It’s been a couple of weeks since we got back from out Italian vacation and we still can’t get over it. We talk about it all the time and look at our pictures and say “I can’t believe we were there”. We were in Italy for Brian’s birthday and we celebrated it by spending the day at The Vatican and experiencing the Sistine Chapel or Cappella Sistina. I don’t know how we will top that next year!
Italy was everything I expected it to be. Florence and the countryside in Tuscany is just like the pictures and movies. I thought that maybe I had built it up too much in my mind and I was going to be disappointed when I got there and it was totally the opposite. You have to see it to believe it.
Here are some of my (our) favorite things about Italy:
The ease of the transportation system. We went from the airport to Rome, to Florence, to Pisa, to Lucca and all over Rome with ease.
The fact that espresso is more important than water. You can get a shot of the most wonderful espresso ANYWHERE and that is right up our alley. We started our day with a cappuccino (which is when Italians drink cappuccinos) and for the rest of the day we had shots of espresso. YUMMY!
The wine is simply delicious and drinking a bottle with dinner is a common thing. Brian and tried it twice and then decided that maybe 1/2 a bottle works just right for us. And we were right. Needless to say we brought back some wonderful wine from the Chianti region.
The food is different from our Italian food here in the states. Over there the sauces are lighter, olive oil is extremely delicious and the pizza is also very different. I have to say that nothing I’ve tasted here compares to anything we had over there. We never had a bad meal.
The Gelato. Delicious, delicious.
We didn’t know that we could climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and The Duomo in Florence. In Pisa I was petrified as it felt like we could tip the tower right over or I could lose my balance but it was perfectly safe and beautiful.
When trying to speak the language, most Italians were happy to help us with pronunciation. They seemed pleased that we were attempting to speak their language.
The little, tiny cars. Can’t wait to get one!
The tiny cobblestone streets (hence the need for tiny cars) with tiny sidewalks and the wonderful windows and terraces with lots and lots of flowers. Just like a picture.
Things that were not so hot:
The flight over and coming back full of people that don’t sleep during flights or even speak in calm, quiet voices to not bother anyone. They talk, talk, talk, congregate in the aisles and let screaming toddlers run up and down the aisle. I don’t recommend Alitalia. Do American airlines like Delta, American, United let people do this? Isn’t it a safety issue? I remember during one flight on American when I stood with a lady on the aisle waiting for the bathroom and I was told to sit down because it was a safety issue.
The gypsies! I never saw real life gypsies before but they are all over Florence and are very aggressive about wanting your money. They just come up right in your face and invade all personal space. This type of aggressive moves are also done by the guys who want you to buy their fake purses, flowers or whatever silly novelty they’re selling. They love to congregate at the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. Very annoying! They are not Italian but we could not figure out if they are Indian, Arab, from countries in Africa…who knows. They are just very aggressive.
The TV. We were never in a our rooms for long but sometimes before going to bed, I would want to just chill and see what was up. Well, let me tell you it is different! I missed our TV channels. Thank goodness Brian helped us out by filling his iPod with episodes of The Office, Star Trek and some movies. Anyway, it helped us out to get our American TV fix.
Not much else we didn’t like. Praise God we were safe and had a wonderful time!