Someone told me, “Who goes to Italy and eats Chinese food?” I know it doesn’t make sense, but I had already eaten quite a lot of pasta, pizza and seafood, so I wanted to test out some immigrant delights. The best pizza I’ve ever eaten was in Germany. The best lasagna was in Korea. The best Thai was in Laos. The best steak was in Australia. The best sushi was…OK, that was in Japan, but the point remains, good food is everywhere, and I aim to search for it! Having said that, I had a tasty burger, average Indian food and a fabulously meaty pizza this past weekend.
At VOLO: Urband Fast Food (Via Roma 4), I had a rather decent bacon burger and acai with guarana shake.
At Yoga Ristorante (Via Filippo Corridoni 2), I had nothing special, but certainly enough of India’s traditional flavor to satisfy a craving.
A newly discovered gem, Pizzeria La Napa (Via XXX Ottobre), I customized their margherita to my liking: sausage, prosciutto, pepperoni and bufala mozzarella. The box felt like it weighed a kilo.
And lastly, the perfect accoutrement to any breakfast, lunch or dinner in Italy: espresso di Illy.
I moved to this strange border city without a true identity in July. The World Cup was coming to an end, but our classes were just starting. I spent the past two months here studying during the week and people watching during the weekend. I met the winds of “Bora.” I saw the Italian Renaissance piazzas, the Austro-Hungarian facades upon majestic buildings, the ancient Roman ruins sitting beside cafes melting into the local scenery, the ceaseless energy of the Mediterranean Sea lapping the giant stones of the Barcola, the dogs walking their owners before dinner, the fancy dressed Triestinos, the teenage wannabe punks, babies in strollers, pizzas on every corner, Chinese working the cheap stores, Africans hawking random junk, Indians selling flowers, and there I was, among them all. It is my favorite part of traveling…after eating of course! So, here are a few samples of local life.
Oddly enough, I went with some Indian food for dinner. It was a nice place, full of Indian families with plates scattered about their tables and wonderfully decorated. I ordered samosas and curry chicken and it was all good.
Although this wasn’t a strictly cat museum, it did have an entire exhibit of old-timey photos of people with cats. I like seeing these roughneck soldiers with a fluffy little kitty on their lap. It shows that nobody can resist a lovable cat.
And, here I am playing silly with an ornate mahogany chest.
Our group was out exploring.
Taking someone’s photograph overseas requires courage and perseverance through the language barrier. Sometimes I can manage it, but other times I take the cowardly route and just snap a shot of the life around me. These were taken in various cities in and around the Istrian Peninsula of western Croatia.
It’s a beautiful land, green hills, blue water, fresh air and unpronounceable words.
In case you need to find the Ispovijed, it’s near the WC.
This dress lets you know where to look.
Breaking Bad is cool everywhere.
3 out of 4 women on cell phones.
The Franciscans enjoying a moment of mirth.
She tried to sell us that tablecloth for 10 euro.
The faithful lighting candles.
We got in two minutes before closing. Quiet, empty churches are just as interesting as the ones filled with worshipers.
People love a pope.
On a long day’s tour through the Istrian Peninsula of western Croatia, we stopped in for lunch after a swim in the cool, emerald waters of the Adriatic. Restaurant Najade (M. Tita 69) sits astride the tranquil almost imperceptibly moving water. Our first course was a nice risotto with a firm but chewy cephalopod.
Next, we ate the main course of crunchy calamari, head-on prawns and a dragonfish fillet.
The local white wine, Malvasia, had a well-balanced flavor to match the seafood, with an unbeatable view.
Our dessert, piling on top of way too much food, was soft chocolate crepe and a cherry pie.
Later in the night, when the food had settled and we were looking for a place to relax, I was thirsty and found a rather poor Croatian gelato to pair with the excellent and fun to say aloud beer, Ozujsko.