How difficult is it to walk everyday on those cobbled roads?
Courtney: Considering the fact that I have the co-ordination of a newborn baby giraffe, it’s practically impossible for me. I’ve basically given up wearing high heel shoes, unless it’s an incredibly special occasion. I also in part blame my tiny feet, they slip between the stones.
Angelo: I refuse to let Courts hold on to me while we walk on cobblestones because it feels like she is falling off a cliff every two seconds and grabbing me for support. On a serious note, after a few days your feet get used to it. It is almost useless to drive a car here because the streets are so small and public transport is so efficient, so most people walk or use a bicycle, and it can be rough riding a bike on the cobblestones but usually there is a little cement path.
What is your favorite Item you miss from home?
C: For me the thing that I miss from home would probably either be Crème Soda or Biltong.
A: Hands down those pork rashers marinaded in that amazing pineapple marinade.
What is considered breakfast in Italy?
C: So unlike South Africa, in Italy they LOVE to eat sweat stuff for breakfast, like cakes and Brioche. Most of the children start their day with chocolate biscuits and milk.
A: I noticed Courtney used “brioche” without explaining what it is (so Italian of her). A brioche is a croissant, and they are either plain, filled with chocolate, cream, or jams. I can’t stomach the sweet Italian breakfasts, especially when they have cake for breakfast!!!
What was the most difficult thing to adapt moving to Italy?
C: Honestly, the ENTIRE culture is different, everything revolves around family and food. Italian people are also very affectionate, kisses for everyone, and not shy to say what they mean. All of this and of course the huge language barrier in the beginning.
A: Having lived in the US for 4 years, moving to Italy was a very smooth transition. Culturally the adjustment in the US was very difficult for me while adapting to European life was far easier. I think as South Africans our culture is far more similar to European cultures. That being said there are a few things that I still find “different”.
What do most people do for fun in Italy?
C: During your “free time” here, people usually go for a walk in the streets, there is literally a word specifically for it “passeggiare” and an ice cream.
A: Italians make a lot of time for relaxing and socializing, mostly out in the town. On weekends the streets and Piazza (town square) are packed in the afternoon and evening with people going for walks and relaxing. Italians also love to travel, and will often spend weekends out of the country or exploring Italy.
South African Coffee or Italian Coffee…?
C: OOOHH… this is a tough one for me, I LOVE Italian coffee, but I also really like the culture that comes with South African coffee, and all the different styles and flavors… Both??
A: Phew. This question could start a war if I answer it incorrectly. Coffee in Italy is life. It isn’t a part of life, because that wouldn’t justify how important coffee is to the average Italian day. You won’t walk 50m without finding a “bar” (coffee shop). Working in a hospital one of the questions you have to ask every patient you admit to the ward is “How many coffees do you have a day?” and I would say the usual answer is about 4-8, and that isn’t Nestle coffee, it is legit, espresso coffee. That being said, Italy is stuck in the wave of coffee they pioneered, also known as 1st generation coffee (overly roasted Arabic blends) which have the same flavor profile as a head on collision with a bus. South Africa, though few and far between, has coffee shops that make really good 3rd wave coffee, even though you have to drive a few km to find it, it is better coffee!
What is the most eaten meal in Italy?
C: I would have to say pasta. People eat it out and at home, but Pizza is usually only eaten when you go out to a restaurant. (Let’s be honest no surprise there)
A: Pasta and other first courses, like risotto.
What is your favorite restaurant like?
C: Angelo and I have different favorite restaurants, mine is better though. My restaurant is called “Nuovo Toscana” and they have all kinds of different pizza bases, olive, pumpkin… just to name a few. You have to order a thick base pizza a day in advance so they can prepare it. The best I know. The restaurant itself is pretty small inside, and is very typically Italian, with fake fruit, and random Italian landscapes painted on the wall. You could probably only fit about 30 people in there at a time, but it’s worth it.
A: I don’t know if I really have a favourite, there are just too many amazing restaurants, as well as types of restaurants. There is a very special place in Milan that is run by an old granny, and it is probably some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. As far as my favourite pizzeria, there is a place that makes exceptionally good Napolitan style pizza. Until I go to Naples to eat the best pizza in the world, that place will remain my favourite.
(Here are some photos of our beloved Italian home. Please excuse the cheesy photo)