One of the first words I learned in Italian was Standa, the name of a department store with branches throughout the country. Travelers who need to stock up on basics -- toothpaste, shampoo, even groceries -- can usually find what they need at Standa. At least I always did. And it was a great place to wander, to read labels to see what things were called in Italian. Another of the first words I learned in Italian was sciopero. It means “strike.” And along with guasto (“broken”), it’s a word you’re very likely to see frequently while traveling in Italy. I’ve encountered scioperi many, many times on my trips there. The most memorable one was when I was spending a few days in Agrigento, Sicily, where all shops, all public transportation, everything was set to close for a full day. I prepared by stocking up on cold cuts, bread, fruit. But I needn’t have bothered. When I awoke on strike day, I found my nearby cafe with its security grate pulled down, but only part-way, and locals simply bending down in order to get under and inside for their morning coffee. I guess Sicilians, maybe all Italians, take a casual approach to lo sciopero as they seem to do with many other things, too. An excellent way to live.