So today we wanted to mention some of our absolutely favorite things in Italy. Things that exist here that you just don't see nearly as much (if at all) in the states, that we have come to know and love!! I will miss every last one of these babies...
Birra Italiana. Yum. Italy isn't known for beer, but Birra Moretti is a staple around here and we grew to love it! That one in the middle, Franziskaner Weissbier, is actually German- but we hadn't yet tried it back in the states and it is delicious. Does anyone know where to get this in the states without paying an arm and a leg? And Baffo d'Oro (which means golden mustache!) is the heavy big brother of regular Birra Moretti. It's great as well, but I think we loved it mostly because of the name.
Burrata. Burrata is heaven. It's fresh mozzarella on steroids; a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, with an outer shell of solid mozzarella and a magical soft inside of both mozzarella and cream. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature, eaten by itself with a fork in silence as everyone closes their eyes and treasures the moment. Find one at the nearest upscale Italian restaurant/specialty food store immediately! Then come get one in Italy so you can see what it's really supposed to taste like :).
Bar/Snack/Gelati. The bars here (cafes) are awesome. And they're absolutely everywhere. And you can be sure that the cappuccino you order will be amazing every single time. They often serve snacks, panini, gelato etc. but we're mostly focused on the cappuccini. We love how you can always count on a bar to be open nearby for an afternoon pick me up, and the drinks are amazing and inexpensive. And the foam (schiuma) is magically delicious. Jim has taken to ordering his regular cappuccino plus a cup of foam only on the side for him to scoop up and savor. Anyone want to start up an Italian style Bar with us back in the states??
Mezzo Litro. Di vino bianca della casa. Per favore. That was our typical drink order all summer when we were out at restaurants (the house white wine). And I'm going to miss it so much! You've all heard it before, but it literally is just as inexpensive to order wine as it is to order any other beverage in Italy, even water! The house wines or table wines are generally delicious, and we often could get a half liter for anywhere between €3 and €7. Yum.
Scooters. Oh mannnn we are going to miss this little guy so much! Sure, they have scooters in America too but they're just not as common. Let's all go get one and change that! But seriously, we're probably going to get one. Our scoot let us travel all over Tuscany, allowing us to truly experience the ride with amazing views and breezes and then weasel right into the hub of the cities to park with no problem. Bostonians: imagine being able to park in the center of Faneuil hall whenever you wanted to with no problems at all. Great right?? Plus it's just so cute.
Vin Santo. Okay well this one's mostly for Jimmy. He loves this stuff! It's an Italian dessert wine made in Tuscany, and it's often served after dinner with some biscotti for dipping in it. I'm not a huge fan because it's too sweet for me, but I loved the type shown above which was made by an awesome wine maker named Rafael (more on him soon - I have a whole post planned!). Give it a try next time you're in Toscana.
Pandas. Just look at this little car! Fiat Pandas are all the rage around here. They are literally everywhere you look! As far as Italians see it there are two versions; this is the "old panda", and this is the new panda: photo. Just a tad different. But this old panda is pretty sweet, and even though it's rickety and tiny and always filthy and has a million tiny problems, it get's us all over the farm (in style, as you can see) and we have come to love it :).
Well that'll do it! Just 1 more day here, then we'll be back in the states missing all these things. More soon - ciao ragazzi!