Sharp Monica

An honest voice in Italian paradise.

Update from Italy: Everyday Ephemera

Just a random list of things I have noticed in Italy.

The wisteria is out of this world. I have never seen wisteria in the New World look anything like the wisteria here that’s been climbing and blooming since the Roman Empire.

Beds are small compared to the U.S. Yet somehow none of the U.S. sheets can even be remotely provisioned for use. This is a conundrum. Actually I think maybe the beds are shorter but wider.

Wallets are large. Those big euro notes need a nice big pocket. American dollars are small. Ergo small fat wallets. Maybe American wallets are baby Italian beds.

They never put salt in their baked sweets and so the sweets taste pasty. Please, Italian pastry chefs, for the love of all torta di Spagna, throw a pinch of salt in the mix.

I can’t get used to millefoglie. the standard Italian festive dessert, which I have not tasted in forever because no one has had anything resembling a party since Carnevale 2020, last year in February. A million flakes and cream should be delicious, right? Like a French NapolĂ©on, a silver fork tine dragged through the wet chocolate forming waves on the vanilla cream top. But … eh. I really just want what I have learned is properly called a sponge cake, which I called a layer cake when I was stateside.

I love the flower vendor in Piazza della Repubblica. Rain or shine, Katia is there with gorgeous bouquets for less than ten euros. She’ll even wrap them for you in bright plastic and raffia. I am telling you, that is service, and I am turning into Clarissa Dalloway.

Katia’s Handiwork

Italy has been in a declared state of national emergency for fourteen, going on fifteen months. There are very few Covid vaccines in Italy. Finger crossed for German mRNA vaccine approval next month.

Italians are super mask compliant but struggle more with social distancing.

Italian lawyers wear an incredible kit. Lawyers: cravat is one color, judges: cravat of some other color. Everyone gets shoulder braid. I spied this in a shop window today and promptly took it to the studio legale to verify accuracy.

Note LEX tatt on neck. Pretty hot. Does the ink come with?

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