I really haven’t talked much about food since we’ve been here. It’s not that we found the food scene disappointing. Far from it! We are trying to moderate and pace ourselves with some difficulty. We have grocery shopped and cooked in our room at the B&B where we are staying. We have an adequately equipped kitchen there. The dishes we make would, if one were being kind, be termed fusion. We use many Italian ingredients and then fix them in whatever manner strikes us. I suspect that if some Italians knew how we were treating their ingredients they would roll their eyes in disappointment. But it still has been quite tasty.
Eating out has been where we have really fallen in love with the food. We’ve eaten in a not all inclusive range of eateries, from the fast food pizza place where the school kids seemed to come for lunch to very nice and upscale restaurants. We had lunch at the restaurant at Slow Food headquarters, Osteria Boccondivino, which was very nice. The setting was white table cloth but it still felt casual. There was on man and his quite young daughter at the table next to us and it was fun watching her eat pasta which often required her father’s assistance. We each had a tasting menu, I had the regular and June had the smaller one. One of the highlights was the braised rabbit that June had. She had not had good experiences with rabbit and was leary about having it, but it was part of the tasting menu and she tried it and really enjoyed it. It was delicious!
I took pictures of the menu and some of the dishes and I’ll try to post some pictures and the menues here. I am putting food pictures on a separate web site and if you are into looking at food you can click on the link here http://gallery.me.com/doughiza/100089
We’ve also eaten in more modest places and have not been disappointed in the food anywhere. We need to figure out how to moderate on all of the courses. We don’t need to eat something from every course but it is so tempting. So far we are doing a lot of walking and I hope that will offset some of the calories we are taking in.
Then of course there are the pastry shops I talked about before. We have tried a few of them, too…but only with coffee…or to take home for dessert after our fusion meal. Speaking of coffee. We had dozens of caffés since we’ve been here and we had the first cup that we didn’t think was that good today. When I asked the couple we met (Canadian/Italian) if they found a good place for coffee they answered, “All of them are good. This is Italy.” <grin>
I could go on and on about the food and I promise you this won’t be the last time you’ll hear about it. But I want to update you on our administrative maze pursuits. Today so much happened! We met with the apartment agent and signed a pre-contract. Tomorrow we will go in to sign the actual contract. But, this gave us an address! Then we went to the office where one gets the Codice fiscale. We were not very confident because the couple we met couldn’t get theirs because the date on the visa was from March 14 when the school set our student start date (so is ours) and they wouldn’t give them the Codice until then. We were fortunate, I think, in that we didn’t speak Italian and the office person didn’t speak English. She couldn’t quite figure out June’s visa which, apparently, is for people who own property in Italy. I’m not sure why the Consulate in Chicago gave her that type of visa but it mystifies everyone we deal with. The clerk entered into a state of confusion and then seemed to connect that I was a student and June was here because of me and she was satisfied with that and issued us codices. Now we are in good shape to get our Permesso because we have our Codice and tomorrow will have our apartment contract so everything should be in order. We shoud be able to open a bank account with our passports, the Codice, the receipt for the Permesso, and my acceptance letter from the school. That means we will be able to pay for our utilities in an easier fashion.
Lastly I should give a brief weather report. Yesterday was beautiful! It was sunny and about 56 degrees. It was the first day that wasn’t cloudy and we were able to see the snow capped mountains which seem to surround about half of our view. We walked about 5 miles and were part of many people out walking and biking. Here’s a picture of Pollenzo, the town where the University is located, taken from Pocapaglia, where we are staying. You can see the church spire and just to the right of that is a brick complex that is the University. Today was supposed to be sunny (according to my computer) but it was cloudy and quite cool, about 45 degrees. A good day to do administrative tasks.
We took the bus two directions and were not left stranded. Things are looking up. Now, if we just knew a little more Italian life would be peachy. So, I’ll stop writing and spend some time with Rosetta. That is, of course, Ms. Rosetta Stone the language teacher on my computer.