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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Things I’ve Noticed About Italy-Part 10

Lemon and Olive Oil

I noticed the use to lemon and oil on practically everything except breakfast cereal right when I first moved to Italy. In fact, I like lemon and oil on meats, fish, veggies and salads. The true taste of the food comes through without being smothered and masked by Thousand Island dressing, A-1 steak sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard or ketchup. Italians call this “condire” which means “to dress” say a salad and I have adapted this practice “cento per cento”, 100 percent.

Wear the Right Stockings

Now that the cold of winter has approached, girls, ladies and women all over Italy don stockings under skirts and dresses and body stockings under other things to keep warm. If you are, less than 50-60 years old feel free to wear bright orange stockings with red polka dots if they happen to match the scarf you are wearing. Also, feel free to match your stockings with your turquoise purse or gloves. Lime green is also another popular color for stockings, for goodness sake do not fall into the trap of wearing boring old black stockings, they do match everything but say nothing fashionable at all. The worst of all offenses is to wear nude stockings if you are under 50-60 years old, a sign you are not “hip” at all.

Constant Roadwork

All over Italy, roadwork is in progress. No matter what hour of day or night it is, lanes all over Italy are blocked, traffic cones are set up, workers with cigarettes hanging from their lips may or may not be present but roads are narrowed nevertheless. Some areas are notoriously “under construction” all year around, such as the A-1 motorway that passes through Florence. It can take from 20-60 minutes to drive this piece of highway, a distance of about 10-15 miles. In many places the direction of traffic changes weekly, silly circles spring up, concrete barriers are installed then taken away just as quickly. There is a constant clash between the environmentalists who do not want the motorway widened and the progressives who want better roadways for travel and commerce, the battle wages on.

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At 3:38 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I love the stocking post. It is so true. What's more to it is that the colors tell you what type of person you are reflected in the color of your stockings. You're bold when you wear an off the wall color. Especially in a red or orange or green. I guess Italien women have a lot to talk about by expressing it in what they wear.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Connie and Rob said...

The colored stockings sound very nice but if your legs are not terribly skinny like mine...red or orange just wouldn't be the color I would choose. Maybe something in a vertical stripe...that might make my legs look thin!


At 12:13 AM, Blogger Judith in Umbria said...

Hmmm, Gia, I am in that older-than-dirt category and I have splendid stockings and tights in every crazy color and pattern. The legs, after all, are the last to go.
My child sent me a pair to love-- red with red satin bows marching up the back where once all stockings had a seam. I try not to wear those when they match my eyes.
I also have lime green with maribou trim, but the maribou comes off in the washer.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous J.Doe said...

There is an awful lot of road works and construction zones by me. A lot of the roads are closed off and traffic is directed in a direction that was not possible one week prior. I rarely see any workers though, even those just standing around with cigarettes in their mouths.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Mona said...

Happy New Year sister!!

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Cairo The Boxer said...

woof woof. Happy New Year

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Laurie said...

Hey MISSY!!!! I am just under "older than dirt" but fast approaching "older than dirt" so watch out!! You might be seeing me in lime green any day now....in fact now I know what you can get me for my 50th!!

At 4:33 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

Geez, I never said "older than dirt" that would be about 5 billion years old. Where is this coming from? Ha! Ha! Glad you gals have a sense of humor about it. As you know I am a tame dresser. Give me a pair of Levi's and a cotton T-shirt and I am in heaven. So seeing all the wild stuff that Italians wear really surprises me.

At 12:40 AM, Blogger Judith in Umbria said...

Well, no you didn't, but we understood what you were saying! Fifty these days isn't like days of yore. You can hardly tell anymore who is and who isn't.
I agree that many Italian mums give it all up at some point, but often before 50. Laurie and I are Americans and are not constrained to wear flowered polyester coveralls and ugly black shoes. While I wouldn't wear teenaged style clothing any more, nor those runway clothes with parts missing, I can't imagine giving up wild stockings and earrings.
If you are comfortable wearing jeans and T shirts, I'm behind you, but I have a job writing about street fashion (for all ages) in Italy and have to pick a city to begin it. Maybe I should make it Torino? On the other hand, maybe you don't actually know where the chic shops are? I had decided on Bologna. So what do you think?

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Laurie said...

I DO have a sense of humor my dearest G!!! (Not to mention that if you looked in my drawers (NOT DOWN, IN!!) you'd see a lot of black tights...BUSTED!!) If Judith came here to Torino, I think she'd agree with me (and I do know where the chic shops are...just not where the chic CHICKS are, other than us, that is!!) that fashion-wise the girls in Piemonte are a bit.....J.C. Penny-esque shall we say?? Wherever else we go in Italy, Saverio and I always notice that people are better dressed in general than here. Now.....I do have some ugly black shoes....

At 12:26 AM, Blogger Judith in Umbria said...

Who doesn't have some ugly black shoes?
If Torino is fuori moda, I guess it's to be Bologna. Too bad, as it would be delightful to do girl stuff with Gia and Laurie.


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