Ten things that I will miss about Italy

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 1:54 p.m.

1. I’m staying just outside a town that is about 80 kilometres north of Venice. It has a beautiful covered bridge that overlooks a small waterfall and beautiful mountains in the distance.  The historic centre has gorgeous old buildings and very few tourists.  I will miss that town.  Which one is it?  I promised my family that I wouldn’t tell!

2. Caccciotta cheese: it has a creamy mild taste and is amazing to eat when you’re hungry and want to nibble on something before supper, but it’s also easy to overeat.  Alas, we don’t get it in Canada!

3.  The bells.  Wherever you go, bells echo off old buildings on a cloudy day just before it rains, or on a sunny day when people are filling the trattorias at lunch time; it doesn’t matter.  The bells make me happy and remind me that I am somewhere else.

4. The Brenta river.  Uh-oh.  That’s a hint to number one.  White-water rafting down the Brenta was more fun than I expected, especially because our guide kept us ramming into rocks and made us jump into the river.  I jumped into the river and was more than happy that I was wearing a wet suit. A church bell in a tower by the river chimed noon, and it was a perfect moment.

5. Italian coffee.  Caffé Diemme is a brand of coffee that we discovered that was super whether it was done up as a macchiato (espresso with a little steamed milk) or as a cappuccino.  I have guilt because it’s probably not fair trade coffee.  I may write a letter asking them to go fair trade but I’m afraid that my Italian is not up to letter writing. 

6. Pizza.  Would it be so hard for North Americans to learn how it’s really done in Italy?  Thin crust, thin crust!!  Sauce that doesn’t taste like it came out of a great big tin, so that you taste the tomatoes rather than the sugar.  We can do this if want to – it’s important!

7. Siesta.  Things stop at 12:30.  Stores close and don’t reopen till 3:00.  It’s inconvenient but civilized.  People eat lunch with family and friends and relax.  Lunch is the big meal supper isn’t.  No wonder Italians look so trim…except that there is ‘way too much smoking going on.  This may be the real reason that they stay so thin.

8. Reasonably priced public transit – You can take a train from the town that I’m staying in to Venice for about 8 euros fifty.  That’s under $15.00.  It costs a lot more to get from Sherbrooke to Montreal, and wouldn’t it be nice to take a speedy train than hassle with traffic and parking?

9. The climate…but ten days of thirty-eight degree weather did teach me that I don’t love heat as much as I thought I did.  I think I need to check out winter in Italy.  I hear it’s shorter.  Unfortunately, there’s nothing much Canadians can do about that except to love skiing.  I’m not sure that I love skiing that much.

10. Finally, I will miss the Italian language and the Italian people. As soon as you make an effort to communicate in Italian, people will warm up to you and be happy to engage in conversation.  Plus, it was lovely to be in a place where people talk as much and as loud as I do!

Arriverdeci, Italia!  I will miss you and I hope that I get back before too long.  Ellen Goldfinch may be reached at radiomother@yahoo.ca



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