Summary of Italy

Italy is the first country on my travels where I genuinely felt like I could happily settle and live a few very happy years.  Before someone jumps ahead of me this isn’t to say it’s my favorite- I don’t have a favorite, and while I’m very found of Laos for example I couldn’t live there a long stretch- but rather everything was pretty, my personal philosophy meshes well with an Italian lifestyle, and I was pretty good at Italian considering I’d never specifically studied it.

Highlights:

– To elaborate on the last point, I got to the point where I could order food and ask for directions in Italian.  It should be noted, however, that asking directions isn’t the difficult part so much as understanding the answer you’re given.

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– Aniko and Massimo’s kind hospitality to me while staying with them in Urbino.  Koszi megegyszer!

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– Due to the fact that I liked everywhere I went it seems silly to just list all the locations I visited, but the favorites are between Capri and Florence.  If I didn’t promise my Hungarian grandmother I would visit her for Easter, there is a good chance I would still be sitting in Florence.

– Shout out to the two microstates I visited that are completely enclosed by Italian soil, San Marino and Vatican City!

– I loved having all the Roman history right there.  There is something about thinking of how you are walking where Caesar and Brutus and Marcus Aurelius and whoever else did thousands of years past that never completely leaves you.

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– The food- Italy was, after all, the  first country where I could happily eat pizza without missing out on the local fare!   And then the pasta, the cutlets, the house wine, and desert at the end.   Particularly the gelato such as the type pictured above.   It was a tough job thoroughly investigating that facet of culinary culture, but someone has to do it.

– As a final point I want a Vespa, followed second by a three wheeled car and third by one of those smaller than a Smartcar cars.   Does anyone know of a good place to pick one up in the USA?

Lowlights:

– Dear Europeans, you do not need to always drink bottled water!  It’s usually 4 Euro for bottled water in a restaurant, and they never have tap water available.  And it’s not like the water is bad or anything- in Rome the water is from a spring, and is freely available in the streets- but rather everyone is snobbish about this point.  Why you want to spend nearly six bucks to cart water hundreds of miles and generate plastic waste after is just beyond my comprehension.

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– It sounds weird to complain about tourists as a tourist, but my goodness there are a lot of people here.  I don’t think I’d want to come in the summer… The picture above is from Pisa, one of the worst tourist spots around its famous tower.  Second  only to getting into the Uffizi museum in Florence, where you stand in line for several hours if you don’t have a prior reservation.

– It snowed when I first showed up in Italy.   What?  To be fair, it got nice and skirt-weathery afterwards.

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