Italy with Friends

One of the best ways to visit a foreign country is to visit friends who live in that country. That’s exactly what we did the first day we touched down in Milan.  We drove a couple hours to the coast, up a winding, treacherous, coastal path, parked precariously, and met up with some friends of Will’s.

They treated us to a delicious home-cooked meal that consisted of:

DSC_7863Onion foccacia

DSC_7864Chick-pea flour flatbread, like socca

DSC_7865Olive foccacia

DSC_7871Penne pasta with tomatoes and eggplant

DSC_7857A fantastic view.

Before dinner, Will and I had time to walk down the hill to the beach.  Italian beaches there are different than the beaches in LA.  It’s more rocky than sandy, with sharp under-water things that cut at my feet.  The water is clearer and warmer. And there are tons of beach chairs for rent.  I suppose it’s nice to relax in a chair with a cold beer, but we already brought a towel so we just spread that out and sat on it after we were tired from a swim.

On the road in Italy

Italy

One of our first meals in Italy was at an Autogrill on the side of the freeway.  What’s an Autogrill, you ask? It’s a rest stop and convenience store that’s ubiquitous if you ever go any length of distance on the Autostrada.  Food at a rest stop may sound flimsy, but the Autogrill has pretty decent food! The penne Will got there was better than the pasta that I’ve had in a lot of Italian restaurants in America, white tablecloth and all. The slice of watermelon was also delicious and thirst quenching.  A good start to the Italian part of our trip.

ItalyItaly

Another good start is a glass of Campari on ice.  What’s a trip to Italy without sipping on a bitter Campari outside?

Tomatoes on Bread in Italy

One thing I envy about the Italians (other than having decent wine wherever they go) is their fresh tomatoes.  Will picked up a couple of tomatoes from a random market on a street we happened to be on.  Pair that up with some bread from a bakery across the street, and you get a pretty delicious light lunch.  The tomatoes were so savory and rich that we didn’t even miss not having olive oil or salt in the place we were staying.

Tomatoes in Italy
Can anything look more delicious?