I was away, for a looooong while...physically, I mean...I have been in Italy for a month!
Here a summary of the experience: A-W-E-S-O-M-E.
I did (almost) all the things I was missing during my last year in Canada. Yeah... there are things I can't do in Ottawa, it's just different...on the other hand, there are things I love doing in Ottawa, which would be inconceivable in Italy.
Here, the list of my favorite things:
I had something like 5 espresso a day. I love it. Not just the coffee itself, the ritual: entering the bar, asking for un caffe' (a coffee, in Italy you do not need to precise which type of coffee, coffee=espresso), checking the newspaper, commenting the last soccer match with the bar tender...(OK, I didn't really do the last one, I was rather listening to middle age guys arguing about that :)).
This is a must to do whenever you go to Italy. Aperitif is not just having a drink before dinner, again it is a ritual...I took my favorite: americano, which is a blend of Campari, Martini Red and soda water, served with a slice of orange. Now, I am craving for that. I went to the LCBO, but apparently they do not sell Campari anymore, damn! (Update: apparently, it is possible to buy Campari at the big LCBO on Rideau street. In addition, my friend Francois informed me that Campari is also available at SAQ).
I went to three different fish restaurants. I missed so much the Mediterranean fish that I had to make sure to fill my cravings :)
During summer, I could just live on gelato...this year I discovered two new places where it is mandatory to have gelato if you visit Tuscany: Igloo in my hometown, Pescia (PT), and De' Coltelli in Pisa and Lucca.
5. DIARY PRODUCTS
There are fresh dairy products like stracchino, squacquerone, robiola, which I never managed to get out of Italy. You can't imagine how a lunch with a crescentina stuffed with stracchino and cold cuts can make your day :)
I do not have a Canadian driving license...yet. I know, mea culpa! Anyways, I love driving, and I have been driving a lot in Italy. I have been enjoying so much the drive, including being stuck for 2 hours in a stupid line on the highway...
This might sound trivial...who does not miss family? The thing is my family is huge! Do you remember the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well, my family is a kind of that. Although it might be overwhelming sometimes, it is part of me and of what I become.
And, as my wise grandma said before my departure: "When we arrive we are happier than when we leave".