle, the country and other miscellaneous things in regard to it.
The people of Italy are very big on hypochondria. They take health very seriously. This is all well and good, sensible even. Eat fresh food with plenty of vitamins, a little exercise, this is all fine. But don't break into a sweat as you'll get a sore throat? Don't drink coffee at the wrong time of day or you'll upset your stomach? Don't let children run around too fast or climb trees as they may hurt themselves?
It's all a little too serious for most non Italians. If you have a tummy ache it's probably something minor, something you ate which will pass, but to an Italian you must go to see your doctor, it's probably a kidney complaint or something equally serious. Feeling a bit light headed, they wouldn't put it down to maybe feeling a little tired it must mean your blood levels have dropped and again your doctor must be seen to get some pills to level it out again. They will take extra care not to get into danger, children do get a tough time as so many normal activities are vetoed in case of injury. People take lots of days off work and bosses bite their tongues as it's just so widespread.
Doctors must be quite overworked with minor ailments coming in. But then, all Italians are doctors themselves as they all diagnose illnesses with as many differences of opinion as they have over food recipes, mentioned in a previous blog post. They are all experts, or so they believe, in knowing what is wrong with you. But they do know more about the body than the average non Italian.
Do not mention to an Italian you have a headache or you will be berated for leaving your window open at the wrong time, or not wearing a scarf while out and about even if it's far too hot. This is down to the very strange and only typical to Italy, problem of the Colpo d'Aria. I have capitalized that one as it's the most prevalent of problems. It translates to 'Hit by Air', literally hit. Italians all, and I mean all, believe that air from even a waft of a breeze can cause all sorts illnesses, headaches being the main and first of them, but also indigestion, nausea, stomach cramps and more. It's very dangerous to have Colpo d'Aria as it can lead to much more serious problems and you can even die from it. Do not sit anywhere near a draft, do not open your car window no matter how hot, and it also explains why they don't have air conditioning in their homes in 40 degree heat and would rather wilt, drying off any of that dangerous sweat as soon as it appears, of course.