Published: June 7th 2009June 5th 2009
I can't upload pictures on the computer, so I'll do that ASAP. There will be lots of pictures of food in this one.
There are so many beautiful clothes in the windows here, and they all have large tags listing thir price just to make sure you know you can't afford them before you come in. I've seen a lot of people with fanny packs and others with sweaters tied around their wastes...but who knows if that's really in style...
People here eat 3 meal a day, which I never thought I'd be able to adjust to, but it's easy. Breakfasst is coffee and pastries, lunch is 12 to 2, siesta is fro about 2 to 4, and then places don't open for dinner until about 8. Dinner is a long affair, usaully last for at least 2 hours. You're supposed to get antipasta, some other appetizer thing, primi, secondi, and maybe dessert. I can barely handle an starter and primi. I never get secondi because it's always meat, so I suppose I end up saving money.
There are bars, pastries, pizza, gelato, and restaurants everywhere you look, so it's hard to choose where to go.
Choosing what to order is such a problem! I want to try every shape of pasta with every sauce and every pizza topping and every gelato flavor and so much more! Lately this had lead to rather unhealthy eating because how can I order ordinary vegetables when I haven't tried homemade cheese gnocchi yet? Carbs, sugar, and cheese have been most of my diet these last few days....yum....but I think I'll make myself sick and fat continuing like this. More veggies from now on.
I kind of stopped trying to learn italian when marion started being a jerk and Mareike came; I didn't want to speak his language and I didn't have to! I kept thinking I should have WWOOFed inFrance because I had a base knowledge of the language and it would have been easier to pick up. Anyway (alora), I know a few worlds and phrases and have attempted a few conversations, but I'll have to wait for another farm to get immersed in the language.
This was my escape town and it was perfect! So small and charming, nestled in a valley with gorgeous mountains in the distance everywhere you turn. Everyone walks and bikes around the hostorical town, and I probably walked every street of that place several times. I had asked Elida if Sulmona was small and she said no. Ha! I you could walk from one end to the other in less than 15 minutes!
My hotel was lovely, with a huge room, balcony, free internet, friendly staff, and free breakfast of OJ,pastries and cappuchino. I was there for 2 nights and just spent my time walking around, reading in the lovely public gardens (which took up about 1/4 of the town), ussing the internet, and stuffing my face. Sulmona is famous for it's candy, confetti, which is candy coated almonds. But they also have candy coated chocolate and other variations. And they use the candy to make flowers and other cute little things. There is seriously a confetti shop every 3 to five stores and they all sell the same thing. I have no idea how they all stay in business. I went to the factory and bought some there.
I could have done lots of hikes in the surround mountains or the national parks, but I didn't feel like it. I usually feel so obligated to do certain things when I travel; I must constantly be seeing things, doing things. But, I just wanted to chill out, take some aimless strolls, and eat. Good plan. I stumbled upon some incredible churches which almost scared me with their beauty and quiet. I ate homemade ricotta ravioli with artchoke cream sacue, garlic bruschetta, tirimissu, and the Abruzzo white wine Trebbiano for one dinner. I have to honest, homemade past isn't that amazing. It's actually kind of chewy. I love that wine and I love it's name because it sounds like how you say "very good" in french. I thought I was ordering a glass but I got 375 mL so I couldn't waste it....Tirimissu was rich and creamy and delicous...then I stumbed down the street back my hotel. I also ate lots of candy, 4 cheese gnochhi (amazing), homemade pasta with ricotta and safron, and gelato. mmmm
I wasn't planning on going to Naples because I heard it was dangerous and dirty, but the pizza and Mareike's company convinced me to give it a try. It was indeed dirty and loud, but I felt in more danger or being run over than mugged. We went to L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, which is rumored to have the best pizza in the word. In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth says Itally has the best pizza of all countries, Naples has the best pizza in Italy, and this place has the best pizza in Naples, so therefore it must be the best in the world. And it is. You can only order 2 kinds, with cheese and tomatoe sauce, or the same with basil in the middle. We got extra cheese, and accidentally order the biggest size. You need to read the description form the book, but it is so true. It's cooked right in front of you in a wood oven. The dough is soft in thin, like indian nan. The sauce is simple, sweet, and fresh. The cheese slide all over the place and the dough flops, so you can only eat it by rolling or folding it up. And only 5 euors for a gaint pie. We had to take some back to the hostel for leftovers (and it was just as good cold). Oh, I miss it.
The hostel we stayed at was awesome- small, friendly, with free internt and breakfast. We went to pompei on Saturday, which was pretty cool. I'm not one for history unless it involves sex, drugs and murder, but they had a bit of that. An ancient brothel and some bodies preserved by the lava were the best part. Mareike and I got tired of walking and went back to the city to get more pizza and gelato. We went to another pizza place that was rumored to be the best, and it was a very, very, close second. The crust was just a little different, but you could get other toppings than just cheese and we got eggplant. mmmm. and gelato and pastries. I never even know what the sweets are, I just point to what looks good and it always is. On that popular street, we encountered a wedding party walking around with photographers in toe and eating pizza from the place we went to. The bride was wearing quite a scandelous dress with many sheer parts. I wanted a picture of the scene, but I never really took out my camera in the city streets just to be careful.
I'm now in Rome, which I'll talk a bit about next, and then I'll be traveling around with the UF group studying food!