Tutto è venti minuti.

I learned a lot about Italy from world class traveling buddy, Anthony Mascherino. This cousin of mine taught me that the usual answer when you ask Italians in Italy how long something will take is “venti minuti” or 20 minutes. Anthony was right. I heard this throw-away response so often I wondered if it was just another way of saying, “Not long”.

I was ordering at a Bologna pizza shop and wanted to go to the nearly souvenir store while it was being baked. I looked at the lady and said, “Venti minuti” “Si” was her answer. I had time to shop.

Now I’m back in Downingtown and working three days a week at Maxwell’s Hardware. Co-owner, Tommy Trego likes take-out lunches. I’ll phone in the order to the local Italian eateries like Lione’s and Anthony’s. “Venti minuti” is always the waiting period. I told Tommie about these responses so often he now repeats the phrase after I hang up.

About the only activity that doesn’t take 20 minutes to do in Italy is eating a meal. Quickly prepared food is a sacrilege and meals are considered events intended to bring enjoyment. It is not rushed. Evening meals at restaurants reach two hours without effort.

All in all, not a bad way to approach life.

Digg this     Create a del.icio.us Bookmark     Add to Newsvine

One Response to “Tutto è venti minuti.”

  1. John Morris Says:

    Right you are, cousin.

    On an old job, the company owner would give me an assignment and always say, “It should take about 20 minutes.” After a dozen or so projects, all over hours to do, I told him, “You’re right. It only took me 20 minutes to do it, but it took me two hours to learn how to do it in 20 minutes.” He did laugh but never stop giving me this same direction.

Leave a Reply