Skip to main content

Learning things about pizza

Dear all,

I type this from the sunny town of Sorrento in Southern Italy where Lisette and I currently reside! We pulled into town late on Sunday night and since we are in the birthplace of pizza we have devoted much of yesterday and today to researching the topic in depth.

The first part of our education took place last night when we went for dinner at midnight (the journey to Italy having taken somewhat longer than we anticipated). Unfortunately despite having that 'late Latin lunching' reputation almost all the restaurants were shut by the witching hour. In fact lots of places seemed to be open but all told us that they were shut and pointed us the to the main square. We had actually been deliberately avoiding the main square as each restaurant appeared to have extra zeros after the prices ( -Presumably this is for the pleasure of dining in the main square where all the Italians congregate with their motorbikes put-putting away in the background....)

Anyway, since we had no option we attended one of the aforementioned restaurants in seach of sustenance. We both went for pizza and learned the first valuable lesson: 'Neopolitan' means that you get a pizza *completely* devoid of cheese! Apparently this is traditional but I was frankly disappointed when Lisettes pizza arrived without what I had personally always considered to be the traditional topping... Fortunately my own pizza was not lacking on this front and so between mouthfuls I was able to offer up my sympathies to Lisette (who was essentially eating ketchup on toast as far as I could tell).

Lesson two was not so much pizza related as 'main square' related and, as mentioned, we had a hunch on this one already. The bill arrived at the end of the meal and seemed somewhat larger than expected. Closer examination of the bill revealed the cause: Lisettes glass of 'house white' was clocking in at 12 Euro a glass! Lest I come over all grumpy - I can assure that I am not - just a bit stunned... and my credit card is still gushing blood from overuse...

Today has proved very pleasant though. We have sat around in the sun and read books and papers, then made friends by donating said papers to English tourists gasping for an update on the sports news. We have looked over the bay at the pollution hovering above Naples and congratulated ourselves at not staying there ourselves ('There but for the grace of God go I...')

We have wandered the streets of Sorrento... well not quite true. It was my brother David's wedding on Saturday (now happily married to Sarah) which involved a Kaili... Kailee? Not sure how you spell it - lets call it a barn dance instead. Anyway, Lisette was delighted by this and got thoroughly involved - so enthusiastic was she that took a tumble and damaged her foot. As a result the 'wandering the streets of Sorrento' has been more 'hobbling the streets of Sorrento' including pauses for Lisette to put her foot in the air to relieve ... something. Not sure what but apparently putting your foot in the air is a good thing.

I am now cut short as someone else has been hovering near this computer meaningfully... We are off to Pompei tomorrow to gaze in awe at the subject of so many history lessons. Will look learned and serious, nodding occasionally with true understanding of all things volcanic!

John and Lisette (currently resting leg again)

Lisette looking unfeasibly pretty

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dieting Italian style in the Cinque Terre (or "Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen...")

We have arrived in the Cinque Terre which is on the North West coast of Italy. The direct translation is "Five Towns" and the idea is that you stroll / hike from one town to the next marvelling in the sights of the sea and the beauty of the towns. And the towns are lovely - it is as if Walt Disney came here 80 years ago to get his ideas of what fairy castles etc should look like. Pretty as a picture We are staying in the most Southerly town inside the Cinque Terre - Riomaggiore. There are no real hotels inside the Cinque Terre and the books (Lonely Planet and the " Rough Rubbish Guide to Italy") advise staying with locals. Accordingly we found ourselves following a burly, and I thought rather scary, Italian man home from the station after we arrived. Despite initial trepidation we ended up at a lovely apartment with a view of the sea at a fair price and with a gushing landlady who is wont to say things like "you should-a make-a the hay while the sun-

What would Phileas Fogg do?

It is June 2022. COVID hove into view back in early 2020 and radically adjusted all our lives. Part of that was the ability (and ease) of travelling abroad. Like so many, the Reilly family were effectively grounded since then. We have made trips, but we never left England. So when life started to seem less restrictive, we made plans. We found ourselves camping in a place called Cavallino in Italy. It looks on a map, as if it is near Venice. Looks can be deceiving. It turns out Swindon has better travel links to London than Cavallino has to Venice. However, links it has, and links we have used. You can travel from Cavallino on the bus down to Punta Sabbioni and then switch to a boat for the trip into Venice (or rather "Venezia"). This is the Reilly family on Burano, an island to the north of Venice. Having left the UK, where pretty much all COVID related mask restrictions were lifted some time ago, it was a surprise to discover that they are still in force in Italy.

Cable Cars and Credit Cards

I proferred the binbag. "All the rubbish; in here please". Conor turned to his right, "Una, will you climb in now?" Una grinned and mimed throwing objects into the sack. "There's my hopes and dreams right there Conor." Conor, Una, Lisette and I have known each other for half our lives. Well; Conor's not quite there - he's the elder statesman of our group. We met when we were working for British Airways as students, and living in Hounslow's finest dodgy digs. Since that time we've been scattered to the four winds; Una to Ireland, Conor to Switzerland. Lisette and I, well, maybe 3 miles tops to Twickenham. In seeking a mutual meeting place we found ourselves reaching for the logistically logical location: Italy. (I know; like a stepladder where you least expect it.) In keeping with how we first got to know one another, luxury accomodation was not our priority. We decided to camp. Can there be a fuller way to challenge your fear of