Italian Observations – Part 2

1) The internet is not way better than Siena. If you’re planning a trip to Italy, go to Siena for at least a few days.

2) Ok, calling Italian women gross was too broad of a stereotype.  But, it’s definitely a million euros a dozen.

3) As previously noted, the food continues to get better each meal.  I’m not kidding.  It’s amazing to see how capitalism/greed has killed American “fine” or casual dining.  When it takes less than 30 minutes to make multiple fresh pasta dishes and feed a group of people, there’s no reason an Italian restaurant in America should buy noodles from Sysco because it’s easier and quicker.  Seriously, my favorite eateries in Chicago have been put to shame by the simplest hole in the wall restaurants in Tuscany.  Maybe that’s too deep of a thought but you’ll understand the distaste for American food and “passion” behind this post if you get a sampling of some Tuscan food.

4) Judging by the cars you see on the highways, Italians/Europeans definitely think Ford first.  If not first, then second or third.  I see how Ford turned a profit in Q1.  Amazing – Ford should release their standard 4 door European car that I’ve been seeing everywhere in America.  It’s efficient but large enough for a family.  No, it’s not the ugly Ford focus we’re used to in the states…it actually looks decent.  Ford, this isn’t rocket science – you figured things out in Italy/Europe.  Now duplicate the business model of making decent/efficient cars in America.

5) A week in Tuscany is enough but not too much.  I’m definitely looking forward to the Amalfi Coast and rumored intense drive.

6) I’m enjoying eating once a day…maybe twice at the most.  Best diet ever equals good food in healthy portions and 82 degree weather.  Wine – which I could previously do without – can definitely make a good second meal on its own.

7) Our English hot air balloon tour guide says Italians mock freedom of speech.  Ha – hail Mussolini, eh? That didn’t work out so well.

8 ) Not having the internet readily available is fcking nuts.  Screw the tv but I would trade electricity and/or running water for the internet.  I guess if I’m trading electricity for the internet the computer wouldn’t turn on.  So, I would trade running water for the internet.  When your time runs out – as is the case now (again) – it sucks.

2 thoughts on “Italian Observations – Part 2

  1. I am loving reading your accts. from the trip. Do not drive in Rome! Even Italians from other regions will not drive in Rome. The expert in the driving doesn’t exist, it’s all about me first in Rome. If it means a moped needs to go on the sidewalk at an intersection in order to gain 30 seconds, they WILL. As you have probably seen, the mopeds in Italy don’t follow the same driving laws as the cars, they drive between cars in traffic jams, turn on red lights if no one is coming, etc. It’s still seems funny for us to see a motorcycle staying in line in highway traffic jams here. Also, watch your pockets / bags in Rome. We never had a problem, Jim wore the backpack on the front and I always stood in front of him in line. But there are a ton of pick pockets and they know you are a tourist. How? are you wearing white tennis shoes? yeah, you’re a tourist. They will literally push you against someone else on a crowded bus, take your wallet or bag, and get off at the next stop before you can even start to object (in a foreign language no less). Be prepared to see lots of people on the streets begging to, you have to remember that tons of people come to Rome as a religious pilgrimage… hence, lots of Euros thrown at these pitiful souls. One of our Italian tour guides said the ladies with the small children on the sidewalks make 6 figures a year – tax free 🙂 We still ended up tossing a Euro or two here and there. Just don’t be shocked. Have fun, enjoy the food (much better on the mainland than it was in Sardinia), and know that you can survive off lots of 5 Euro pizza if the money starts to run out 🙂

  2. I take it back. Only people in Florence and Tuscany know how to drive. People in Naples and the surrounding areas are fcking crazy. We are definitely NOT driving in Rome. Our hotel is near the airport and they offer shuttle service to and from the center.

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