Monday, 11 January 2010

10 things I love about Italy

We just got home on Saturday morning. I will give a much more detailed account (with photos). But I will give my love/dislikes now to get the dislikes off my chest so I can write objectively. Overall we loved Italy, wondered why it took us so long to get there. Very glad I was born in Australia though.

10 Things I loved about Italy

1. The weather – snow, light rain, refreshingly cold, when you breath, you could see it (and not just because you were standing in front of the freezer counter at Sogo).

2. The old buildings – for the areas we saw (and yes – it was only 3 weeks), mostly old buildings, picturesque (but I’m not sure I’d want to live in them).

3. The food – lunch and dinner were a pleasure – for the first time in my holiday lifetime, we bought both lunch and dinner every day and it was a pure pleasure. Who cared how much it cost, it tasted fantastic (to the point the C girl is eating real food now).

4. The diet. 3 weeks of at least 1 bottle of wine a day and everything I wanted to eat – no difference in weight.

5. Did I mention the food – well the pasta was magnificent (I only had risotto or pasta for dinner), favorite – pumpkin ravioli with balsamic sauce. It was magic 3 weeks, 2 dud meals.

6. Ability to walk everywhere. The maps were good, the locations were close and we managed to walk a minimum of 5km a day. Yes we did the bus/train thing where necessary, but we mostly walked (big improvement on last year – mostly because Munch is now 6 ¾ and could cope (until the last few days when she kuplunked). Plus in Rome you could get on a website and it would give you the public transport/walking that you needed to catch/do to go from A to B. Easy peasy.

7. Rome – this is a city I could happily live in (in the old section), there is something amazing around every corner. Old ruins, cafĂ©, every street, everywhere. I loved it. Loved Venice and Florence as well for same reason.

8. The shopping centres – we saw a total of ZERO big supermarkets (only saw small ma and pa ones), ZERO department stores/shopping centres. All boutiques and small shops.

9. The coffee – I am now a convert (we even bought home a percolator for the stove to have one very morning on way to work).

10. The Australian tourists – there I said it. We were the ones in the restaurants at 6pm (in Rome), usually every group in there at that time was an Australian and we always had lovely chats. Also ran into some groups in Florence, Pompeii (same group), Venice and Milan – all of whom we loved talking to (maybe just for the accents). Granted I wouldn’t have loved this if I hadn’t been out of Aus for 3 years, but for us it was really lovely. One group from Ballarat – now there is a freaky coincidence considering we both lived there for 4 years.


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Tanya said...

I LOVED the buildings and the history and was prepared for it to be as rubbish filled, dirty and marked (with graffiti) as much of Asia, the mobbing (instead of queueing) and expensive (altho it was a LOT cheaper than I thought in the end- where the hell did you find 40 Euro croissants? we were drinking 0.70 sene cappuchinos in Venice) but not for the smoking in the toilets- even in gate lounge toilets at the airport!
We didnt have the train probs you guys did either. We booked most tickets online using trenitalia but booked pisa off the cuff at the machine on the platform. Each train we used ran on time too down to the minute almost. your first train trip sounds horrible esp after a long flight!
We had no probs with communication either even with the lovely couple at the laundromat in Rome who spoke not a word of english or the guy in the pub on Christmas night who mimed and pointed us to some food when everything was closed- apparently pubs serve drinks restaurants serve food. He thought we were pretty strange thinking you could get a meal in a pub (how far away is the land of pub food?)
We didnt go skiing like you guys did (looks incredible esp the first pic!) but went to visit Kiwi friends in Brindisi instead and got the royal tour of the bottom of the heel of the boot.
Im going to have to go back and read more of your blog now- dont know why i havent stumbled across it (through Jen) before...