A few of my favorite things…

Since one of the goals of travel is to notice things around you, I decided to start keeping a list of things I like better in Italy and things I like better in the U.S. (at least my little corners of Italy and the U.S.) I hope to expand on this as new things grab my attention.

Things I Like Better About Italy

  • People sing here. On the street, on the bus, in shops, anywhere they please. And they are never self conscious about it.
  • Accordions – once again, they are played on the street, in restaurants, on the train, anywhere a crowd will be. I know there are accordions in the U.S., too, but they just sound so European and charming and romantic here.
  • Gelato – I know that some people say they can’t tell the difference between gelato and ice cream, but you have to try the gelato at Grom in Florence and then tell me you can’t taste the difference. It is so much creamier and the flavors are more intense.
  • Public transport – the trains and buses are ubiquitous and for the most part, efficient and easy to use. (East coast of the U.S. is far better about this than California, but no where near as good about it as Europe.)
  • Truffles, the mushroom kind, not the chocolate kind. I can eat pasta with truffles here several nights a week and it is very affordable. I can also get truffle cheese, truffle spread, and truffle butter.
  • Real men wear scarves. And nice shoes.
  • The fruit and veg shop is right across the street, the produce is fresh and cheap and I can be down there and back to get what I need before the water boils upstairs.
  • The hot chocolate here is unreal, as in, unbelievably good. It is thick and dark and sweet and warm. We just don’t have anything like it in the U.S.
  • High class buskers in the piazzas (at least in Florence) – From trained opera singers to classical guitar to jazz trios, the entertainment on the street is really excellent.

Things I Like Better About the U.S.

  • You can run more than 2 appliances at a time.
  • Avocados
  • Salads, specifically, salad dressing. We really know how to do beautiful, tasty salads in California
  • The bread. Here in Tuscany, they don’t put salt in the bread and it is very bland. They also don’t dip bread in olive oil and salt and pepper. They just use it to mop up the sauces and juices on their plates. Our friend Beth of Nightingale Bakery could make a fortune here selling her amazing sourdough. They have no idea what they are missing.
  • My friends live there.
Things I Like A Lot About England (though not necessarily more than the U.S.)
  • The accents – all of them
  • Brits are so polite! I’m sure not every single one, but I keep meeting the nicest, friendliest most polite people. Lovely! (as they would say)

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