The past few days have been fairly low key. We just got the FJ yesterday (Tuesday) so today was our first real day of driving around. Yesterday we went to a Cultural Adaptation Class on base. Here are a few fun facts I learned:
- It is Italian law to recycle and it is against the law to throw your trash away anywhere except your own can so therefore if you are pulled over and you have a bag of trash in your car, you get fined! (They have fines and fees for EVERYTHING here)
- If you get pulled you have to pay your fine on the spot, if you do not have the money they will escort you to the nearest ATM. (No mailing tickets)
- Presley has to have a Pet Passport in order for us to travel with him. (Ikea also has special carts to push around that your dogs fit in!)
- You are required to have a warning triangle (Like truck drivers put out when they pull over on the side of the road) and a reflective vest in your car at all times. As well as snow tires or snow chains, and at any time they can stop you and ask you to prove you know how to put the snow chains on your tires. (Note to self: Must learn)
- Carabinieri’s (Police) stand on the side of the road and when they want to pull you, they step out in front of you and hold up a “lollipop” ..If you do not stop they are allowed to shoot at your car.
- Instead of beer on tap, places have wine on tap!
Today, our new landlords took us out for lunch. I’ve stated before the husband is American however, the wife is Italian. (I hope to learn a lot from her) We went to their favorite seafood Ristorante. Ristorante’s are not just regular restaurants like we have at home , they are more upscale. (There are so many names for eating places here: Caffe, Trattoria, Paninoteca, Osteria, Ristorante, Pizzeria, Gelateria…) Also, Italians drink wine like we drink sweet tea, it is the “norm” to have wine at lunch and dinner so we started off with a bottle of Prosecco (delish!)
Second course we had linguini with lobster and shrimp. By now I was stuffed but we kept going..
Third course was the fried seafood (The picture is only half of an order, me and Bobby split it). Now I am a fried food LOVER being from the South but wow my take on fried food has completely changed over just one meal. Their “fried” food is similar to that of Tempura. It is very light, less calories and you actually still taste the seafood unlike at home where you taste batter and oil. This plate included shrimp, scallops, octopus, and two types of fish with “fried” carrots, zucchini and artichoke. Off to the side you will see grits (Much like a grit cake).
They wanted us to keep on with the courses but there was no way I could, by this point I was forcing myself to eat. We finished off with an Italian puff pastry dessert, a coffee (Their coffee is extremely strong so our coffee cup was the size of a Child’s play tea set, you literally take a shot!) and a glass of Grappa (The after dinner digestive extremely high in alcohol content that I talked about in the first post, by this point I took one sip and called it a day!). We told them about trying the Spaghetti House last week and they said “No No No, do not eat in Aviano” Apparently because it is an American base, the places close to it is Italian food that has been Americanized (much like Olive Garden), the local Italians consider it “low quality” food. They also laughed at us when we told them we usually eat dinner around 6:30. Places around here typically do not even open until 7pm. (They do everything a lot later than us). Lunch took us from 12:45 til almost 3:30!
We also went on a walk behind our “house” on this trail you can take your dogs, etc. It is in between rows and rows of grape vines and corn! I can only imagine how beautiful it will be during the warmer months. Here are a few more pictures including the side view of our new home (We live on the end of the building), the bell tower in the center of the town, and the end of the trail leading into our town. (The guy in the picture is our landlord walking his 3 dogs)
Our house will be so cute once I get some flowers in those boxes..the brown doors open up outward, almost like french doors… All of the doors and windows look like this, I love it!
I am hoping to have more exciting pictures and a more entertaining update after our Benvenuti Tour on Friday.