The Italian Almanac

shooting stars

Little Dreams

On the eve of the night of the shooting stars, the August 10 Feast of St Lawrence, Italians appeared to be at a loss about what to wish for should they see a falling star, according to a new study. Drawn up by a group of 40 psychologists and based on a poll of 500 people between the ages of 14 and 45, the report concluded that Italians have lost urge to express a wish or to dream big. While in the past Italians would wish for everlasting love, a dream house or a fat bank account, today they would wish for their mortgage or loan to be paid off, something better than their old beat-up car or even a puppy.

The first wish for 55% of Italians today would be for a home which is totally paid off. But not a big villa or a prestigious apartment in some European capital. Some 40% of Italians would be content with just a few rooms in the city where they work. Another 29% of Italians said they would like more time off, but not too much because they cannot afford it, while 13% would wish for a few days at a beauty farm.

According to experts involved in the study, this loss of desire to wish or dream "is a clear sign that people have little confidence in the future, a sign that the small and large problems of day-to-day life are becoming overbearing". In other words, the psychologists observed, "this is a self-defence mechanism in which people do not have big dreams or wishes in order avoid big disappointments".