Monday, July 21, 2008

Bella Italia

I've finally realised what I miss about Italy.

Apart from my aunt and uncle whom I will see in August, I miss:

The countryside
Hilltop villages
The architecture
The 'centro storicos'
The roads
The cars
The anarchy
The motorway service areas
The crazy driving
The triple parking
The chaos
The happy people
The joie de vivre
The food
The obsession with food
Fresh ricotta
Fresh mozzarella
The restaurants
The hospitality
(That's enough - Ed)

I was driving through Nîmes this morning, through some very narrow back streets, on a diversion, when I got this wonderful cooking smell in the car. It made me realise that when you drive near houses in France you rarely smell food cooking, a gross generalisation I know, but in the same situation you seem to smell it everywhere in Italy. The smell that I love, which reminds me so much of my youth and my time in Italy, is the smell of a big pot of slowly simmering tomato sauce. A smell, along with that of freshly made espresso, so typical of southern Italy. It makes my mouth water just thinking of it.

Anyway, I picked Jan up from the hospital and, via a cholesterol inducing lunch at the relais, got her home without mishap. It's good to have her back.

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