Sunglasses in Italy: something we can’t live without

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Sunglasses in Italy are very important. Everyone here wears them, from little kids to elderly people. After all “chist’è o paese do sole” (this is the land of Sun) as the Neapolitan song says. Plus, the first glasses provided with UV filters were produced during 1600 here in Italy, in Murano (Venice). Sunglasses are useful to protect you from the Sun but they also conceal your look, so they make you feel more confident and cool.

Veneto sunglasses producers

Maybe their names will not ring a bell but, among the largest producers of glasses in the world, there are two Italian companies (both in Veneto, my region):

  • Luxottica (Belluno) They manufacture their own glasses (Ray Ban and Persol for example) but also those of other brands (Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Armani, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Versace)
  • Safilo (precisely in my own city, Padova). Their own (Carrera, Polaroid) – other brands (Dior, Gucci, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Saint Laurent).

Sunglasses in Italy – Austrian humour

I confess I never noticed this abuse of sunglasses in Italy until my German teacher Claudia, who is actually Austrian, pointed that out to me and my class mates during a lesson. There was a comic strip in the book: people on the bus talking one another. She said: “This could have happened exactly in the same way here in Italy, but everyone would have worn sunglasses”. We mates were pretty puzzled. None of us seemed aware of the sunglasses matter.

I wear sunglasses…when there’s sun and its rays bother my eyes.

Me in Bassano del Grappa
Me in Bassano del Grappa

But I don’t wear sunglasses after dusk. Or… not long after 🙂

Lady waring sunglasses at night
Lady waring sunglasses at night

You’re surely Italian!

Two years ago I travelled with my husband along the Romantic Road in Germany and there other people immediately identified me and Matteo as Italians because we wore sunglasses. They told us so. As a matter of fact we didn’t spot many people wearing sunglasses there. But why? The sun was dazzling. Their loss :). I even annoyed two poor Americans and their kids (all wearing sunglasses, rightly ah ah) with this subject. I met them on the top of Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s Rathaus tower. I was there alone (Matteo was waiting for me downstairs cause he is afraid of heights) so I stroke up a conversation with them. They asked me where I was from. Italy, I replied. And the lady: “Ah, yesterday someone here has mistaken us for Italians”. I: “That’s surely because of your sunglasses”.

What about you? Have you a normal and healthy “relationship” with your sunglasses?

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