So we are getting into the swing of being true Italians. I thought I’d share just a bit of our new culture.
We now carry a basil plant around with us everywhere. We had one in Sicily (which we had to leave) so one of our first purchases in Venice was a replacement. We keep it on our windowsill and snip basil off for almost all of our meals.
Our neighbor has one, too – we feel truly Italian!
We always love the local wine, but we especially love the homemade stuff. In Sicily, we carried around a jug of wine that the family had made from its own grapes.
In Venice, we aren’t so lucky, but we were fortunate enough to find the place the locals go for their wine. You purchase by the liter and can even bring your old bottles back. They fill them up straight from the keg for under 3 Euro a bottle! You can get malbec, cabernet, chardonnay – even Prosecco. A great deal – and tastes pretty good too.
The Euro Cup has been playing almost the entire time we have been here. This is like March Madness for European soccer.
We were at Falconara for the early rounds, and the hotel set up a TV in the lobby. Everyone gathered each night – guests from all over the world cheering on their teams.
We were in Siracusa for the equivalent of the “Sweet Sixteen.” We stayed up late with Enza watching Italia and Irlanda (Ireland).
And we have been in Venice for the quarter and semi-finals. They have big TVs in the piazzas where everyone grabs an Aperol Spritz and stands in the middle of the square and cheers. There was literally no one on the Grand Canal the last night Italy played – everyone was either at home or in the squares cheering.
Frank loves soccer and will watch re-runs of decades-old matches on any given afternoon. So he has been glued to the TV.
Tonight is the final – Portogallo versus Francia (Portugal versus France). Portugal has the highest paid athlete in the world – the great Ronaldo, whom you either love or hate.
We have made sure we will be home with a jug of our favorite young cabernet straight from the keg.
* Cin Cin is the Italian equivalent of “Cheers” and means something like 100 years of fortune (100 is cento – pronounced “chento” – hence “chen chen”).