One of the things I love most about living in Italy is the existence of four distinct seasons.
During my past life in the USA, specifically in Washington, D.C., seasons were determined by the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes winds, and the occasional hurricane making landfall.
In Italy, Summer is long and hot. Winter is cold and short. In between, Spring and Autumn have clear characteristics of their own, and Italians are consistently prepared for these seasons.
Of course, the changing seasons also mean culinary adaptations since the Italian diet is still very much rooted in fresh seasonal produce. Grapes and olives are harvested in late summer and early autumn, and oranges, pumpkin, chestnuts take center stage at local market stalls and greengrocers.
Bars, restaurants, and trattorie modify their menus to include rich, hearty dishes like pasta e Fagioli (bean soup), risotto Zucca e Formaggio (cheese and pumpkin risotto), or tagliatelle ai Funghi (pasta with mushrooms).
At home, Italians proceed to the “Il Cambio dell’armadio.” It involves carefully pressing, folding, storing dormant summer wear, and taking out of storage autumnal necessities such as long sleeve jumpers and overcoats.
For those tricky days, neither summer nor winter, Italians has a range of jackets and “piumini” at their disposal. In addition, they are discerning wearers of scarves, an essential style statement, and necessary protection against the notorious Colpo D’Aria.
Colpo d’Aria or Gust of Wind
Everywhere else, a draft can be defined as a gentle breeze, but not in Italy!
Wikipedia defines Gust of Wind as:
A gust of wind gust is a temporary increase in the speed of the wind, usually less than 20 seconds. It is more transient than a storm, which lasts minutes, followed by a lull or slackening in the wind speed.
But in Italy, colpo d’aria is a dire threat to one’s health.
Dressing for the season, not the actual weather, is essential since colpo d’aria could hit at any moment. If you are not appropriately equipped with the right weight “piumino” and you get a “colpo d’aria” (a draft), you may get all sorts of problems.
- Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
- Weakness and muscle aches
- Cold and swollen eyes
- Sore throat and hoarseness
Also, one recommendation we always get, even in the dead of summer, even after a day spent on a breezy beach, is to not sit between two open windows, as they will produce “Corrente d’aria.” Another deadly risk to one’s health!
Piumini are down jacket, quilted jacket, duvet jacket, (cappotto) quilted coat. But not so fast. There are numerous piumini. They go according to seasons, and I mean all four seasons! And according to weight.
The summer version–oh, yes, there is a summer version for those breezy evenings–is very light, but it has a handy thermal seal in those periods in which the weather is a little whimsical, then a 100 gr. piumino is most recommended!
Shoes are one famous Made in Italy product to be proud of. Lately, however, fashion dictates boots! As soon as the leaves start to fall, Timberlands are on everybody’s feet.
In the USA, Timberlands are usually worn by lumberjacks. I thought they could only be worn with a “tools belt” when one is ready to hit the woods.
In Italy, they are reinvented in pretty colors, worn with flair, matched with a hooded piumino, and brand accessories.