Story submitted by traveller Miranda
Fast forward a few years and my husband and I were off to live in Tuscany! I was so excited to experience the food, culture, and Amore! Our first evening out I was so excited to taste the pasta! I really wanted a big bowl of Fettuccine Alfredo, sadly it was not on the menu, so I chose another pasta dish. After going to several restaurants, I began to get sad because my favorite Italian dish was nowhere to be found. I finally asked a nice Italian working at the restaurant about it, and that is when my heart was crushed! My favorite Italian dish was not authenticItalian! Not to worry though, I did find a similar dish to curb my craving, Cacio E Pepe. I was also able to find many other favorite pasta dishes.
While we were waiting to get our drivers’ licenses, we decided to call a cab to pick us up from Camp Darby, and take us to Tirrenia, a little beach town 10 minutes up the road. Well, in the off season, taxis come from Pisa, which is about 10 minutes away. Since they are not readily available and nearby, that 10 minute taxi ride costs about 50 Euro. I just wanted to explore and eat pasta, so I did not care. After we were done eating, we asked the restaurant owner if they could help us call a taxi. She asked where we were trying to go, and when we told her, she said “my father will take you, the taxis are expensive, and he is going that way anyways.” So off we went, getting into a kind stranger’s car. We were so amazed at the hospitality shown to us without even knowing us. This is not a common thing back at home.
The Italian lifestyle is more laidback and they value family time over work. We quickly learned this after multiple instances where we needed things repaired, and it would take weeks. But it is not a true authentic experience, if it does not take a few weeks. Unfortunately, Covid has put a damper on my exploration, but I have learned to find hidden gems in Tuscany, when allowed. The views by Cala del leone are breathtaking, La porkeria is an amazing steak restaurant with an American owner (it’s always nice to hear English, when you are away from the city), and having gatherings with our Italian neighbors is always a blast. These are the things I will miss the most and I am so glad that reality has far exceed my expectations of Italia! As my time is coming to an end, I hope to return and make up for the time that was taken from me.
Italy has so much to offer, and it has truly changed my outlook on life.
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