We are nearing August (Tel Aviv’s worst month) and at the moment I am five shades darker than usual, sitting in an air-conditioned apartment, too afraid to step out into the dog park turned sauna. On the bright side, I have discovered that big, Middle Eastern eyebrows due in fact serve a purpose – they are the ultimate sweat guard against blinding perspiration. Seeing as how it is too hot outside, and my models/roommates have returned to their home countries, I have barely touched my camera. The last time I really used it was in Italy…
A little over a month ago, I visited Italy with my mom and grandma. We went to Rome, Florence, and Positano and we didn’t realize how unconventional our trip was until we reached Positano. Among the newlyweds and the elite, there we were – three generations of women eating gelato, people watching, and not minding our own business.
Our main activities were eating and talking (with some sightseeing in between). We visited The Great Synagogue in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto, the Accademia Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, The Gucci Museum, and more.
1) In Italy, the average car seems to be a Mercedes.
2) Italian men take pride in how they dress. Regardless of their profession, most of them wear suits (and know their way around a Vespa).
3) Cappuccinos in Southern Italy are 50% foam – the way Gd intended.
4) No one said getting to that beautiful coast would be easy. It is a long winding road, that is miraculously two-way, and even the strong-willed get carsick.
5) Italians may take longer to do something, but it is guaranteed to look beautiful. As our driver Biagio said in reference to the new 6km tunnel that took 10 years to build, “we take time but we do a nice tunnel.”
6) The secret to Italy’s romantic aura? The inability to shower by yourself. There is a huge bathtub with an extending shower head but there is nowhere to hook this shower head – it is the job of your beloved’s to hold it up for you. But fear not, the always useful and necessary bidet is there.
7) We quickly learned that Italians are not tea drinkers. As Biagio said on our way back to Naples, "maybe someone has in the morning because they are sick."
8) Grandma’s observation: When Italians speak they either sound like they’re singing or upset by something.
9) The only thing more fascinating that Michelangelo’s David is seeing how many museum visitors gesture towards his [canoli] for pictures and the different forms this sport takes on.
10) “Prego” has many uses/meanings: You’re welcome! Please! Don’t mention it! Not at all! Please come in! Please take a seat! After you! Of course!