“So how was the food in Italy?”


Aside from sex, food is probably humanity’s greatest physical pleasure. While people are understandably reluctant to ask others how the sex was in other countries, they certainly ask about the food! So I took pictures of an array of foodstuffs (don’t worry, I won’t publish any sex pictures) we encountered during our trip to Italy. Well, there is in fact one sex pic below. Apologies in advance to my Mom.

IMG_7414Speaking of which, this is about as sexy as chicken gets! Actually, the reason for this picture is that this is a “chicken salad” as ordered from the menu. Granted, it was in an inexplicably inexpensive restaurant on the outskirts of Rome, but still. Technically it is a chicken salad, if the recipe for one is as follows: Dump some lettuce on the plate. Throw a piece of cooked chicken on top. Voila! Even I can follow that recipe!

IMG_7405This was part of the menu of said restaurant. Yes, two euros for a Pizza marinara and three for a Pizza Margherita, which is pretty much their pizza staple. And they were of decent size as well. Although after the chicken salad I wondered if the Margherita pizza simply consisted of some dough with a margarita placed on top. Which would have been a great deal actually, but I was still throwing up from my hangover so had no desire for another margarita.

IMG_7409You can’t go to Italy without eating some spaghetti. I think it’s illegal, actually. So Carolyn enthusiastically stuffs her face to prove she didn’t need to be hauled off to jail.

IMG_7387This is how you store leftovers while in an AirBnB. Plus it’s further proof that we ate spaghetti in case they raided our apartment to check.

By the way, after you eat spaghetti, do you refer to it in the pasta tense?

IMG_7378Our companions were on a quest to find the best gelato in Rome, even being willing to brave this madhouse. The jury is still out on which was the best. Guess we need more tasting.

IMG_1605Speaking of madhouses, welcome to the asylum! Actually this was a very nice Michelin-rated restaurant (although none of the food tasted like tires, for which I was grateful) with rain forest decor and the finest group of traveling companions we’ve ever had the pleasure of being with. At least in April of 2018. In Italy. In that particular restaurant anyway.

IMG_7362Just like the two euro pizza restaurant, their servings were actually pretty generous.

IMG_7352You’d be a cuddle bunny too if you’d just imbibed two gallons of wine (which is 1.15 stones in metric, which is also 11.5 pebbles, or 11,111,111.5 grains of sand).

IMG_7345I can’t tell if this is before lunch, but it’s definitely after the two gallons of wine. Our Dutch friend Astrid is checking with me to make sure Carolyn’s really going to be okay.

IMG_9965Pastries are a big thing in Rome. After a polite sharing of the pastry by Wilco (he’s from Holland, so of course we went dutch on all the food), I demonstrate the advantages of sporting facial hair. You get to taste whatever you ate for a long time.

IMG_7314Unless it’s fish. After one unfortunate experience, I learned that you shouldn’t keep fish in your mustache. Anyway, if this handsome dude had a mustache, it would be like a Hitler mustache, only sideways. He’s better looking than Adolph either way.

IMG_7310On a tour we were told that Rome is like lasagna due to all of its archeological layers. So I made sure to order lasagna at the next restaurant we went. Here, our friends are comparing the photos they took of their own food.

I think the food you’re raised on may be the most important determiner of what you’ll like to eat for the rest of your life. I mean, I ordered frickin’ lasagna in frickin’ the heart of Rome, and I still like my Mom’s better. Even if she did make it with 30% fat hamburger, tomato juice mixed with flour (because sauce was more expensive), and lasagna noodles she rescued from the dumpster. Just kiddin’. But I do love my Mom’s lasagna. And my Mom.

IMG_7085- rotatedBurro soap. Who would’ve thunk? I thought maybe it was good for cleaning, you know, your ass. Except burro means butter in Italian, which I quickly discovered the first time I washed my hands with it.

IMG_7686Now for the sex pic! These are the penis cookies I was so generously given for kissing a bride and giving her two euros. I promise I won’t make a joke about the dark one being bigger.

29542087_10155417434731444_6437211598328109951_nAperol is an Italian apéritif made of bitter orange, gentian (which is a flower), rhubarb, and cinchona (which is another flower), and a secret combination of herbs. So with all those ingredients taken from a garden, it’s an essential component to a healthy diet. Here Wilco demonstrates a typical nutritious Dutch lunch.

IMG_6984After enough Aperol you’re about ready to kiss anyone. Although who could resist a handsome dog like Wilco?

29572512_10155417435451444_8072032799171888727_nWine with dinner. A must in Italy. Along with being with a woman who doesn’t object to having her butt pinched. By me anyway.

IMG_7371The Italians must like their sweets. This is a shop filled with nothing but clever ways to make sugar look better, because of course the taste is otherwise so bad.

IMG_7372And that’s no yolk.

IMG_7373Are my puns driving you bananas?

IMG_7374I’m not sure what these are supposed to be. But it’s either a barrel o’ fun or 450,000 calories, or both.

IMG_7375There’s no doubt that eating sugar in the shape of a pizza slice gives you all the nutritional benefits of, um, sugar.

IMG_7376If you throw these in your mouth you get to claim exercise points while eating sugar!

IMG_7677The gorilla wasn’t licorice. In fact, it tasted a lot like plastic (and the store clerk didn’t appreciate me licking her ape).

IMG_7386Gelato. The King of Desserts as far as I’m concerned. In Rome, there are one of these shops every twenty meters or so. I think it might be by law.

IMG_7664The Romans eat so much fart-inducing food that they have hotlines you can call if your partner’s farting (or confartigianato in Italian) gets out of hand.

IMG_7663This puffy pastry looks delicious but it ain’t no gelato.

IMG_7350For the holidays, such as Easter, they go all out with their confections. In this case, these go in like a lamb, but out like crap. Actually not like crap, just crap, just like everything else you eat. My Mom still thinks crap is a swear word. At least I didn’t use the word shit.

IMG_7351Carolyn, honey, this should’ve been our wedding cake!

IMG_7349I think a sugar alien popped out of that egg.

IMG_7327It takes a lot of bread to live in Rome.

IMG_7615Cappuccino. The King of Hot Drinks. As demonstrated here by my queen.

IMG_7290Now you can say you’ve seen a plate of authentic spaghetti as served in Italy. The next day we took a tour through the spaghetti groves where we watched them harvest Angel Hair Pasta.

IMG_7597Carolyn demonstrates the proper way to eat spaghetti in Italy. You have to be careful because the pasta police can show up unexpectedly at any moment and give you a ticket if you’re not eating it properly.

IMG_7538This is supposed to be a one-person pizza. Between that and stopping at a gelato shop every twenty meters, it’s no wonder we gained 2 stone! (That’s 27.8 pounds.) Okay, maybe not two whole stones, but plenty of pebbles.

IMG_E6979I haven’t got quite enough in my mustache for the rest of the day yet, although I’m saving the whipped cream on my nose for Carolyn.

Unlike many of our travel companions, we aren’t “foodies,” although I’ll try just about anything. Except I don’t really care for bleu cheese (they can’t even spell it right), green peppers, panda, siamese cat, and anything that tastes like you’re licking a pier. Carolyn likes most anything too as long as it’s been cooked to blackened perfection (her mother overcooked everything, so there you go). But Italy was filled with tempting offerings, and we enjoyed virtually every one of them, even the burro soap.

Although I have to now give a shout-out to the pastries of Portugal, lest Portugal become jealous of our love for Italian food. Click here for The Prettiest Pastries in Portugal, and How to Recognize Them.

And that wraps up our Italian adventure!

The Straight-up Tower of Pisa

IMG_7748What a rip off! They say it’s a leaning tower- but just look at this picture. It’s almost as straight as an arrow!

Of course, they say perspective is everything.

The production of the Tower of Pisa began in 1173, and took almost 200 years to finish. That’s why they named it Pisa, because it takes a lot of pizzas to feed two centuries worth of workers.

The structure began to sink in 1178, after construction had progressed to the second floor. This was due to a too-shallow three meter foundation which was set in weak, unstable subsoil. The fact that they used all those leftover pizza boxes for the foundation didn’t help either.

Ironically, the flaw that created the lean is what makes it an enormously popular tourist attraction. Which just goes to show you, sometimes it’s the flaws that make you beautiful!

IMG_7752Okay, now do you believe the thing really leans?

IMG_7442So here’s the real deal with the actual lean. It’s quite a remarkable-looking building, especially with its lean physique.

IMG_7438I suppose the residents take the tower for granted, but it’d be a pretty cool structure to see on your way to get groceries every day, even if it doesn’t look like it’s leaning from every angle.

IMG_7737They were kind enough to provide parking for jet fighters, so you can get there in any one of a number of ways apparently.

IMG_7739I don’t know how many of these people arrived via jet fighter, but there were sure plenty of ’em. Tourism in Italy seems to be thriving just fine.

IMG_7746Fortunately, Carolyn arrived just in time to keep the building from leaning further. Or is it “farther.” I hate those two words. Leaning “more.” That’s good enough. In Portuguese we just say “mais.” Mais leano.

IMG_7443Psh. Everyone saw what she was doing and so started posing for fake pictures to look just like it. But Carolyn is the only one really holding it up, as you can tell by comparing the two photos.

IMG_7440Those who haven’t visited Pisa may not realize that the area, called the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) doesn’t only consist of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but also features the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, and the Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery), as well as a couple of museums. I can attest to the fact that the Square of Miracles works, because it sure seems like a miracle that we live in Portugal and can hop on a plane to Rome and Italy and Pisa and points beyond for the price of a nice dinner. Okay, maybe with a nice bottle of wine or two included, but that’s my kind of miracle!

IMG_7441The baptistry is in the foreground. Construction was begun in 1152. It is the largest baptistry in Italy.

IMG_7741This is the Pisa Cathedral, construction of which began in 1063. It is the largest cathedral in this picture.

IMG_7474This is Moses, or at least someone as old as him. Oh wait, the statue is of Moses. Ah, I thought you meant the other old bearded guy.

IMG_7754This piece is entitled Fallen Angel, and is a temporary piece of contemporary art on display in the square. It was original simply entitled Angel, but then, you know, it fell.


Inside the Cathedral.

IMG_7761These are the stairs that take you to the top of the baptistry.

IMG_7781We swear they were this worn down before we stepped on ’em!

IMG_7758IMG_7756And these are the views that greeted us once we made it to the top. That’s a lot of space just for sprinkling water on a baby’s head!

IMG_7773Although the other buildings are beautiful, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is the main attraction of course. You have to pay extra and make a reservation to climb up the tower, and so we did. Security was pretty tight; not even any little old bags were allowed. But they let Carolyn in. Phew!

IMG_7775This isn’t the way to the top.

IMG_7795This is.

IMG_7479Heights aren’t necessarily my thing. Actually, I’m not afraid of heights, per se, I’m just nervous about the landing.

IMG_7788Although I love the views you get from above. It’s like practicing being in heaven.

IMG_7792 (1)IMG_7786IMG_7784

IMG_7791 (1)I don’t remember going into the tower the first time I visited Pisa, but the top of it sure rings a bell! Note how the bells look like they’re hanging a bit crooked, they’re actually hanging straight.

IMG_7750Bucket list: Check!