Where to start? It has been difficult to get on the internet living with two teenage girls in the house. I had to leave Todi and go to Venezia to get on the internet.
Let's talk about food.
You have to love a country that eats cookies (biscotti) for breakfast (colazione). Every morning I had cookies and tea for breakfast. It was the best. Then I walked up a very steep hill to school. I cannot wait to get to Sicilia because for colazione they eat brioche with gelato! Ice cream for breakfast. Some people have really got things figured out.
I stayed with the Ciliani family in Todi. Fiorenza, Riccardo, Miriam, and Daniela. Miriam is 18 and Daniela is 15. They swooned when they heard I live in Hollywood. They wanted to know if I knew Chad Michael Someboy-or-other from One Tree Hill. I don't, but did catch part of an episode in Italian and I can now be on the lookout for Chad. Miriam likes sweets so she asked me if we could make an apple cake. We made an old fashioned American apple pie. I was a little worried because in Italy they do their measurements by weight and not cups. We decided to wing it. Good thing I know my way around the kitchen because I eyeballed the measurements from a coffee mug. They do not have shortening, so we used butter. They also don't have brown sugar, but sugar is sugar, right? It turned out delicious. Riccardo, the papa, loves all apples desserts. We got his approval. The next morning I had a slice of apple pie for breakfast. Um, Um, Good!
I also made mojitos for Riccardo and Fiorenza. They don't have limes until Christmas time. I had to use lemon but they were delicious. Also we had to bust out the ice cube tray to make ice. We don't realize the abundance we live in with ice cube makers and limes all year round. We can enjoy a proper mojito all year long! They really have to wait until Christmas for a proper mojito. But wait...Does mint grow in the winter?
For lunch I ate pizza almost everyday at Pomodoro Rosso with my classmates. We'd chat in Italian and eat our pizza and sometimes do homework. On the walk home I would often stop at Pianegiani for gelato. The best gelato in town. I am partial to Bacio and pistachio. On my last night in town I tried the torrone. Torrone is nougat made with pistachio and almonds. Whoa! It was very good. I never tried the house specialty which was made with pine nuts. I guess I better plan my return trip.
Fiorenza made dinner every night. I ate very well. Always pasta first, then meat with vegatables and salad. This was follwed by fruit for dessert. However, if there was cake or pie, we had fruit first than dessert. I was fed very well every night. Oh and there was usually cheese somewhere in there too. They eat like this every night! When I told them that we didn't eat pasta every day they almost perished at the thought!
Last night we went out to dinner with friends in Venice. I ate pig fat! It was called Lardo somethingini and is a regional specialty. I thought what the hell, I will try it. When the thin strips of white pig fat surrounded by crostini arrived in front of me I was having some doubts about my order. It was very white food. Not very pretty. But it was delicious, people! I am not kidding. I ate every bit of my pig fat and totally enjoyed it. Who would think that pig fat could be so complex in taste?...salty, but smoky and creamy at the same time.
Last night we went to the reputably best gelato in Venice. It had nothing on Pianegiani. Today wandering around the streets we found a cioccolateria. Exquisite chocolates. I was called VizioVirtu. If you are in Venice find this place!
Next stop Sicilia and ice cream for breakfast!