Monday, September 26, 2011

La Dolce Vita: The Perfect Pizza

One of the best things I love about Italy is undoubtedly the food. But more specifically, the pizza. I thought I was in love with the pizza here when I lived in Siena, but there is no comparison to where pizza originated from... southern Italy. I think everyone has their own taste and preference to the type of pizza they like... for Americans - its about what toppings, thin crust or thick crust, deep dish or traditional. For Italians, it's about the dough and the way it is cooked, and of course what is on it.

My rule of thumb in judging pizza is trying the Margherita everywhere. You get to savor every aspect of it without anything being masked by another ingredient. In this case - the dough, tomato sauce, and the mozzarella.

It's been great down south, there are sooo many pizzerias in our home town as well as neighboring towns that I have been able to eat so many different kinds. My husband and I have made it a hobby in trying them and rating them on a scale of 1 to 10. Of course, nothing gets a 10 because who knows if we will find something even yummier.

Well, this past weekend we tried a new one that just opened in our town, and O.M.G. it has made it's way to number one on our list! The pizza is very thin, the mozzarella is divine, and it just melts in your mouth - just the way I like it. It is simply heaven in your mouth... MmmmMmm che buona! This is coming from a blogger that has tried Da Michele in Naples, voted the best pizza in the world, as well as Trionon across the street from it, and Antonio and Antonio also well known in Naples, but the best pizza I have eaten so far is 3 minutes away from my doorstep... oh sweet heaven.

So, if you are ever in my neighborhood, which may be unusual, you must stop by Coco's in Vitulazio. And if you are here, you must also try my, previously first place, and now second place, favorite pizzeria - Vecchio Frantoio's in Bellona, our neighboring town, where I always eat the Diavola.

Oh La Dolce Pizza.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reminiscing - My first weeks in Italy...

The month of September marks eight years since I met my husband and three years since our wedding in Siena... how time flies! It still feels like yesterday that I met him in Piazza del Campo in Siena and we started our adventure together. When I think back, it always boggles my mind how we were able to communicate and how new I was to Italy. I wouldn't leave the house with my dictionary in my purse and always managed to take it out at some point in the bar for at least the first month we were together. =)

The first two mistakes I made as an American that still makes me laugh to this day and yet I still feel isn't wrong...

1. We were in a bar and my husband, well boyfriend back then, orders a little glass full of rum and a little glass full of pear juice. To my fellow Americans, what do you see this as? A shot of rum and pear juice as a chaser, right??? So what do I do in my full American-ness... take the shot of rum and chase it with the pear juice in a couple seconds. I look to my husband and he's just staring at me as he sips his rum.... yeh... they like to sip their hard alcohol as a digestive. Lesson learned on an Italian way but to this day, I still can't sip my rum or vodka, and I don't like grappa.

2. Another night, we went to a bar around 5pm to get coffee and my husband asks me what I want. He was getting a coffee and I asked for a Cappuccino. He looks at me weird and says, "A cappuccino?" And of course the barista is looking at me weird as well and I have no clue why. Then my husband explains to me that Italians only drink Cappuccino in the morning for breakfast. Well if I can have my eggs for dinner then I can have my cappuccino for an evening drink as well! Can I be more American?

These were lessons I learned in my first weeks in Italy and to this day, I have learned many more and have grown accustomed to these "customs", BUT I still don't think it is a sin! =) Have you shared these mistakes with me???

Friday, September 9, 2011

La Dolce Vita: All Kinds of Love

I've been blessed with the love of my family, the love of my husband, the love of my Tonino, and now with the love that my husband's family has for Tonino. I miss my family much and can't wait for them to meet Tonino but have been fortunately overwhelmed by the love that my husband's family has for Tonino. It is truly touching and heartwarming. They fight over who gets to hold him and keep track of how much time the other has with him. They shower him with gifts and kisses. It makes me so happy to see how their faces just light up when they see him. And they want to eat him up just as much as I do! =) There is no doubt that Tonino not only has brought joy to me and my husband but to our entire family and has made us even more tight-knit than before. I have become very close to them and even more so now.

I have to admit I was worried at first. I thought they might be over at the house too often and we wouldn't have privacy because that's just how Italians are. You are always welcome in the house. But I am grateful for it. I need as much help I can get and it's nice for them to come over and give me a hand - whether it be watching Antonio for me, or even cleaning without even being asked. The heart of an Italian, or at least Lino's family, does good deeds without expecting anything in return. They love to give, give and give some more. Wouldn't the world be so different if there were more people like them? I am so grateful for my family back home and for my family here in Italy as well.

Today marks the 8 year anniversary of when Lino and I first met, 3 years of marriage in 2 weeks, and baby's 2 month birthday. La Dolce Vita...