Over a month has passed since we flew the coop. It's been an incredible blur, as it feels more like a year has gone by. We have traveled to 3 countries, roughly 20 cities or towns and are nearing the end of our stay in Italy. Our adventure continues next week, when we embark on our journey up through France. But for now, we’re trying to soak up our last moments under the Tuscan sun. So without further ado, here’s a glimpse into our first month across the pond.
Places we’ve been:
Italy - Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence, Rome, Cinque Terra, Sienna, Pisa, La Spezia, Lucca
Greece - Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Patmos
Turkey - Kusadasi/Ephesus
A few observations:
First, Italian style is superb. Everyone dresses well, whether age 2 or 82. The women carry their beautifully simplistic style with confidence and the men aren’t afraid to rock a scarf or skinny, rolled up jeans. While there is obviously still diversity among individuals’ wardrobes, the large majority clothe themselves in chic and sleek garments.
Italians eat well. American versions of pizza, pasta, croissants and gelato pale in comparison to their Italian counterparts. Since their ingredients are incredibly fresh, Italians focus primarily on the flavors and quality of their food as opposed to the spices.
Almost everything is easily accessible by foot in the city. This increases everyone’s daily excercise and makes seeing an overweight Italian a rarity.
We may be from different continents, but we’re all human. Whether American, Italian, English, Bangladeshi, Japanese, or African, we all have human and cultural similarities. We all experience the joy of the holidays, adore little toddlers and their abundance of cuteness, love dogs, enjoy having our picture taken, want the best for our loved ones and appreciate a smile.
Things we’ve learned:
how to ride a train, metro, bus and vaporetto
how to navigate big crowds with and without luggage
how to haul your luggage over bridges and through cobblestone streets
polizia are some of the most friendly people in Italia
you should check to see if your suitcase has two zippers before buying another one
Italian men of all ages are unintimidated by staring for long periods of time
McDonald’s in Italia is much nicer than the US and even has an elevator, but it has communal bathrooms
cars go a lot faster here and the polizia don't seem to care
how to kindly refuse the Bangladeshi gadget sellers in the Italian piazzas
you might have to shower in the dark if you are trying to boil pasta simultaneously
there are a lot of cats in Greece, but Turkey has many more
men don’t wear long shorts when running, they wear the little ones that cross country runners wear
how to buy food at the local markets
where to buy candles in Italy
old men swim naked in the ocean
if you see something you like at a street market buy it because there will be a different seller in its place tomorrow
the elevators are barely big enough for one suitcase and a person with a backpack, and some require a key
you should get used to washing your hands next to the opposite gender in the restroom
Italians rarely have dryers, so learn to use a clothes line and, if you’re lucky, it will have a pulley
your accommodations may not have toiletries but they will have a bidet
you should get used to sleeping in socks and a turtleneck if you’re from Texas because the Italians don’t use heat in October
Behind the Photos: