November 18, 2005

Final Thoughts

I fell in love in Italy. I fell head over heels for REAL cappuccino. The milk, the delicious mix of bitter espresso with the tons of sugar I added. Each cup (except the gross ones) was a treat. I have become enamored of all things Valentino. Yes, Gucci is more popular. Prada is, well, Prada. Fendi has its following. Pucci, too, has my newfound respect. But, Valentino! [I'll spare you the rest of this long, long passage. Just take my word for it, Valentino is good.] I truly enjoyed the food on my vacation. More than the delicious tastes, food in Italy is a process, like in Spain. I loved sitting in the Focaccheria in Firenze and watching women pick the bread for the evening's meal. I loved watching Pino and Sergio cook-- it was a process they so enjoyed. I hope to recreate that process in my own kitchen. And, then there's the Opera. I am now completely enchanted by the opera. What a dream come true to be able to see my first opera in Venice of all places! I cannot wait to see many, many more!! The history, the art, the architecture, it was all wonderful! But, it wasn't the big, tourist stuff that I liked the most. It was the walking, the people watching, the discovery of the real Italian life behind the Grandeose fascade; this is what I found wonderful about Italy. Though I am in no hurry to return to Venice, I would love to return to Florence-- especially to share the experience with my mother, as Grandma and I both liked Florence so much. In all, better than England, Portugal, France, and, of course, Germany. It's not Spain, but I think if I learned the language better, I could enjoy Italy almost as much. Nothing beats Barcelona, but Florence certainly comes in a near second.

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