1. The names here are so Italian it's hard to believe they are real - during the past two nights of going out on the town, I've met an Antonio, a Luca, a Flavio, a Guiseppe, and a Fabio. Yes. His name is Fabio. Then there is Gianluigi, one of the Italian roommates that some of the CET students are living with, and of course we know Stella, Francesco, and Cosimo. Cosimo's mother is Natasha, because she is English, but Francesco's step-brother is Gabriello, and Stella's ex is Lino. I love it. It's so Italian.
2. The Italians don't binge drink, and the women hardly drink at all. This is why American girls have a bad reputation abroad, because not only are they binge-drinking Americans, they are binge-drinking girls. Instead, Italians tend to drink enough to loosen up and get tipsy (although I've seen plenty of soaked Italians at the bars), and the women typically stick to 1 or 2 drinks.
3. Italians stay out late. In America it's typical to go out on weekends around 10:30 or 11, but here the bars are empty until around midnight, and the bars don't close until 3. Thus many Italians stay out until 5 in the morning every weekend. Perhaps this is why they love their midday nap so much!
4. Wine is ever-present here. Rachel and I slept until noon today, seeing as we had been out until 3 last night, trying to be good Italians. Stella came into our room to tell us that we had missed breakfast, but that lunch would be ready soon, so we ventured into the kitchen/living room area, where we saw that Lino (her ex) and Cosimo (the grandson) were there as well. We sat down to eat, and Lino promptly tried to pour us wine... keep in mind that we had been awake for about an hour! Rachel made a tricky maneuver and quickly grabbed the water before Lino could get any vino into her glass, but alas, I was too slow. I attempted to slowly drink my wine over lunch, but I have decided that I am not hardcore enough to drink wine so early in the day. However, we are used to having wine every evening, as they told us that it is not dinner unless there is wine.
5. Guys. I don't like cheese. This is a problem in Italy. I can handle the mild stuff like mozzarella (which I actually enjoy eating), but the more intense cheeses are pretty difficult for me. I haven't told Stella that I don't like cheese, because I want to try to expand my palate and eat what the Italians eat, but lunch today was pretty cheese heavy. There was pecorino, a hard, strong cheese that they drizzle honey on top of - I got about half a slice down. Then we also had crostini, pieces of bread with some sort of cheese spread on top, plus dried tomato or eggplant or pesto. I was expecting the cheese spread to be ricotta or something of the sort, so I took a big bite. Alas, it was something awful, akin to bleu cheese. Ick. I forced a couple more bites down to be polite, then concentrated on the prosciutto and the salad.
That's it for now - Rachel and I are off to meet up with some of our friends to go ice skating in the park!