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From Burnout to Bliss: Embracing the Slow Life Revolution

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Slow Life literally means slowing down and contemplates all kinds of practical applications in different vital environments. But, and most of all, it consists of a whole life philosophy with deep roots in the land of the dolce far niente.

The basic approach of the Slow Life Movement is that the current pace of life in the West is unsustainable and unhealthy, and prevents us from enjoying our existence. This is no wonder in a sistem where:

  • Work is prioritized over almost every other aspect of life.

  • Consumerism is unleashed and prevents us from reflecting on anything.

  • We don´t stop to think about the things that really matter and fully enjoy our time.

The Snail Movement Is Born

Where does the Slow Life movement come from? The term arises by analogy with the Slow Food movement, an organization that defends the value of traditional gastronomy, founded in 1986 by the italian sociologist Carlo Petrini. This movement was forged as a protest and call for attention to the opening of fast food establishments in Italy. In the country of the Mediterranean diet and dolce far niente, the first MCDONALD´S franchise arrival was practically sacrilegious. Thus, the Slow Food movement proposed -and proposes- in its manifest a return to the traditional values ​​of gastronomy, based on:

  • respect for natural and organic products

  • consumption of little processed food

  • preference for local and seasonal products

  • sustainability

  • slowness of the act of eating itself: taking time to savor food, stopping to appreciate the aromas, colors and textures of each bite... Having, in short, a more satisfying and full experience, incompatible with any type of rush.

1986. A movement arises. Carlo Petrino leads the protests against the opening of Italy’s first McDonald’s restaurant at the Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Throughout the years, other proposals based on this philosophy have emerged, slow tourism, slow fashion, slow cities, slow education or slow sex, among many others. The set of all these slow practices or an overview of all of them, is what we can refer to as Slow Life. The coining of the term is usually attributed to the canadian writer Carl Honoré, author of the book In Praise of Slowness (2004, Harper, San Francisco.)

Carl Honoré (2004). “In praise of slow: how a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed”, A.A. Knopf Canada

La Dolce Vita: Embracing the Slow Life in Italy

Italy, a country renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine, also holds a hidden treasure: a deep-rooted tradition of embracing the slow life.

Slow Citties: Cittaslow is an international network of citties founded on 1999, with the aim of improving life quality, authenticity, and avoid globalization. Places designed and thought to experience true slowness, where you can find: high quality local food and drink, craft traditions, quiet living (and have time for actually stop and smell the roses).

Slow food is good food: As the birthplace and proud home of the Slow Food movement, Italy´s culinary philosophy promotes the preservation of traditional food practices, regional flavors, and sustainable agriculture. From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the bustling markets of Sicily, Italy's diverse regions showcase the richness of its culinary heritage.

Slow Arquitecture: A type of architecture that is created gradually and organically, as opposed to building it quickly for short-term goals. It is often combined with an ecological, sustainable approach. Whether it's the eco-friendly dwellings nestled amidst the rolling hills of Tuscany or the cone shaped roofs of the ancient trulli in Puglia, slow architecture in Italy embraces a deliberate pace that honors the past, respects the present, and ensures a sustainable future for generations to come.

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