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How has a trip to Italy changed your life when you're back home?

How has a trip to Italy changed your life when you're back home?

Old Jan 28th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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Apropos Leonardo da Vinci, the chateau in France where he died was Amboise. (Actually it was in a manor attached to the chateau called Cloux.) No one knows where he was buried, however, which is sad.

The book I bought is called "The Science of Leonardo" by Fritjof Capra who also wrote "The Tao of Physics"
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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yes LCBoniti, yes very soon
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Vincenzo, beautiful post

Well, let's see. I think visiting France has changed my daily life as much as Italy has, but will try to be somewhat specific to Italy...

Anytime I cook (which is often), we open a bottle of red wine. It used to be more of a "special dinner" sort of thing, but while in Europe, we realized how much we enjoyed having it every day. I think we open more bottles of Italian reds than of French or American reds. I've fallen in love with Italian wine, but especially AMARONE, which is the best of the best to me but is still more of a "special dinner" wine for us.

I love cooking Italian food and am picky about the ingredients - sea salt, good olive oils (different kinds for different dishes, some that are more buttery and mild and some Tuscan oil that's spicy and green), etc.

We got hooked on Italian espresso. I can't afford the sort of espresso machine I would want to buy (for now) so I got the next best thing at a fraction of the price: a Bialetti Brikka stovetop espresso pot. It's similar to the stovetop moka pots found everywhere in Italy but pressure builds up and sends the water shooting up through the grinds. The result tastes a lot more like espresso than moka pot coffee and there's even some crema, but I fully know that you can only get true espresso from an espresso machine.

Oh and I only use Illy coffee now.

I adore good balsamic vinegar. I dress salads with it, drizzle steaks with it, etc. We've even bought a silver from Emilia Romagna and a gold from Modena since being back home. We each have a spoonful at the end of a nice meal, treating it like liquid gold. My first taste of a truly extraordinary balsamic will live in my memory forever as one of the best culinary experiences I've yet had.

I want to learn some basic Italian before our next trip to Italy in Sept. (Florence and Tuscany this time)
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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I read a quote by Marcel Proust that said, "When I went to Venice, my dream became my address." I totally felt that way when we were there and get goosebumps whenever I allow myself to daydream about Venice. My dear husband and I spent two weeks in Venice in 2000 at a locanda with a view of the Grand Canal. The memories of that wonderful trip will be with us forever. We've been through so much since our trip: the death of our mothers and the loss of our home and all of our belongings in a tragic fire. Nothing can take away our memories of Venice.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:28 PM
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Since Italy in 2006

1. My husband is on his 14th month of Pimsleur's - every day for 90 minutes
2. I buy, but make last an entire year, the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacia Latte por il Corpo - smells fantastic
3. We still order the Chianti from the vineyard we stayed at in Greve (Tenuta di Riseccoli)
4. We read the Agony and the Ecstasy when we got back and kicked ourselves for not reading it before we went to Florence
5. I've made the incredible Tuscan dish called Peposo (which is a beef stew that dates back to the construction of the Duomo) at least 5 times
6. I watched the movie "Casanova" - mediocre at best, just to see little parts of Venice
7. We now have RAI - the Italian TV channel
8. My son got an "A" in Roman history
9. My family loves to trot out the "when mom got drunk and sang in German at the Trevi Fountain" story
10. I pick up something to buy and then put it down if I don't absolutely need it - thinking the money I don't spend here will get me closer to going back to Italy
11. I mark each day in the calendar until March 24th when we get on a plane that will take us back to great pasta, great art, many laughs and future memories in Rome

And thanks to all of you for all of your continuing help!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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I can't help but jump in here! My whole live has changed since being to Italy. I first lived in Milan when very young; my mom was an opera singer. My sister and I have fun memories here. After a few years we returned to the US.

As a child, all I wanted to do was return to Italy. I bothered my poor father all the time about returning. However he had too many war memories and losses and didn't want to talk about it.

During college I convinced him to return home for a month with me to the Abruzzo region.

Since that trip I go every 2 years, with my family. My husband and my 2 sons, and my sisterís family. There are 8 of us. We see something new each trip.

The biggest change lies here, I could not get pregnant for 8 years after our first son. When I took my husband and son back to where my father and mother were born, we were blessed with another son!

Italy brings out the passion in ones soul. Creatively, romantically, spiritually. I have never seen nor felt this anywhere else. I count the days until I return!

I know the world in big and much to see, but my heart calls for Italy.
Mille Grazie Italia~!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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it was my first trip alone anywhere outside of the united states (1999). because of my first trip there, i became bolder about traveling alone anywhere in the world. i can happily say that i have traveled to all 7 continents.

i appreciate arugula, proscuitto, a good vino, balsamic vinegar and a tomato, arugula and mozzarella sandwich

i also have a good understanding of how roman culture affected the rest of west civilization as it exists today.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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What great posts!

Don't you love that we can come to this board with like-minded (aka "addicted like us") folks to reflect and renew.

Italy06...one word: Wow!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 05:12 PM
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Dear Vincenzod ,

Your post is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Hi adventureseeker,

How to describe how Italy has changed me? I dreamt of visiting Italy as a 7-year-old and continued dreaming that dream until I first visited Rome in 1995, the summer after I turned 15. I returned to Italy when I was 22 and spent 3 weeks backpacking around the country, falling in love with every city and village I visited. When my husband was planning our honeymoon for 2004, he didn't even have to ask me... we spent 11 wonderful days in Italy and fortunately, he fell in love with the country too. We returned in 2005 for our first anniversary, and in 2007 for our third. We will be back in 2008 - this time we will be taking my parents who both turn 60 this year. To me, Italy offers everything that I am passionate about - ancient history, art, music, food, conversation, architecture, natural beauty... the list goes on and on. Italy is balm for my soul after a year of working way too many hours yet again... something that seems to be required in America if one is young and an accountant. Italy has changed me in that with each remembrance of past visits, or tingling of anticipation of a future visit, it brings a smile to my heart and to my face.

Greece and Austria are also countries that have had a deep impact on me... but Italy was and remains my first love.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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Well, I've made 6 trips to Italy, with #7 coming in mid-March this year. I haven't changed that much as a result, but I do, however, cook my pasta al dente!! And USA pizza doesn't even come close to a real Italian one!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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I indeed have been there as well. My private village is very nice this time of year, although my servants don't polish my Ferrari's as often as i'd like them to.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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Many of these posts sum up how Italy has affected me. It's the only place I want to travel to, and I only want Italian food!
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Very interesting posts. Italy is a beautiful country with warm, friendly people, great food, and great attitude towards families, kids, and life.

But, Ralphie, you may want to buy-low-sell-high and diversify a bit I think even Vincenzo might agree with me.
Old Jan 29th, 2008, 03:21 PM
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Honestly, its hard to disagree with Ralhie. I know better. But he is on target
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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I'm 48 years old-My first trip to Italy was in 1976, when my parents sent me on a 10-day excusion with my Latin class. It was probably the most significant gift they have ever given me. It was my first trip out of the U.S. and the impressions are still very strong:
* Shock at seeing armed guards (with machine guns) patrolling the airport
* Reverence at wandering the Forum virtually alone one rainy, morning, slipping in and out of the mists, and imagining Cicero belting it out from the rostrum
* Amazement at my first capuccino!
* Amusement (and a little panic) at foiling an attempted grope from a boy (Romano) in a smoky disco-and being amazed that Roman kids were allowed to drink!
* Goggle-faced awe at the Birth of Venus in the Uffizi-and a double-dose of it when I saw a girl of about 10 on the streets, who was a dead ringer for Botticelli's Venus
* Thrill at being able to read inscriptions that were chiseled thousands of yeas ago

How did it change my life? It was my first realization that history was reality, and not jsut pages in a book. That other countries were indeed populated by living, breathing (sometimes groping) people, just like back home in Virginia. It infected with with an insatiable lust for travel, an unquenchable optimism about making friends wherever I go, and the burning desire to own a capuccino machine.

I'm planning my fourth trip to Italy now-a real vacation- the last two have been business trips to Rome. During those trips I made two good friends, both of whom have visited us several times in the US now. And I would have to say that of all the treasures I gathered from Italy, these two are the most precious!
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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In fact we say "chi trova un amico trova un tesoro"

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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:55 AM
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My first transatlantic trip was to Italy in October 2005. I fell in love with Europe then. I now have a greater affinity for all food Italian, especially risotto, gelato, prosciutto and parmesano reggiano. I have a deeper understanding of world and religious history and I've learned to relax and enjoy experiences more rather than rush through them to move on to the next item on my to do list.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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My first trip to Italy was in 90 or 91 and it was my first trip to Europe. I stayed with friend who happens to be French Canadian and her husband is Italian. They lived in a lovely northern town about an hour from Venice.

I just fell in love with Italy when I was there but of course I was living in a fairy tale while I was there - we walked or rode bikes into town every day and bought freshly made pasta, cannoli, cheese. The man of the house who came home for lunch every day would expect no less. And who could blame him?

I bought fabulous Armani suits (which I still have and still wear) and Italian shoes. It was fall and the weather was perfect. It could not have been a better trip. I was single at the time and could have just stayed there.

I learned a little Italian when I came back and even learned to cook pasta the right way.

I have been back only once since then and have seen much more of the world but it is still a very special place. I will never forget that trip.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 09:46 AM
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Tara, I also stop and think before I buy many of the things I really don't need, except of course Italian wine! I prefer to spend that money staying an extra week on the Amalfi Coast. September is only 7 months away, and we can't wait, 31 days in my favourite country, but I don't want to wish my life away, so we get together with our travelling companions, and have "Italian Nights" at each others' homes. The anticipation is "almost" as much fun, plus, we learn a lot more about where we want to go when we're there. Thanks everyone for your imput. We have our love of Italy in common.
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