Saturday, October 30, 2010

La spesa - The food shop

This is what nearly 30 euros worth of food can look like in Italy! It doesn't seem like much, but it took four carrier bags to carry everything home! This's the result of one of my 'big' shops, which I usually do once a month - big shops that always manage to be bigger than they should be!! I'm not much of a cook, so you won't find anything very interesting in my pile of food, I tend to make things that are quick or easy - or preferably both! - and this's pretty typical of what I eat; minus fruit as I'm pretty much stocked up at the moment, potatoes (I bought a 1.5 kg bag a few days ago, I love potatoes!), and cereal (I've currently got 3 boxes on the go and another unopened one!) oh, and coffee of course!

So, what have we got here? Well, you can see what I eat for breakfast (except for the coffee of course) - milk, biscuits (the light blue packet), and drinking yogurt. I've got a couple of sneaky treats, gelato and chocolate! The only meat I bought this time was mortadella, I don't eat much meat at all now that I'm living on my own. I've got a couple of sneaky treats, namely gelato and chocolate! There's some pasta (of course!) and sauce and grated cheese for supper. There's some wine, and a little dinky bottle of bellini - very nice! There's some Weetabix too, it's a bit expensive, but it's a little bit of home - and fantastic in the winter with hot milk!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy 2nd Italyversary to me!

On the 22nd of October I got on a plane from Bristol bound for Milan Malpensa, to start my adventure in Italy. At that point I always used to say that I would stay out in Italy for a year or two, even though I had no real idea of what I would do after that time had passed. Now I've reached the end of my first two years here, and I've got no intention of leaving Italy!

I'd just like to thank everyone I've met over the last year, especially those I've met in Italy who've always been so welcoming. I've lost count of the times both Italians and non- have mistaken me for an Italian over the last year (due to the amount of travelling I've done), and it's nice to know that people feel that I belong here.

And I'd also like to thank everyone who reads my blog, it's nice to know my ramblings entertain someone!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today the heating finally goes on!! There's actually a law which prohibits people turning the heating on before October 15th every year (and on April 15th it has to be switched off) - I could've done with it being switched on a good couple of weeks ago! It's got very cold recently; on Sunday I trekked to IKEA to buy a new duvet (the only duvets I have are back in Wales, it would've cost too much to get them sent out here), up until then I'd been surviving with a couple of sheets, brr! And this week I've been wearing a little coat every day, it's cold in the mornings now, though it doesn't seem to be too bad in the evenings yet. I'm looking forward to my flat being warm tonight!

Last weekend I started the mission of finding a new coat. Soon it'll be too cold to wear the little spring coat I wore in February, and my winter coat from last year is a good size too big for me now. I hit the shops of Corso Buenos Aires but unfortunately didn't find one I liked... So tomorrow I'll have a scout round the shops in the centre of town to see if I have any luck that way. And with the weather forecasting temperatures of around 15 degrees tomorrow I think I need to find a good coat quickly!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Song of the week

Here's Max Gazzé's new song, A cuore scalzo. When I first heard it I didn't recognise it as being him - even though it's more upbeat than their usual stuff, I thought it was Zero Assoluto!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day trips from Milan - Varenna

Varenna is one of my favourite places in Italy outside of Milan, It's one of the towns on Lake Como. It may sound funny, considering it's a tiny little place of only 859 inhabitants according to Wikipedia - so it's pretty much the complete opposite of Milan! And that's one of the reasons why I like it so much, the peace and calm of the place.

It takes just over an hour to get to Varenna on the train from Milan (no changes), and a single 2nd class ticket will cost you 5.10 euro. When you arrive walk down the hill to reach the lake, turn right and you will enter Varenna. Every time when I've got into Varenna there's been a few market stalls by the side of the lake as I walk into the town. There's a scenic path built around the side of the lake, above the water, that essentially takes you from one side of the town to the other.

There aren't many places to eat in Varenna, being so small. There are a few bars next to where the ferry stops not long after you've entered the town, and on the other side there are a few places to eat. There's also a gelateria with possibly the best seating arrangement I've ever seen in a place where you can eat - pillows scattered on stone steps next to the shop.

I love sitting by the side of the lake, soaking up the view - and the clean air! It's always so peaceful there. Even in the middle of summer, not many tourists seem to go there, though going on the train you do see a fair few people coming and going with cases and backpacks. I highly recommend it though, you only need a few hours to have a walk around the place, but for me it's an overlooked gem of the lake.