A G N E S E

Rome | 2019

A G N E S E

City Rome
Age 
29
Love life Single
Profession Pharmacist
Years in Rome 3
Location Rione Monti

T H E  R O M E  S T O R I E S

‘ROME

TEACHES

YOU HOW

TO LIVE’

  • What makes you happy?
    “Freedom! The freedom to travel, to get to know new people and experience multicultural environments. And the freedom to think for myself and develop my own opinion – it’s the best gift my parents gave me. Normally parents in Italy try to influence your career or other life choices, but they never told me what I had to do. Instead they asked me questions, so I could find out for myself. Experiencing all those different kinds of freedom has made me an independent woman with intellectual capacities who decided to be single.”
  • Why did you decide that?
    “It’s hard to find a man in Rome who understands and appreciates my independence. A lot of men here live by this old-fashioned mentality and don’t appreciate an intelligent, dynamic woman with a lot of interests. It’s ok if you have a job, as long as it’s not a highly regarded, well-paid one. They want women to stay in the box, get engaged at 30 and start a family a few years later. At one point they expect you to quit your job to raise the children. So a relationship could mean the end of my career. This is partly because Italian men aren’t independent themselves, they still live with their parents because of the high cost of living and low salaries in Rome. They’re used to their mama taking care of things.
    I’m only interested in someone with a more open point of view, someone who lets me decide what I want to do with my life and isn’t so worried about the prevalent mentality. I’ve lived in Barcelona for a while and I felt so free there. I worked in a research institute with people from all over the world, and my boss appreciated that I worked hard. When I came back to Italy, I sensed a gap between the mindset in Rome and the rest of Europe. But my generation’s attitude is slowly changing. A lot of Italians who studied abroad and became acquainted with a more modern mentality feel this way. And once you’ve experienced this kind of freedom and equality, you can’t go back. Unfortunately this means that most men and women with a modern way of thinking leave Italy. But I decided to stay and to try to change something in Rome from the inside.”
  • What is your best personality trait?
    “I think perseverance. When I want something, I go for it and won’t stop until I’ve reached my goal. Becoming a pharmaceutical toxicologist and working in the research field as a woman can be difficult. You have to be strong and flexible, because every day there is a challenge waiting for you. Self-confidence is another one of my qualities. I didn’t even realize I’m that confident, but people abroad kept telling me, and as a result my self-confidence increased. Apparently I also have an open mind and outlook, because I’m enthusiastic about different languages, cultures, books and jobs. In general, you could say that I’ve a strong character and always see the positive side of life, even if I make mistakes.”

  • What is your biggest disappointment?
    “The religious view of women. It keeps us in a box! We have to fight and change this mentality! It’s hard, but women need to become independent— we’re so strong, stronger than men.”
  • What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
    “My entire life makes me happy. If you’re free to choose what you want to do in every aspect of your life, you experience all the positive events you need to develop your personality. But the very best time of my life was when I went to Barcelona, because it was there that I discovered what I can change in Italy. My heart is still there.
    I’m also happy to be a sensitive person, because it helped me to develop my passion for photography. Everyone can take a picture, but only some people know how to put feeling into it. I especially enjoy taking pictures of people who don’t know that I’m watching them, in the train station for instance. I try to really look at people and capture what’s going on inside them.”
  • What is the best advice someone ever gave you?
    “My best friends told me that I should always stay the person that I am today. That I should never change myself to accomplish something or to be part of something. Everyone has something to offer to society in their own way.”
  • What is your biggest sadness?
    “In university I didn’t have the courage to do what I wanted. I wish I would have been the person I’m now earlier on. I would have felt more alive and would have been able to develop my interests and career more during those years.”
  • What makes you insecure? “I used to worry why I was so different from other people. I was living in a small village and felt that I had to do this and had to do that, and wear what other people were wearing. I thought I had to be just like them. But when I started to develop my own personality, I started to feel like an outlier, and that made me insecure. Was my point of view weird or other people’s point of view? But now I’m stronger than before, and don’t think so much about what other people are thinking anymore.”
  • What is your greatest fear? “To leave Italy, and live so far away from everything that I love that I won’t be able to go back when I want to.”
  • What is your biggest dream or ultimate goal? “To travel a lot. To spend my life doing what I love. To have a full life. To find stability that gives me happiness. Anywhere.”
  • What advice would you give to other women? “Be strong and courageous, find your goal, go for it and live free. You can achieve all that just by being the unique person that you are. Stay independent, travel and try to be open-minded.”
  • What does Rome mean to you? “It’s such a special city, but not a typical European one, so here you can really find out what being Italian means to us. To me, Rome is like the movie Eat, Pray, Love. If you want to restart your life, you have to visit Rome. Life in Italy is not easy, but in Rome it’s really la dolce vita. Rome teaches you how to live. The city gives you a new outlook on basic things like food and relationships. They’re so good here. You have to live slowly to experience the pleasure of those basic things. In Bologna I was used to eating alone in restaurants, but in Rome people won’t let you. They tell you that it’s not good to eat alone, because food it’s not for your stomach, it’s for your mouth. And if you share this pleasure with someone, you can build a connection. So whenever I enjoy a slice of pizza or drink a caffè, people start to socialize with me. Rome is also my mother. Yes, it’s a mama. When you need her, she will take care of you. The city is full of art, in each part of Rome you can hear someone singing, playing or talking about art. And art can help you in each aspect of life. The people here like to take care of you, they’re so open and relationships are so easy to build. If you venture a little bit outside of the city center, you’ll meet the real Roman people. That woman who just knows in her heart how to cook or take care of the house. And she has an open personality. Even if she doesn’t know you, she will take care of you in every way she can. She’s very direct, without any filter. I nowadays feel like a Roman woman myself, we have our charisma and manners in common. Let’s have another caffè.”

Photos by Piero Cremonese
Make-up by Evgenia Pukhaeva

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