Sunday, August 19, 2007

italia ... la dolce vita !!

ciao folks! i am back after a 4-day trip to italy and well i can describe it as...mamma mia! and, put up here is one of the best pictures (i think) i have taken - with my guidebook showing the pisa tower held up against the background of the real one lol otherwise in the three days and two nights in italy, i did florence, pisa and siena.

food - gelato (italian ice cream) - claimed to be the best in the world, is really great especially in terms of the flavours never seen before, like coconut ice cream..would be nice in kerala hehe...pizzerias, ristorantes, pasticherias, amazing (and real) italian food! well, its a must-see (or must-eat?!) country, i am now sure ('trenitalia' always comes on time). i had arguably my best lunch so far at a ristorante in pisa, with a kind, elderly italian-speaking waitress patiently describing and suggesting the items and me just enjoying every piece with no care of time - really felt the "la dolce vita" here, the term made famous by a film with the same name, roughly translated to "the sweet life" - canelloni pasta, vino rosso della cassa (red tuscan wine), a tiramisu (yes!), and the final cut - a cappuccino! at the end of an hour and a half (a la $wamy), i was full, and a little drunk hehe, so that when i climbed the leaning tower all the way to th top, i wondered if it was the tower or me that was leaning more, or i wasn't sure if i felt that it was leaning a bit more than it should. the best was when i told the same lie (changing the language to french) as the guy before me did, at the ticket counter that there was a train to rome to catch and i had to get a ticket to see the tower at once, and the lady there said just for you i'm giving it NOW (even the guy before got it half an hour later, for him and family)...i was "grazie mille" for her!! and how i loved hearing them speak their language, well this had started with my italian friends...and was thoroughly enjoyable in their home country, with the cutest accent possible :) i have some "chianti" (wine from the region with the same name, very famous for its wines) bought as a souvenir, got to see how long the souvenir lasts lol!

archtecture, cars and women (in the order siddharth mentioned them in his last post, or whichever order you prefer) - a wealth of these abound hehe, one little thing i found about the names of the fiat (an italian company) cars - "siena" is the city and "palio" is a festival there, fyi. about architecture, there seems to be a syndrome called "stendhal's syndrome", after the french author's experience of dizziness and confusion when exposed to too much of extremely beautiful art, in florence. i am no art person, but yes what i saw stunned me, the famous "il duomo" (the cathedral) in florence and siena topping the list of what i saw. even in august, there is some peace and quiet watching florence by night. add to it all the hearty italian people, and you just feel like asking directions even if you know them (just to hear them speak...i don't know if this is a syndrome..!!)

all the world-famous brands having outlets, and it being a sale season i was able to steal a deal or two of "la moda", well, you'll buy something for the salesgirls if not for the discount prices this season. i haven't seen rome or venice yet, but what i did see of italy is much for now, until next time, baci..baci..arrivederci !!

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