Today was a pretty uneventful day, so I'm going to post more "You know you're in Italy when..." pictures and comments. Christine cooked up one of the rabbits that have been hanging out in the freezer for dinner tonight. Elia and Ida do a really good job at cleaning the meat before they give us their headless pets, and the meat is very lean to begin with, so aside from cutting the meat off the bone, there's very little preparation involved. Christine found a recipe online that involved slightly browning the rabbit meat in olive oil, adding crushed garlic, some rosemary (from the garden), and a bottle of white wine. She let it simmer for a few minutes, and then baked it in the oven for about 3 hours. And guess what? Rabbit tastes a lot like pork, with pretty much the same consistencies as well...maybe a little less tough. Living in Florida, everybody always says gator tastes like chicken, and now I can say that rabbit tastes like pork. It was pretty good though, I've got to say.
Today Jameson was running around the kitchen rummaging through our makeshift pantry, and he pulled out a bag with yesterdays leftover baguette from dinner. You know you're in Italy when your kid starts gnawing on a rock hard day old baguette. And so it begins.
You know you're in Italy when you are accustomed to seeing these little prayer houses randomly placed throughout cities. Most churches also have these little mini sanctuaries placed not necessarily near the church, but somewhere in the surrounding city. The Italians use these to say a quick prayer for someone, say the rosary prayer, or to light a candle for someone they're praying for. Every prayer house has a residing saint, and this one happens to be Santa Maria.
You know you're in Italy when...
Oh...errr...wait a minute...are we in Italy?? Disney is EVERYWHERE!!!! Even Wal-Mart can't compete!
A lot of windows have iron bars covering them to protect people/things from falling out. For instance, our house has at least 2 windows in every single room on all 3 floors. All the windows have glass window pane doors that open and shut, and they have screens that pull up and down, much like a project screen in a classroom. Because of this design, if the screen is lifted up, there's nothing there but open space, so all the windows on the third floor of our house have metal bars on the outside that are both aesthetically pleasing because of their design, and functional in preventing anyone from falling to their death out of the 3rd floor. I passed by this window on a run one day and thought it was a pretty unconventional covering, and it was also on the bottom floor, which was unusual.
You know you're in Italy when groups and tourists use the local water fountain in the middle of a campo as a meeting place.
Other signs you're in Italy:
- Trash cans randomly located along the autostrada. Not dumpsters, your regular, everyday, haul the trash to the curb size trash cans, just hanging out along the side of the highway at random intervals. I have no idea why they are there, but they are almost always overflowing with garbage. Maybe the garbage cans are for travelers convenience to unload garbage from the car since there is so much distance between exits along the autostrada. Who knows.
- You get a funny look for ordering a cappuccino after 11 am. Nobody does it, and you instantly signal yourself as an American if you do. After 11 it's espresso until bedtime.
- You drive through 8 roundabouts during a 3 mile trip. The Italians love their roundabouts. For anything from what could be a 3 way stop to entering and exiting the highway. Very few stop lights, lots of roundabouts.
- Strikes become a bit of an everyday occurrence, and very much a nuisance. Everybody goes on strike for everything in Italy. The teachers are actually allowed to strike, which makes for interesting situations on school days.
I can't think of any more Italy-isms for the evening. There are plenty of things, though, that have just become normal to me that you'd never see in the United States.
Today my favorite thing about Italy is: The zero % humidity compared to Florida. Alright, so it still gets extremely humid here during the day, but in the evening when the sun starts to set, it seems like the humidity goes away for the most part, making biking and running so much more enjoyable.