International: December 2008 Archives

courtney_015.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Having spent time in Rome, Puglia and Milan during my ten-day Italian sojourn, I still hadn't made up my mind as to which was my favorite destination by the next-to-last day of my trip.  Rome - the first spot I'd visited - had been fantastic, but also crowded, loud and at times more than a little overwhelming.  Puglia - in the sunny heel of the boot - was a wonderfully welcoming region boasting charming small towns, incredibly fresh seafood and the best olive oil I'd ever tasted.  And Milan had been glamorous, sophisticated, worldly and chic - qualities I'd been certain pushed it to the fore of my preferences among the places I'd visited.

But, as my boyfriend and I headed from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport back into the city for one final night before flying home, I felt an unexpected sense of familiarity come over me.  The undulating Roman countryside, with its hills topped with graceful pine trees and centuries-old mansions, at once struck me as soothing and like something I had seen countless times before.  And the brisk traffic whipping by on both sides of the taxi seemed more charming than frightening on the second visit, and before I knew it I caught myself musing fondly, "those crazy Roman drivers!"

Italy Wine Country - Milanese Moment

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
dagiacomo.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Occasionally you find yourself dining in an establishment you can just tell is rather famous. Such was the case at da Giacomo in Milan, where we had dinner our final night in the northern Italian city. With its cozy-elegant d├ęcor, bevy of stylish patrons (which included an exotic-looking model at the next table), and delicious fare focused on seafood, the spot oozed the kind of atmosphere you seek out in big city dining, but don't always find.

Italy Wine Country - An Ideal Lunch

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
atgallo.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Though hard-core travelers may protest, I simply cannot hide this truth:  my favorite thing to do while traveling is to partake in unapologetically long lunches.  And so when in sunny Puglia in Italy's south, rather than spending our days zipping between typical tourist haunts such as churches, ancient villages and other points of interest, my boyfriend and I spent more hours than I care to recount lingering over exceedingly long lunches. 

Italy Wine Country - The Art of Aperitivo

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
aperitivopeeps.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Italians have a habit I sorely wish we Americans would adopt.  It's called Aperitivo, and it absolutely rocks.  Here's how it works:  every evening, bars in Italian cities - especially the big cities, such as Rome and Milan - put out an array of snacks that patrons can tuck into for free so long as they purchase a drink.  The drink is called aperitivo (literally, pre-dinner drink), but the word is often applied to the whole experience of drinking, eating and socializing.  Which is why when an Italian says to you "Facciamoci un aperitivo" ("Let's have an aperitivo"), what he really means is, "let's go get our drink/eat/chat on, presto!"

Categories

Archives