Two weeks ago today I was literally flipping into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sorrento in Italy. Today I will be going to Little League baseball practice on a field that smells of pre-teen angst and cow manure. *sigh* At least I had the experience for two glorious weeks and today I will reflect on some of the things I will always remember about my days in Italy…
Of course I’m super happy to be back with Angela of Happy Fit Mama for this link-up!
Beer and Pizza
If there is a better combo than beer and pizza, I do not want to know about it. I had heard things like “the pizza in Italy is very different so, just be prepared.” If by “very different” people meant “light years better than American pizza” than YES, you are all correct.
The best pie we had the pleasure of chowing down on was from Franco’s in Sorrento. It was served on sheet pans and we ate it all. With a 40 oz of Peroni, of course.
No One Wants Your Kids or Your Bikes
We got into a great discussion with a local couple about the horrible case of Madeleine Mcann who was abducted from her hotel room in Portugal while she slept. The parents were vilified (at least in the US) because they were having dinner, at a distance from the hotel room where their kids were sleeping, but had reportedly been making routine checks on the room. The couple we were taking with in Italy saw zero issue with that. In fact, when we mentioned our kids they assumed they were in our room sleeping while we were at the bar! Exploring these kinds of cultural differences is one of the many things I love about travel. It builds tolerance.
Oh and no one feels the need to lock up their bikes either…at least not in Barga, a small town in the Tuscany region. I adore this, for obvious reasons.
All the Gelato
A gaulent was thrown prior to leaving for Italy. My good friend Dana from Kiss My List dared me to beat her record of 18 gelato eatings while in Italy. Well, my son Vaughn tried valiantly to beat the record but alas, came up short with only 15. Obviously we need to train harder, go back and try again!
This is only a few of the pictures I have of a boy and his gelato. Chocolate every time…
*Miles only eats vanilla and hated the gelato. It’s unexplainable.
VITA is Everywhere
Talk about making a girl feel right at home! VITA means “life” which is why I so named this blog (and my fitness studio before it) because training for life is what I am all about. I was so happy to see my name (yes, it is) adorned on signs, streets and even iPhone case covers, which I of course had to buy.
It’s a sweet life indeed and, a man who came out of the building where the below sign was posted, offered the boys some lemon candy. Who does that? It was definitely sweet and, after smiling and thanking him, I swiped it out of their little paws because in Italy or no, I just can’t let them eat candy from a stranger. Baby steps.
The Insanity on the Roads
I have never in my life experienced drivers like the ones in Italy. The cars are small, there are no stoplights and, as my husband put it, the lines on the roads are merely a suggestion.
The worst of it was on the island of Capri when we were riding a tour bus up and down a very tiny, very steep and extremely winding mountain road.
This shot is from the bus going down the mountain so we are on the opposite side of the road yet, I only see a speck of the guardrail!
And this would be the shot I took out of my window, of one of the many buses COMING AT US and, narrowly missing us as we sped up the mountain. I was seriously holding onto my husband for dear life and closing my eyes…
[Tweet “5 unforgettable things about #Italy #HighFiveFriday @happyfitmama”]
Here’s to a happy and high-five kind of Friday to you! I’ll be back on Monday when The Rundown says ciao to Roma and bonjourno to Tuscana!
What is on your high five list this Friday?
How much gelato do you think your could eat in two weeks?
And my love for Italy grows that much more. Except the driving…I would need someone to drive for me. But then I would be clawing the seat or dashboard or whatever I could get my claws on holding on for dear life! Have fun at Little League and thanks for linking up to High Five Friday! It’s fixed now btw 🙂
I seriously had my head buried in Mike’s shoulder. It was beyond scary. I would take driving in an NYC cab 1,000 over before this. YIKES!
So glad to be back to the link-up 🙂 High-five mama!!
I’ve wanted to go to Italy, it looks like so much fun. I’m glad you had a great time over there. When we lived overseas, the driving was crazy. Luckily, I was too young to drive.
It was so great but oh the driving! I don’t think I would be able to drive there!!
Valiant effort, Vaughn! The number of gelatos is not as important as enjoying them, and he certainly seemed to! And all chocolate – a kid after by own heart.
I almost peed my pants on the car ride from our place to the train station in Rome, but I guess it’s just the norm there. Have a great weekend Allie!
Oh he absolutely enjoyed each and every one! I enjoyed a few myself but branched out with the flavors 🙂
The driving was insanely scary. They just drive wherever. I seriously have never seen anything like it and yet, it works for them. So strange.
One of my favorite things about Italy and Spain, is how cheap a bottle of wine is in restaurants…. I don’t know about wine prices where you live, but in LA, the price of a glass of wine is the price of a bottle of wine at a restaurant in Italy… we kept asking if the prices listed where for a glass or a bottle? I didn’t keep track of our gelato count, but it was at least once a day and often twice a day….. And the leaving the kids in the hotel room at night while sleeping…. yes, the cultural norms are soooo different….. we need to embrace certain aspects of European culture here for sure!!!
YES! Cheap and such high quality! And, in a lot of places you couldn’t just get a glass so they would bring these half-pint bottles and those were only about nine euro. Amazing! I just want to go back…
Andrew is from Belfast, Northern Ireland and his parents thought it was absurd that they couldn’t bring their kids into the pubs here in Canada. So when they’d go for a bite to eat, they’d pull their Jetta Wagon up to the pub window, give Andrew and his sister some chips and pop and then they’d go inside the pub and sit down at the window next to the car. 🙂
OMG I love the idea of that!!! I seriously wish we could let our kids be a little more independent. It builds so much character and instead, mine are afraid of their own shadows. Oy!
Im going to suggest my 74 year mother move to
Italy. She would wholeheartedly agree with your hubby about road lines being just a suggestion. While pulling out of her daily stop friendlys (I’m certain she could be converted to gelato) she did her usual move the far left lane to
U turn back to Ellington, but failed to notice other side of road was closed with fresh hot pavement just poured. Moms tire tracks permantly imbedded in rte 83. Yup those bright orange cones were merely a suggestion.
OMG!!! This seriously made me laugh out loud!! You know I’m going to look for those tracks now and think of you. Gotta love it.
OMG I had forgotten about that bus ride in Capri – it is truly terrifying.
Otherwise, Italy is an amazing country – I studied there for a summer in college, and it was an amazing experience. The pizza, even the little shops, is beyond anything in the US. And we ate gelato every night – we had our “gelato guy” who would fill us up with extra every time – they were huge by the end! Ah, so good.
I wish I could park my bike somewhere without worrying about it being stolen…..I don’t leave it out of sight at all in NYC!
So, so good! I miss the food and wine the most…well and the views…and the people. I just miss it all – so amazing.
And yes, I had several parts of my bike stolen when I was in college in Boston. Not fun. I can get away with a little bit more out here in the country but I still need to lock it on my car rack.
Your photos are gorgeous! I’m super jealous! I love Italy but it has been sooooo long since I’ve been. I can’t remember the drivers there but I can tell you the road rules in Brazil are merely a suggestion if there at all. In the right hand lane and need to turn left? Why not cut across three lanes of traffic. Totally normal, happens every day. I think my SIL could beat that gelato record. She is the queen.
OMG I’m sure the driving in Brazil is just as nuts!! Do you drive there?? I think I would crash because I would be too cautious!
Love your gorgeous photos! I ate so much gelato when I was abroad. Gelato in southern Germany as well, and for a euro each I could never pass it up. And always chocolate! I didn’t drive at all during my time abroad – I’m fairly certain though that speed limits are merely a suggestion in any part of Europe, from what I remember. Happy Friday!
Oh the gelato! So delicious and so cheap and so available!!
Have a great weekend 🙂
My current job ends 6/30 and if I don’t have one lined up soon after I am contemplating getting on a plane and heading over to Europe. This just makes me want to go a thousand times more!
He doesn’t like Gelato? Who is that kid?
Seriously, more crazy drivers than in Chicago? Hmmm….
I have no idea!!! And yes, I have been to Chicago and these drivers make them look almost civil. Almost. 🙂
Ahhh, this makes me want to go back to Italy. Right. Now.
Loving reading all about your beautiful trip and what a wonderful memory for your boys!! 🙂 xoxox
Thank you so much Natalie. I want to go back right now too!
I spent 5 days in Rome recently with my 2 teenagers and we LOVED every second of it. Pizza. Gelato. Crazy drivers. Can’t wait to go back !
And you are right, in Europe we don’t watch our children like hawks although I have never left them in a hotel room and gone out. But lots of people do…
They did start going away for a week with the school when they were in kindergarten…..
YES! All of that and more!!
And away for a week with the school in Kindergarten? OMG parents would die if they attempted that here. Me? I would have gladly sent mine! 🙂