Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week Away: Italy

 Hey, this isn't Japan!
Indeed not, welcome to Northern Italy in the winter. Two cross-continental flights, long layovers and a quick car ride from Malpensa, and voila'. The things I will do for filial piety... still, it is lovely to see my parents in person (rather than on a screen), and any grandparental weirdness I can deal with.

Northern Italian cuisine is not known for being exactly light, and so I had a great three days of filling up on the region's cheeses (fontina is amazing), scoffing large quantities of polenta and risotto, and trying many, many different delicious wines. The views of the snowy mountains and quaint old town are the perfect backdrop to such gastronomic excess.
Another lovely part of going back to my motherland is the shopping. Since I am not actually a huge fan of spending entire days in Tokyo seeking a single pair of pants that fit correctly, it is so wonderful to be able to waltz into practically any store and find lots of clothes in the right length. Indeed, in less than 12 hours I managed to accumulate an entire new wardrobe.
 The last two days of this trip were spent on my old home turf, Rome. As usual the city is beautiful, the weather fantastic and the 'maritozzi alla panna' (a Roman morning delicacy, honey and raisin bread filled with fresh whipped cream) to die for.

It felt odd to be back there. Despite not having lived permanently in Rome for over half a decade, I still know all the byways, and even the cobblestones feel familiar.

But best of all I got to see my horse (although I am most likely 'her human'), and spend lots of time with her. One of the few downsides to living is Japan is that we have to be so far away, and I don't get to see her nearly enough, although I know that she is in good hands and has a great life.


  1. Wow! Your hometown is beautiful! I just got back from America (my brother lives there, although we're British) and it was so much fun to pick up loads of clothes and feel like a normal size again!

    1. Agreed, the ease of shopping is so reassuring!