Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life. ~Anna Akhmatova
My Italian obsession – quite a weird name for the category on the blog, I know, I know. So I wanted to write a little intro and just explain how it came about and what place in my life it has.
So, as name indicates – my italian obsession – started, don’t even remember how long ago. I was still a little girl and loved watching documentaries about Italy or any movies filmed in Italy. They just fascinated me. My mum is a big lover of italian music that was very famous in UUSR when she was young – Adriano Chilentano especially. When she was hummimg to the italian songs playing on the radio or TV, dancing around while she was doing housework – I looked at her like she was a crazy woman, and now, I am that crazy woman – dancing around while cooking and humming to italian songs. Now, I can actually even sing a bit! The repertoire has changed dramatically though.
When I moved to London – a place where you can find every culture in the world and every cuisine possible, this is when I got a taste for Italian food. Since then it became my absolute favourite. And yes, even though London is not Rome, and most of the time puts a spin off on the cuisine to make it more London friendly and less traditional, there are still plenty of really good family-run italian restaurants or trattorias, that transport you to the particular region – usually the one where the owner is from.
During my early years in London I got to know quite a few italians and, with them, a bit of their culture, language and, of course, their obsession with food. The long lunches and dinners, several courses of delicious food, flowing wine and conversation. I loved spending time with my italian friends. Living in London can get hectic and it seems like you are always busy, running and rushing somewhere. They taught me to slow down, showed me how to enjoy the food and live that famous ‘la dolce vita’, even if it was for one lunch or dinner.
This is how it all started – my curiosity with Italy, its culture, food and people.
To visit Italy was my next goal. I always wanted to go to Rome. If you ask me why, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you. I was just drawn to it – I knew I had to go. So when my then boyfriend asked where would I like to go for my birthday – that was a very easy decision. And so Rome it was.
I fall in love with the city, its greatness, history, culture, pebbled streets, outside markets on the piazzas, fresh fruit and vegetables, delicious roman pizza, wine, delicatessen, salami and bresaola, Vatican, caffe, endless walks and never getting tired of discovering the city. I was amazed by how much the city has to offer and also fascinated by their lifestyle. Rome is a capital of Italy and is a big city, but there is no comparison between Rome and London. Rome and italians, with their never rushing attitude and relaxed way of life give you an opportunity to breath, relax and enjoy the moment. Enjoy the life that you have and appreciate every moment of it. And, of course, the food. Eating any of the meals is the whole ritual. Always with wine and friends or family and always with the lengthy conversation to go with it. Meals can last hours and are quality time spent with your close ones.
After this first trip I came back to Rome another time to discover more of this great city and its food.
And, as now you probably wouldn’t get surprised, my boyfriend – Mauro is italian (that was a pure coincidence, I promise!), so I got an opportunity to discover much more of Italy and its ways and also get emerged into its culture. Since Rome I have now visited Milan several times and know it quite well, lake Como, Pisa, Pompei, Agropoli, Castellabate and Tocrchiara (beautiful little towns on the South of Italy), Polinuro, Florence, Sienna, Sant Geminiano and Firenze. There are still a plenty of places to visit and my list of where I would like to go to in Italy is endless.
Hopefully, this gives you a quick overview as to how My Italian Obsession came about. I will be writing about my experiences and discoveries and share the insights of italian lifestyle and culture and, of course, food and recipes (what can be more important, right?). And also recommend places to see or visit, so hope you will find it useful!
As my italian slowly, but steadily improves (thanks to Mauro, who is being very patient with me and giving me an opportunity to practise ), I will also give an an overview of phrases that are useful if you are planning a trip to Italy.
Hope you enjoyed and see you soon x