With the holidays coming you’ll probably be attending parties with family, friends, co-workers and influential bosses. If your male friends or spouse need to improve their social graces we’re suggesting they follow the advice of two Italians who wrote the book on proper behavior and etiquette . . . in the time of the Renaissance.
You might think that the customs and conventions of Renaissance Italy might be outdated for modern men. But consider the recommendations of these 16th century Italians who discuss the best practices on how to avoid a “hangover -esque” experience including why you should not get drunk, blow your nose into your dinner napkin, or bore others by talking about your dreams.
Begin with Baldasarre Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier who wrote about how to be a respectable nobleman at court. His discussions in the salons of Urbino’s ducal palace might be a metrosexualist manual for the 21st century. Castiglione coined the term sprezzatura, “the art of unaffected nonchalance” where whatever is said or done appears to be without effort and almost without any thought about it yet comes off as so COOL.
Then there is Florentine scholar and diplomat Giovanni della Casa who wrote the 16th century best seller Il Galateo on how to dress for success and be witty in conversation and not act like a fool with advice like “one should not gnaw or chew such that you hear the sound or noises, since there is a difference between the eating of men and pigs”.
If discussions on such manners be taken lightly and prove unsuccessful reference a quote from della Casa’s Il Galateo saying”And don’t be looking like you consider the things discussed above trivial and of small moment, for even light blows, if they are many, can kill.”