CAMBIO DI STAGIONE
You know it is autumn in Italy when the puffer jackets come out – an essential part of the Italian wardrobe. It’s a sort of uniform if you like, everybody has one and from what I understand, the key selling point is that it keeps your neck warm… ahh, the neck, the key to so many seasonal troubles!
It is fair to say that many Italians are susceptible to an incredibly broad range of winter ailments, which appear to be supported by a comprehensive knowledge of their anatomy. You don’t suffer from occasional colds or a once-every-ten-years flu in Italy, there is far more to it.
Translated literally as a ‘hit of air’, Il Colpo d’Aria is a mysterious illness that can affect the head or even the stomach. To avoid getting it, you have to keep wrapped up to the gills (even if you’re baking hot), never have a strand of damp hair on your head (guilty) and certainly never allow your children to run around outside without a full ski suit.
As far as I can gather, this is a nasty seasonal illness affecting the back of your neck – it doesn’t appear to be related to the fact that you’re spending too long sitting in front of a computer but it can keep you off work for some days! It is something that a surprising number of Italians suffer from.
Cambio di Stagione
A high proportion of Italians suffer from the change in the season (cambio di stagione), it’s as if the body goes in to shock and symptoms can be as broad as nausea, anxiety, insomnia or slow digestion. It’s a nasty thing to overcome and can take a couple of weeks to shake off.
If you move to Italy, your personal health learning curve is extraordinary, you can suffer from things you genuinely didn’t know you had and the cures can be even more surprising (and wonderful!). Blood pressure issues can be cured with liquorice. A salt-pack on the back cures backache. A tisane of bayleaves and lemon rind relieves stomach pains. Artichokes are good for your liver. Garlic is good for bronchial complaints. Mineral Salts should be taken every day. And above all, the vest is king and wearing one can save your life!