Impressions of Italy

Now that we’re in France (I’m a bit back-logged with my blogs, due to sporadic Internet and pulling marathon travel days – more on that later), here’s my thoughts on my first Italian extravaganza:

  1. The stereotype of Italians smoking is in fact not a stereotype at all. I imagine when a child turns 12 his or her parents likely give them a gift-wrapped carton of smokes and a slap on the back. People smoke everywhere!
  2. The stereotype of the uber-stylish Italian is 90% true. Scarves tied just perfectly with a smart jacket, loafers and no socks, perfectly coiffed hair…it all looks effortless and chic. The other 10% look like they’ve been attacked by the love child of Christian Audigier and the person who created the Bedazzler.
  3. The pizza, pasta and gelato really is as good as it’s cracked up to be.
  4. So is the wine.
  5. The trains, if they run on time (or at all), are quite efficient and useful for non-Italian speakers. Stations are announced ahead of time, and our rail passes have been readily accepted which is an enormous relief after our initial confusion over how the hell they worked.
  6. Don’t cross an Italian woman.
  7. In Naples, don’t leave ANYTHING in your pockets, don’t wear open-toed shoes, and don’t take your eyes off the prize, which in this case is the ground. You will walk in something unpleasant, guaranteed.
  8. Don’t be afraid to go into non-touristy places to eat. The best meals we’ve had have been from small bistros on side streets. While there might be some language barriers, “yum” seems to be fairly universal in its meaning.
  9. Traffic laws seem to be open to personal (and regional) interpretation. Vespas will take you out in Rome if you try to cross (on a green light!). Don’t even think about it in Naples. But in Florence, people seem to generally obey lights and respect that pedestrians can’t always leap out of the way.
  10. Rome overcharges you for everything. You are forewarned.

2 thoughts on “Impressions of Italy

  1. About that other 10%…are you sure you didn’t run into the Jersey Shore cast?

    Can’t believe you’re coming home in 3 days. I’ll miss your travelling stories! I have a flight booked back for July, so you’ll have to fill me in on the rest then…

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