Bella Figura: How to Toast in Italy

bella_figuraIn Italy, where beauty never takes a back seat, there is a phrase used to describe this country-wide devotion to grace and class: La Bella Figura.Sophia_loren The phrase was invented by Sophia Loren…ok it wasn’t, but it might as well have been (I mean, who gets off a airplane with no wrinkles?!?) It technically translates to “the beautiful figure” and describes a way of life and a system of etiquette innately understood by all Italians. It tells you how to look and how to behave in particular circumstances (i.e. with class). It means basically that your barista will often be better dressed than you and at least as well dressed as the cop and bus driver sipping on the café he just made them. It means that the woman riding a bicycle in high heels will never fall and if she does, someone will catch her. But it also means “looking good” socially. It is why the word awkward doesn’t exist in the Italian language or the Italian mentality (I have tried to explain it many times, it is not easy.)
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