Italia

It turns out I have a horrible habit of starting a piece of writing but never finishing it. Many of these pieces would appear finished to anyone else, but not good enough for me. This unfinished feeling keeps me from writing more. And how does one ever get better at this without just doing it, right? So, I’ve vowed to just post my writing so I can move on and, hopefully, get better at it (and to keep you updated, of course).

Without further a due, here it is – my barely finished, minimally edited, summary of my trip to Italia. Better than nothing.

 

Looking back on my 10 days in Italy, I realize I did a lot without doing much. I visited 3 cities but skipped the wine tour, went to only a few museums, and hit less than half of the main tourist attractions. I saw the Vatican, Colosseum, Duomo, and some other important buildings, cathedrals, and museums. But what did I really do in Italy? I ate pizza, pasta, and paninis. I had a first plate and a second plate, paired with a local wine. I had a morning (or afternoon) cappuccino, said grazie (grat-see-ay), bon’journo, and prego. I people-watched, shopped, and wandered the cobblestone streets, all the while taking in more second-hand smoke, in 10 days, than I have in the past year.

I spent two days in Rome and two in Florence. I enjoyed these touristy cities, but lived like a local in the not-so-touristy Bologna, where I spent 5 days.

So much of what I saw at Vinnie Zucchini’s (Italian restaurant where I once worked) now made sense. The words customers spoke, the way they spoke, Campari, older Italian men shooting espresso at the bar…

My experience taught me so much more. That a Bolognese sauce (of course, I had this in Bologna) is more of an oil and meat mixture than it is a “sauce”. And, it was absolutely delicious! I learned the versatility of prego, used to greet a customer in a store, or to thank that customer later on, and for other uses I’m sure. Most importantly, I learned that one does not mix cheese with seafood – this is an absolute no-no! The chef at an award-winning restaurant made that very clear when he refused to bring cheese to my friend who was eating seafood pasta. We had a good laugh and he was a good man. But really, who knew?

As I now finish up my first school year in Kuwait, I look forward to a great summer in Spain, Frankfurt, and of course, home. If my writing goals are achieved, you can expect to see many more posts here.

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