The world is made up of many different people, personalities and cultures. ¬†Italy in itself is two worlds. ¬†From the previous installment of Oil and Water: Northern & Southern Italy Are Two Different Worlds Part 1,¬†Flora Fine Foods explored the world of Northern Italy and examined the stereotypes and realities behind the difference in culture that is reflected in how they do business, eat and speak. ¬†In this edition, we are will highlight the neighbors to the South. ¬†It’s amazing how a few thousand miles separate two completely unique cultures that are part of the same country filled with 96% of the same people.

 The Southerners

For the people in the South of the boot, the way of life is very different from their brethren to the North. ¬†From the volcanic, rich soils of Campania to the Kingdom of the Sicily, Southern Italians eat, work and speak different from the Northern regions. ¬†Known as¬†Mezzogiorno¬†or “midday”, the Southern region of Italy consists of Abruzzo, Apulia (heel), Calabria (toe), Campania (shin), Sardinia (French forgotten island) and the island of Sicily. ¬†The Southern part of Italy hosts tons of rich history that has sculpted Western civilization. From the dawn of the Roman Empire, the establishment of Islamic states in Southern Italy, Napoleonic Invasions of the French and the unification of the country into the Kingdom of Italy, Southern Italy has a variety of different cultures that have manifested from years of human expansion.

From these invasions and expansion of cultures, Southern Italian regions hosts a spectrum of different dialects of Italian. Much like the United States, everyone from the South has a different twang or dialect they communicate that is unique to their home state.  People from Georgia has a vastly different accent to those in Texas or Louisiana. The same applies to the Southern regions that consist of what is considered the Neapolitan languages.  The languages are broken up by region and are distinct to geographic location. From example, in the Abruzzo and Marche region the locals speak a dialect known as Abruzzese or Southern Marchigiano. From this dialect, there are four more dialects that come about depending on the province the individual hails from. Some other regions like Aoulia (Pugliese, Apulian, Barese), Calabria (Lucanian or Northern Calabrian), Campania (Campanian, Napolean proper, Ciletano) and Sicily (Sicilian) all contain deviations of the Napoleonic Italian language.

Sunshine and land are abundant in Southern Italy.  Less industrialized than the North, South Italians live a much more agrarian lifestyle that revolves around being outside and interacting with nature.  The crops of Southern Italy staple around tomatoes, wheat, eggplant, citrons, olives and rice.  The crops reflect in the food as well.  Traditional Southern Italian dishes consist of more pasta, rice, tomatoes and olive based dishes.

Now this leaves us with a major question. ¬†Where does it leave the Central Regions of Italy? To be continued…




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