Sunday, 1 May 2011

Italian impressions

I've just left the most enjoyable company of Alex and Melissa. We've had a fast-paced tour of the north of Italy, taking in Cinque Terra, Pisa, Florence, Venice, and Lake Como. My favourite part was our day
of walking along the trail at Cinque Terra. At every place we visited, I really enjoyed exploring and experimenting with photos with Alex. We were lucky that Lee and Melissa are such patient travel companions.

Some strange animals we came across included deadly sky deer (deer that are able to be on the road even though there is only sheer cliffs on either side) and the Giggling Mountain Goat (a sure-footed animal that will collapse in giggles in the presence of something funny). Another strange occurrence was a 5 minute hail shower with sunshine on either side.

My impressions of our main stops in brief:

Cinque Terra - simply stunning. I could have stayed longer. Learn how good photos can be at night with a tripod.

Pisa - surprisingly impressive
Florence - much better fun this time around. All you can eat and a cocktail for €8 - love meeting a local student for dinner. I realise that I really want a tripod.

Venice - FULL of tourists and expensive, but quite an interesting lifestyle. Gorgeous masks and jewellery. Best time to take photos is midnight (with a tripod) - once most of the tourists are back on the mainland.

Lake Como - houses jammed into small horizontal spaces - like Cinque Terra - but mountains on a much bigger scale.

In food, drink, life, it appears that Italians have distilled it down to the most important part.
Exhibit A: Espresso coffee
The coffee shot is a fine example of the most important part distilled down - concentrating flavour and caffeine. At the same time, there is no takeaway. Instead there are bars where you stand with your coffee, enjoy your refueling pit stop, then head back into the world.
Exhibit B: Pizza and Pasta
Commonly outside Italy, the best pizzas are the ones with the most ingredients and flavours. In Italy, a few quality ingredients combine to complement each other in a tasty and tasteful dish. Wood-fired pizza in particular are simple and tasty, with the fire adding its own contribution.
Exhibit C: Gruppa
Quite literally distilled down into its alcoholic core.
Exhibit D: Lifestyle
Siestas. I rest my case.
Exhibit E: Fashion
.. Ah, maybe not.

Simply - the best.

1 comment:

  1. Rather jealous right now. And let us know when the photos go up; given the Bruges one above, I'm guessing they'll be pretty special.