The busy days and nights of Italy
So far, an entire two weeks into our trip, we have met with countless families. Many people wishing to see us to reminisce about old times, to reconnect, or simply to enjoy our company over lunch or dinner. We have been through Torino, Milano, Pinerolo, Mombresto, Aglié and Bibiana to name a few towns. Each meal that we have enjoyed with our hosts is unique and is made to be entirely perfect. The flavour is always full, as are the plates, and our bellies once we are done eating. The meals here are not like North American meals in that everyone stays at the table to eat, and the meals go on for hours. They are a veritable affair, a time for everyone to catch up and to discuss current politics, sports, or travel plans. After the first courses, dessert may be served, followed by fresh fruit and espresso. Oftentimes we would end up relaxing at the table with some wine and sparkling water for several hours after our meal to catch up. The country of Italy is a small one, but its many valleys, mountains, rivers etc form a sort of barrier between mini cultures. Every town has historic landmarks and natural tourist attractions which draw people into the regions. Also the manners which people prepare their food or drink will vary slightly depending on which town you are in. Among the valleys around Torino, the presence of French influence becomes much clearer and pronounced, and the intonation of the language becomes ever so slightly more distanced from traditional Italian.