Friday, October 29, 2010

Just when I thought I had it all together. . .

I needed tarragon.  Any guesses?

Here's a hint.  Alloro is crushed bay leaves.  Cumino semi are cumin seeds.  BUT I could barely read the shelves of spices much less calculate by process of elimination method with a three year old running loose in the store so I left. 

No tarragon oggi.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ta Da!

I did it.  Yesterday I rode a bike while holding an umbrella (through traffic with groceries, a big purse and wearing heels).  Might have been a bit wobbly but I made it home almost dry.

(I took this photo in summer.  It is not me yesterday.  There is no way I could have stopped for a photo.  Also they look a lot  more together than I'm sure I looked!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Un Bellisimo Spreco di Tempo (A beautiful waste of time)

Ah, Sunday cappuccino in centro (the city center) on a cozy cold autumn morning. I love the buzz of centro with everyone bundled up and out and about, meeting friends, drinking caffe, walking dogs, and just enjoying life.

A morning with amazing views...
buonissimo cappuccino e brioche...
and (okay I admit it) really fun people watching...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Le Calze

A huge trend here... socks with boots and leggings. It started last year but this fall has really taken off. Cute, isn't it?
In the stores I'm also seeing... leg warmers (gasp)! I'm laughing now, but I'll probably have a few pairs by the end of the season.

What do you think?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cantare della Vita (To sing of life)

A lovely Italian song...

Baciami Ancora (Kiss me Again)

The first line is perfect. "Un bellissimo spreco di tempo" (A beautiful waste of time)

And the rest are great too... the little things that make up life here. I'll translate a few just because I'm excited that my Italian is finally good enough that I can.

"nei parchi del centro l’estate profuma." (the parks of the city, the perfume of summer)

Una mamma, un amante, una figlia (the mother, the beloved, the daughter)

"Una bimba che danza" (A child dancing)

"una strada, un lavoro, una scuola" (a street, a work, a school)

"Un errore perfetto" (a perfect mistake)

And now I'm off to find un bellissimo spreco di tempo. Shouldn't be too difficult, I've been perfecting that art for a over a year now ;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why I Love Life in Italy, Reason 284: La Bella Lingua

My neighbor brought me a rose from her garden the other day. It is one of those perfect roses that opens beautifully and is about the size of my hand. Just gorgeous. As she handed it to me she said (in English) "The last roses of the season have the most poetry." Isn't that so true? Like they are putting on one last big show before frost. And yet, who in America would say that a rose has poetry in casual conversation?

I can't figure out what makes Italians so different in this way. Do they notice things Americans just don't notice? Or do they talk about things Americans don't talk about? Or is it just the way they say it that is so beautiful? Perhaps it is a combination of all three.

It happens all the time. If an Italian thinks you are beautiful, they will look you in the eyes as tell you just that. Not just men... I've heard women say it to women, even when first introduced. It is a wonderful way to compliment really. I mean, when was the last time someone told you are beautiful? They might say "you look nice" or "cute outfit" but never "you have a beautiful face" or "che bella" (what a beauty).

When people speak this way, it forces me to notice things I might not notice and see things in a different way. The second day I lived here, an Italian told me, "Living here will change you completely." I think she was right.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Check back in a week. . .

Really, I haven't given up on this blog. I am still enjoying writing it and recording Italian life, but it has been a busy month.

The children started school (which means meetings, uniforms, haircuts, friends' birthday parties etc.)

My friends are back in town (which means hours lingering over cappuccino, just one glass of wine that keeps turning into 2 hour dinners, evenings out, work events, and of course shopping)

We had three birthdays just in our family (which means a party for 14 children at our house, a night out, and four days of eating cake and opening presents)

A good friend, my husband's college roommate, came in town (which means more long lunches, a day trip to Venice, and a long weekend home alone with the kids while my husband traveled Italy with his friend)

And, last, I've been in the States for my grandfather's funeral. He lived an amazing life that honored God and will be greatly missed.

I need a few days to catch up... check back in a week or so.