And now, what I'm sure you've all been waiting for... picture spam!
It's taking me a while to upload everything, because I took over a hundred. So it seems like you will all be peppered with random Italy posts months and months after I've been back.
But more importantly: Here are the first pictures of the FOOD! I know where your priorities are, largely because mine are in the same place.
For anyone who's interested, these correspond with being in-transit to Italy and the first day in Ravello.
Welcome to the baffling wall of facial products.
A small alley. Our hotel door was basically a tiny door in said alley, except it opened up to an entire mountainside complete with seascape.
A little villa by our hotel, which looks like small Italian villas in movies might look.
I loved watching the lights come on in buildings on the other mountain; they look like tiny Christmas lights strung all over the trees.
The belltower of the local church at dusk.
I liked the contrast of the modern glass building with the old stone.
Our first food in Italy! Well, except for the sandwiches at the airport. And lunch, where I forgot my camera. Ok... my first picture of food in Italy! This is cute heart-shaped ravioli.
All the calamari here comes with entire shrimp as well; it seems that the Italians are just as non-squeamish about shrimp heads as Chinese people. This makes me very happy. Also, they do something with the calamari so that it's thicker and chewier; less crispy, but with more to sink your teeth into.
Four season pizza, with mushrooms, olives, ham and artichoke hearts. The middle gets a little watery and soggy because of all the ingredients, but oh, the crust!
My favorite part of the meal, simple porcini mushrooms, perfectly salted and sauteed.
The giant platter of appetizers that seemed to be in all Italian restaurants we went to. I think this is where they eat most of the vegetables, and it didn't take very long for me and my sister to get addicted to the eggplant.
Meat on a plate!
The specialty around the Amalfi coast and Naples seems to be these giant, ugly, lumpy lemons. Ergo, limoncello. This, however, is a wonderful lemon sorbet, served in half of said giant ugly lumpy lemon.
Alas, the tiramisu is fuzzy. We originally weren't going to get dessert aside from the gelato, but I saw the giant platters of tiramisu and Italian cheesecake when I went to the bathroom. This was absolutely delicious, rich, with just enough espresso and alcohol to take the edge off the cream, and bitter cocoa powder to top it all off.
The tiny little hall where we saw the music concert. I loved the "town hall" feel of it.
Pigeons! As you will find by my many pictures, pigeons amuse me.
The path to the concert. I don't think I'll ever get over how cool it was to have all these old buildings around.