17 May 2010

Home again...

We're home. Tired, with our suitcases filled with dirty clothes and our heads still full of Italian. And my camera full of photos! We drove back through France, having decided that the St. Bernard pass was not for us―it was still foggy and raining up there when we left. Torino is surrounded by the Alps, and they are normally visible from all over town. We only saw them as we were leaving. But never mind, we'll be back. We still have lots of Torino to explore!

We had two weeks of cloudy, rainy weather. And cold, it was cold. But we didn't care―we were in Italy. I love just BE-ing there. I love the food, and the air, and the language. I love the way that Italian people live―full speed ahead. I love seeing people zipping by on their vespas and their bicycles and their motorcycles. I love walking cobbled streets and seeing lovely little shops full of fresh, local food. I love it that the widest streets were built by the Romans, and we're still using them today―with new stones over them, of course.

We also had two weeks of wonderful language learning. The school we went to, L'Italiano Porticando was probably the best we've ever attended. Every day we learned things that we then used in the city after school. The school also had arranged some awesome after school activities, and when we weren't going to those, they gave us recommendations for other things to do.

In my group, we were interested in food, so the teacher adapted the lessons to include recipes and discussions of restaurants and typical Piemontese dishes. The school wasn't too large, so we could get to know the other students—some of them quite well as we stood in line to see the Shroud!

To the teachers and staff at the school, I say: Vi ringratio tutti, abbiamo passate un soggiorno incredible! Grazie mille.

Home again. Home, where the trees have leafed out since we left, and the cherry blossoms are past. Home, where it's cloudy and cold today, and feels like Italy (heh). Home, where I can sleep in my own bed and cook in my own kitchen with my own knives. Home, with unlimited internet access. Home, where our neighbors welcomed us back with smiles and our mail. Home. There's no place like it.

Stella: you asked if Torino is the home of a chewy candy with nuts in it. Nougat? Torrone? While you can find both of them there, I don't think Torino can claim either of those, but there are some awesome chocolate shops there! And grissini—Torino is the home of grissini, or breadsticks.

Linda: That pastry WAS sfoliatella! I've never seen them in the US. I love them. My favorite ones are made with lemon filling.

Canadian Foodie: I'm working on getting the email subscription thing-y. Stay tuned.

Now I'm off to see what you've been up to...


Stella said...

Hey Kate, there is something wonderful about coming home after a long trip. But I do miss those Roman roads-amazing. If only we still built our cities with such craftsmanship... Hmm, I really thought that must be where the nougat originated. I'll have to 'google' that.

By the way:
I've read different things about Agave. Some people feel that it is healthful due to it having a lower glycemic effect than sugar. It is processed by heat method to form the sweetness, which is fructose. It's from the agave cactus, but I suppose some might compare it to corn syrup. You can use your favorite honey in the recipe if you want!

Maggie B said...

Home..... didn't Simon & Garfunkel write a great song about Home??
Glad you are back safe & sound, I have enjoyed your photographs and tales of Torino so much.
Mr B & I struggle to hold 2 foreign languages in our brains,(French & German) so chapeau to you both for doing so well with Italian.

Barbara said...

So glad you are home and happy! I loved the post on the shroud and also the fact that one needs to decided for oneself who, what and when. Your photos turned out really well. It was a long wait, but surely worth it.
I remember waiting over 3-4 hours for the Uffizi and Accademia in Florence. (with a barely healed broken ankle) Of course, we went at the worst possible time...just before Easter.

Susan Lindquist said...

Woot! Woot! Welcome home, Kate! Pictures have been great ... and the commentary has brought us places we could only imagine! Just so you know, I'll be along on the next junket, too!

A Canadian Foodie said...

You are truly living my dream! Isn't it amazing that it can be a dreary rainy day in Italy, yet the sun is still shining inside of your heart?! Nothing can dispel any amazing travel experience there. What a wonderful opportunity that school is, and how amazing that you "took the plunge" and went. This is something I would be very interested in doing.

Linda said...

Welcome Home!

WizzyTheStick said...

Yay you're back. what an amazing journey. I can only dream of visiting places like those

Juliana said...

Kate, welcome home...enjoyed the pictures...thank you! :-)

Hungry Dog said...

I've enjoyed your gorgeous photos...sounds like a wonderful trip. Welcome home!

Sophie said...

Welcome home here in Belgium!!

Put your feet up & enjoy those lovely times on your recent trip!

The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

You've perfectly described both the joys of traveling and of homecoming. Love it!

lahikmajoe said...

Have felt like I was with you and Dan all throughout the trip. Really enjoyed the days with or without rain. Sometimes when the sun is out, it's too hot.

Glad you made it home safely and I'm already daydreaming about your next trip.


tasteofbeirut said...

Sounds like you got the most out of your trip!

Jennifer said...

Loved reading all about this! Its so inspiring to hear of others travels! Thanks for sharing!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Welcome back, Kate! It's been a little crazy around here and I've fallen so far behind.

2 Stews said...

Yes, it was cool and rainy in Europe for the past few weeks. Like you said though, it is still a pleasure. Welcome back to your comfy space. I loved reading about your travels during my travels :-))



The Gypsy Chef said...

Hi Kate,
Welcome home. It sounds like it feels good to be there. The Italian school sounds like a perfect fit. What a wonderful learning holiday.
The sfoliatella are available in New York. I've never seen them with a lemon filling, just the traditional ricotta filling.
I've loved your posts.