Wrapping purchases

The time and care expended by shop assistants in Italy on the wrapping of gifts can be astonishing.


The cost of the purchase is irrelevant. The same care will be taken in wrapping a discounted paperback book or a pair of diamond earrings.


Blithely indifferent to the queue building up behind you, the assistant will patiently fold over corners to form perfect isosceles triangles, use different-colored (but always exquisitely contrasting) wrapping paper to create diagonal stripes across the package, and then tie it with a length of ribbon that is made to end in delicate spirals.

The finished package will then be handed to you with aplomb.

Hooper, John. The Italians (pp. 77-78). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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