Wow, I have been writing about Italy forever, haven’t I? There is just so much to say and I could probably go on and on (particularly about food), but I think I’ve reached the end of my Italian musings for the time being. Which means it’s time for Best and Worst!
Total Days: 15
Total Days it Didn’t Rain: 11 (Wow, that has to be some sort of record for me)
Places Visited: Rome, Bologna, Milan, plus day trips to Modena and Ostia Antica
Favorite Place: I still adore Rome, but Bologna really struck a strong chord with both Michael and me- strong enough to go on our shortlist of places to live!
Least Favorite Place: Milan didn’t do much for me, but it’s still part of Italy which makes it 1000 times better than most places.
Best Tourist Site: Even so, wandering around on the rooftop of the Duomo was the coolest way to explore a church ever.
Favorite Food: Oh my god, I can not choose. I am having a serious crisis just trying to answer this question. Okay fine: Roman artichokes, pizza we made ourselves, pasta bolognese (which I don’t even like much back home), real gelato, every single kind of cheese and cured meat.
Least Favorite Food: Even the Italians have an off night. Mike and I went out to celebrate a late Valentine’s day at a fancier place near our apartment in Rome and I ended up with an extremely disappointing lamb chop with barely any meat on it’s charred bones. It was also probably the most expensive meal I had in Italy to add insult to injury.
Most Memorable Moments: Eating real gelato outside our homey rental apartment in Rome, discovering Keat’s grave, wandering Bologna late at night with my friend Anna, seeing the Trevi Fountain with Mike for the first time and exploring hidden parts of the Colosseum.
Coolest Discovery: The startlingly different (and yummy) taste of real DOP Balsamic Vinegar, aged 25 years, in Modena. I’ll never go back to the thin stuff.
Biggest Obsession: Food obviously, but more specifically the local markets that can be found in every town and local neighborhood in Italy. The produce was so fresh and colorful it looked like jewels.
Biggest Annoyance: The air quality in Milan was surprisingly terrible! Also, this wasn’t so much an annoyance as a terrifying ordeal, but I’ll probably need sedation dentistry next time because of our horrifying Italian dental experience.
Coolest souvenir: I love love love my little Capuchin monk espresso shot glasses that I picked up at the Capuchin Crypt. Aren’t they the cutest things ever?
Biggest Regret: That dentist of course. Also being too unorganized to go see the Last Supper outside Milan.
Best Advice: When in Italy try every local meat, cheese and pasta specialty you can get your hands on! Learn about food traps and really make the most of being in (at least according to me) the culinary capital of the world.
Would I Go Back? Oh yes, I suspect I will be seeing a LOT more of Italy in the next few years. At least I really hope so!