IndiraNatarajan's Travel Journals

IndiraNatarajan

  • 29 years old
  • From Florida, United States
  • Currently in Florence, Italy

Italy

From Florence to Milan, Vienna and Lausanne!

The Fahja

Italy Florence, Italy  |  Nov 28, 2010
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As my dad napped before dinner, I knitted and chatted with my mom about my excitement, anxiety for the traveling, how little I minded the ongoing snoring, and our difficulty at making dinner reservations for the night. After numerous calls to show off my new skills in speaking Italian, I finally reserved a table at a nearby favorite and we headed out into the cold rainy night. Our table was filled with a mix and match of freshly grilled vegetables, a bun of creamy burrata cheese, basil scented bruschetta dripping with the newly harvested olive oil, and a bright dish of tomato and eggplant ravioli. With a cheers of our beautiful Brunello wine, we commenced the reunion dinner that I had so eagerly looked forward to. Once stuffed to the brim, we still managed to make a stop at what I’ve been told is Florence’s best gelateria (by the vineyard owner himself), and finally wandered back to our warm hotel to hit the sack. Unfortunately, I jinxed myself with the embrace of hearing my father’s long lost snores. I lay there tossing, whipping sheets to the side then pulling them back up, kicking pillows, wrapping a sweatshirt around my head and ears, cursing this noise muffling system for plastering down my eyes and tearing it away, plugging in my iPod only to rip out the painful earbuds minutes later, heaving the bed closer to the wall, and furiously digging through my suitcase for god knows what. All the while, the phrase “music to my ears” bounced jeeringly around in my mind and I resolutely surrendered the notion of sleep for the next two weeks. The next morning as I pounded espresso and mindlessly shoveled scrambled eggs, the curious question, “So, did I snore last night?” popped up. Before I had a chance to point at my bloodshot eyes, he laughed jovially and said, “Well does a bear poop in the woods?” I couldn’t help but choke and spray my water everywhere from laughter, and I immediately felt rejuvenated, happy, and endlessly grateful that I was given the opportunity to spend a sleepless night next to my beloved father. The earth-shattering nights may be rough, and the maneuvering through crowded cities stressful, but I couldn’t be more excited for the adventures we will soon have. Or at least for the blog entries that will emerge.

As my dad and I forge our way throughout Italy, with every new city emerges a thousand new opportunities to explore the particular cuisine. In Cinque Terre, after a daylong hike along the glistening Mediterranean, nothing sounded better than a bite of fresh Ligurian fish. Within the two nights spent in the vicinity, we had an enormous platter of various smoked fish, a creamy tomato based linguine with a handful of sweet crawfish-derived creatures (but with an extremely overgrown right claw and foot long antennae), and juicy mussels and clams splashed in garlicky wine juice. When we asked about the different fish varieties available, the waiter nodded, vanished to the back, and returned with a gorgeous tray of 3 different slick bodies. My dad got up and poked around as I translated for the two men, and within minutes a sizzling aromatic fish was presented, cleaned, and served before we were even vaguely able to comprehend and appreciate the eager service. As the travels continue, so too will the eating! Stay tuned.

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