Friday, August 26, 2016

The best things from Italy...

I have been working on this post for a while, and decided to finish it because I have been thinking about Italy a lot what with that earthquake.  Seeing those beautiful buildings in rubble is just heart breaking....  So sad.  It is such a gorgeous country and those old stone building are just so wonderful.

I made a list as I was writing my first Italy posts about the best things that I encountered on my trip....  these things aren't necessarily Italian, just things that I have found to be pretty damn awesome.  There are mostly Italian things on this list, but there are some other random items as well.  Because you know, I am random much of the time.

1. These hair ties:  My dearest Seester-Rose gave me these interesting hair ties, which I had never encountered before.  This coiled band was with me literally all the time, either in my hair or on my wrist.  That was the joyful thing about this- it held my usually out of control hair tight, didn't leave weird marks and was really comfortable on my wrist for more than an hour.....  the one I had was clear, so it was really invisible everywhere.  They do come in colors- I have a few more now!  Haha- btw, I do not get ANYTHING for these links- I just freaking love them

2. This camera lens cleaner  So a while back when I got my camera outfit, I also soon after got more lens cleaning tissues, fluid, cloths and the like, especially after that little kerfuffle on the Wisconsin Photographers Facebook page.  So I sort of accidentally came across this one and it has turned out to be the most handy thing in the world.  When I take photos I use my left eye, and I consistently end up with smudges all over the right lens of my glasses.....  no idea how that works, but it does.  So between little touch ups on the lens (I use tissue most of the time- gently- on the lenses, or the rocket blast air cleaner thingie) and extensive use on my glasses- it is really a great product.  And it hangs off my camera, and is always there and can either be smushed up into the little pocket or pulled out for use. Awesome!

3. This olive oil-You GUYS- the olive oil, especially when you got to the amazing little eating places off the beaten path (away from the main piazzas) was incredibly good.  Incredible!!  I got a little oil for myself in two different cities in Italy and dragged it all over the place wrapped in socks(unworn, mind you) in my suitcase. Anyway, the bottle I got in Florence at the central market was SO good and I was getting panicky thinking about how I was going to subsist with out it. The things they sell here are just NOT the same.  So I - on a whim- typed in the name of the olive oil into the search bar of Amazon and ta-DAAAAAAAA  there it was.  I have not opened the one from Amazon yet, as do not want to expose it to air.  And I have the Italian bottle to finish yet.  It is definitely a drizzling type olive oil, my usual breakfast these days?  Either a sourdough or other hearty bread/bagel with italian style cheese flavored with rosemary, drizzled with oil.  Or I have caprese salad for lunch- fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, oil, and Molton flaked salt.
These bottles are a lot smaller than they appear in the photo!

4. Balsamic vinegar - well olive oil's best friend in Italy is the balsamic and I got two kinds in teensy little bottles.... cuz that stuff is 'spensive. (says the girl who paid a ridiculous amount for olive oil)  Another thing cradled in unnecessary items of clothing and carried all over the country.  I couldn't find an exact match for it on Amazon.

5.  Lemon granita- I waxed poetic over the lemon granita on the Island of Capri already, but it is worth mentioning again, since it really really was one of the most flavorful, sensual things ever.  Smelled so good, tasted strong and acetic and flavorful, and with a smooth ice that was so perfect- no lumps or chunks of ice, just an amazing slush that coated your tongue....  Oh that was good.  And we were sitting down, in the shade and watching people, so the ambience was helpful.

6. Gelato- I had chocolate, chocolate chip-mint, vanilla, raspberry, dark chocolate, lemon, and I think mango or something like that, and it never got old.  NEVER!!

Lol- oops, put the wrong pic on here- oh well.
7.  Wine- we sort of drank our way across the country, sampling wine almost daily at supper- and once at lunch with a chaser of limoncello.  Italy's wine was first rate!  We got local bottles and it was a good choice.  Though I am a white wine drinker, the best one we had was a red with a light amount of sparkle to it. S.Osvaldo  Rabaso Veneto Vino Frizzante .  The rest were great as well- it was the company and the atmosphere too!

8. Columns- oh you all know how I feel about these.  It was so amazing to see all of them and touch ALL the marble columns that I could get my hands on, and an occasional stealthy finger if touching was frowned upon. Sue me. Rumor has it that at one point I may have given one a full body hug, but that would be a bit much, right??  ;)

9.  water from the fountains and fontanelles The thought of drinking from fountains was a little weird (it was the equivalent of dipping water to drink in the clear clean lakes of far northern Minnesota in the Boundary Waters) but we soon learned that in Rome you can fill your water bottles from the fountains (not the basins, but where the water was coming out from the underground) and the little fontanelles- free drinking water which was so nice! It was one of those little- well that is cool!- experiences.

10.  This girl here- that would be my sister!! She was the best travel partner ever- she listened to me say- Isn't this AWESOME? a million times at least, plus the - You don't mind if I get gelato? part too.  I don't think she did!  :)

11. And this group leader here- which would be Powla! I can't say enough about Paula and the amazing job that she did leading us through the ups and downs, and mostly ups of the trip!

12.  And the ART!!  So here is a smattering-

The joys the these things brought me are immeasurable and it is pretty cool to be able to incorporate a few of them in my daily life!  These are some of the best things from the trip of a life time.  Well, at least so far!  Thank you to all the people who willingly, and perhaps unwillingly, have listened to me share and relive it.  There are a few of you who have truly shared my joy in it, and I appreciate it beyond words.

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