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Ah, Italia Mia!

Yes, from the moment we hit the motor way in our Fiat-like rental, we are saying to ourselves…. “AH!!! Italia MIA!” There’s something about topping out a four cylinder at 80 MPH on the highway that just makes you feel more masculine … I get it now.

Every once in awhile I would roll down the window and honking the horn at no one, I would yell out a few nonsensical words, that with the right accent and the right hand gestures, could be taken for curse words! Ah Italia Mia, I get it… it just feels good.

As we drove into Milan, Ozlem navigated me in with the help of our trusty iPhone, whom we have taken to just calling “i.”

Along the way, Ozlem noticed that on the map there were several towns with the name Olona, my mothers maiden name; BAM! just like that I am Italian… It all makes sense now, my love for leather jackets, my passion for small cars that continuously break down and spew fumes into the cabin and the environment, and of course the rinsing of my mouth after I brush my teeth with a nice 2005 Sangiovese blend (a habit I have taken to only recently, but it seems quite natural).

We checked into our hotel, which was cool.

The next day we walked around the city with no other plan other than to fulfill Ozlem’s desire to see it ALL… on foot! We discovered two things: One, I am what you would call a sprint walker, one who walks quickly from point “A” to point “B” and then needs food, a drink, and a nap and will not be ready to do it again until tomorrow or perhaps the next day; Two, Ozlem is what you would call a distance walker, they can go all day from point “A” to point “Z” and absorb all the interesting facts in between, they seldom need rest and if fed periodically, they can go for days before admitting fatigue.

Exhausted or not… see a park… mats out!


In the evening, with feet aching and legs numb, we took the tram to a restaurant down the street. AMAZING food amongst the chaos. There was a beautiful old man, I presume the owner, who’s job it was to hug and welcome familiar guests, as well as to walk around to each table and look at the order and then rush into the kitchen to expedite the items after they had already come and we had eaten them. How was I to know what he was asking me!? He spoke to me in Italian and I answered him in Spanish and we both acted like we understood each other…. that’s what worldly Italian men do… Ah, Italia mia!

Half way through dinner a truck pulls around the corner blasting Mexican music. In the back of the truck were a few girls wearing SHORT Mexican skirts and dancing; on the side of the truck was a logo for what I assume is a popular whisky in Mexico. The girls began throwing out hats and out of no where, from all the bar-cafe’s that lined the street, people of all walks of life rushed the truck for their free hat. It is unbelievable what constitutes a good idea after a few drinks.

As we sat and watched in disbelief, I saw the Carabinieri (the police) advance on the truck. The intimidating Carabinieri until that point had just been standing around on the street corner watching the passerby’s .

As we watched the scene unfold, I said, “ah ha! Busted!!! There’s no way that driving around with half naked woman on the back of the truck and blaring music at high volumes while littering the streets with free hats is legal, there’s no way!”

Imagine my surprise when through the crowd the Carabinieri emerged with hats in hand and a look of satisfaction and accomplishment on their faces. Ah, Italia mia… I get it!!!

That night, we slept well and the next morning we had an amazing breakfast before we hit the road…. destination, a place on the coast, suggested the couple sitting at the table next to us at lunch the day before. Ah, Italia MIA!

One Comment

  1. Robyn says:

    Oh Italian now too?! Explains the penchant for pizza . . . .

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