Posts Tagged With: United States

Why do we like Europe so much?

Europe - Satellite image - PlanetObserver

Europe – Satellite image – PlanetObserver (Photo credit: PlanetObserver)

Europeans are very similar to us in style and thinking but at the same time so different. I tried to look at the main differences that cause them to be so attractive to us:

  1. They have a reverence for old things. We destroy old for new malls or shopping centers. In Europe the old stuff is what it’s all about. Walking the same ancient walkways as the Romans or the Etruscans is unbelievable. Seeing how sophisticated they were so long ago. We tend to think of people before Christ as not very sophisticated. After all they didn’t have iPhones and the internet. They had sophistication. Lots of it in how they controlled water, flush toilets, streets that cleaned themselves with water and their buildings. This is one reason we travel to Europe to see this old stuff because we don’t have it in America.
  2. The food is so much better. Europeans still care about ancient farming techniques, nutrients in the soil and taste of their food. We seem to be totally converted to eating what’s in a box, can or frozen container. So much of our food is processed with excess salt. It is no wonder we have so many diseases. Sitting in a European restaurant and seeing the food colors, smelling the food and then tasting it is a reason so many of us go there.
  3. Most of us in America have European roots. We love to go back and see where mom & dad or grandma and grandpa came from. Maybe we still have relatives there to visit.

Don’t get me wrong, I love America and its people but we do have a drawing to Europe. It should be on all of our bucket lists. The experience is not one you will soon forget.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Europe, General Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where do you eat in Italy?

French wines are usually made to accompany food.

French wines are usually made to accompany food. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy has fantastic food everywhere. We even stopped at an “Auto Grill” on the autostrada (highway) and had a great espresso and pastry. Not like our turnpike rest areas. In Italy there are several common types of places to eat and a few others in certain areas.

  1. Bar – A place to eat or drink. In the morning you go here for coffee and pastry, at lunch you go for sandwiches (Panini). In the evening you go for a drink and a snack. Bars are cheapest if you stand and eat. Sitting at a table costs more but allows you to relax and observe Italy and its great people.
  2. Tratteria – these are small owned eating cafes with great food at reasonable costs. Lunch and dinner are great. Usually Italian favorites as well as local dishes are served. The atmosphere is simple but comfortable. A version of these are Pizzeria Trattoria. These include pizzas along other dishes.
  3. Ristorante – These are for lunch or dinner and are nice but expensive. The atmosphere is classic and the food is great. You can also find Pizzeria Ristorante’s.
  4. Osteria  – These places usually serve wine and simple food with limited menus.
  5. Enotecca – Small wine bars that allow tasting local wines (for a charge) and serve small dishes or sandwiches. These are a great way to get to know local wines.
  6. Rotisserie – Small restaurants that specialize in roasting meats on a spit.
  7. Agritourism – Usually a farm-based establishment with a B&B type hotel and food grown or raised on their farm. They sometimes have stores to buy products and take home.

Pizza is everywhere! You can have it in Trattoria’s or Ristorante’s. Always stay away from touristy places serving hamburgers and hot dogs. The food won’t be good and prices will be high. Enjoy your trip, taste Italy’s great food & wines. Sit back and smile as you watch the Italians strolling with family at lunch time or in the evening. Lunch usually ranges from 12 noon to 3 pm (shorter in the north) and dinner from 6 pm (for tourists) to 11 pm. The south of Italy eats much later than the north.

Remember Italy is the land of romance. Sit back and enjoy yourself. Do NOT go into eating establishments in Italy and be in a hurry! Use a bar if you have to eat fast. Good food takes time to prepare and serve properly.

George & Jo

Categories: Amalfi Coast, General Travel, Italy, Milan, Positano, Rome, San Gimignano, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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