Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fireworks Mix-up

One of my colleagues politely corrected me. The fireworks on Saturday night that were blasting at the same time people were honking their car horns actually belonged to the Padua Fairground's Campionaria finale. It is supposedly a tradition that this regional fair extravaganza has a fireworks display. This year had that event coincide with the Inter victory, which was also broadcast on large screen TVs on the fairgrounds, as publicizied by the Campionaria website.

This year's Campionaria dates were from 15-23 May. It's an interesting annual mix of food stands, scarf kiosks, ethnic clothing, alternative TV shirts, horse and dog shows, furniture displays and used car and motorcycle dealership displays. You'd marvel at how many people flock to this event which is open until midnight for the duration of the fair.

This year my husband came away with a great leather jacket from the same people who sold me a great one 2 years ago. And there was the mandatory stop at the Vecchio Birraio, a quality local brew company from the northern part of the province.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The American Dream of an Italian House?

Would you like me to say I bought this as my house? It's a very old historic Italian villa over the water. In fact, this is the not-very-famous Piovego river. Reading other blogs and listening to many American experiences in Italy, I feel like I should be living a dream of buying property like this. But who can afford a monstrosity like this with an honest Italian salary, I ask? In fact, the Americans who buy fantastic property are either independently wealthy, have been paid well for many years by an American company and are probably retired, or have chosen to buy in the small towns in the countryside of the south, where most Italians are not interested in purchasing because there is no industry or nightlife therefore prices are kept low.

I didn't move into this house. I only drive by it everyday on my way home from work. This picture was taken close to sunset.

No one seems to live here or even do events in this villa, a typical use for majestic old villas in these parts. I need to find out some more information about it, but it sure looks fantastic in its romantic aura of decay and history, along this extension of the Riviera del Brenta, bordering Padua.

An Italian Victory?

Inter won the title in Champions League last night. They are a team based in Milan and the competition is basically for the European championship. They beat Bayern Munich 2-0.

You should have heard the fireworks and horns blaring after the game in town. We are not even in Milan. Just the fact that an Italian team took the title was enough for my town to jump for joy.

I didn't even need to watch the game. I could just listen to my neighbors moan or cheer and know exactly what was happening in the game.

It brought back memories of when Italian won the Mondiali (World Championship) in 2006. I could hear the same kind of festivities taking place in the background while I was on the phone with my then boyfriend, F.

Some are complaining about the fact that Inter's roster was almost entirely played by foreigners. So how can this be a victory for Italy? The team trains in Milan, yet its name is short for "International".

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Simpsons Pizza

The Italians love American culture. Just look at this small business flier as an example. Not only is the name straight from an American cartoon series, but even the owner's listed name is American, "Ricky". This man probably has Riccardo listed on his birth certificate, but growing up, it probably became irresistible to don an English version of his Italian name.

At my gym, the owner goes by "Larry" but his real name is Stefano. I can't see the connection, so maybe there's a story.

The theme of our brochure for a pizzeria per asporto/bruschetteria/piadineria in Rubano is even located on a square named after a famous American. Of course, his name was spelled and printed incorrectly: P.zza M. Luter King. Notice the "h" is missing. Although I myself may not be great when it comes to spelling, I find this typical and funny about Italians. They misspell English words all the time since our spelling rules are much more complicated than theirs. They don't bother to verify spelling on internet or in a dictionary before printing hundreds of copies of something. I've even seen cities make street signs in misspelled English, such as Via Pensilvania in place of Pennsylvania.

As for the Simpsons menu, the "dedicated" pizzas offer tastes assigned to specific Simpsons characters including Homer who piles grilled vegetables, ham, brie, mushrooms, pepperoni and more onto his selection, Krusty with hot dog, french fries and onion on his and Lisa featuring Philadelphia cheese with speck. At least, the American cheese was spelled correctly!

Also this place is down the street from "Big Bowling", another adopted American hobby and locale with an English name. It wouldn't be cool if it were in Italian.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Via of the Villas

Doesn't this just make you think of Miami or California? No, it's on Via XXV Aprile, Noventa Padovana (Padua).

The dream of a 1960's/'70's Italian villa: also on Via XXV Aprile. Basically, this house is next door to the picture above.

A country villa from 1800's Veneto style, yet again on Via XXV Aprile.

Don't you see how this area is the utopia of Italian villa-land. Each plot of land offers its century, style and ideal?

Welcome to my new quartiere.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Casa Nostra

Coming up for air.
The house is starting to be comfortable.
Most things work.
Boxes are not only unpacked but mostly in the building recycle bin.
The new paint smell is fading (although not as fast as desired).
Some rugs down.
Dog happy.
Best rosemary potatoes ever with my husband as cook and the new oven.
The computer and internet are running.

This is starting to feel like regular life again.

F and I finished a move, closed up the old apartment and completely furnished a new one in about 1 months's time. Mind you, this is all while working full time, but you already know this.

Now it's time to explore the new neighborhood, grade the landscaping, drink a spritz in the local chic bar, order a pizza out at the end of the street and drool over the fancy cars lining my road. There are more Porsche than Fiat's!

We're in.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pazienza amico mio

Patience my friend

I have so much I would like to write about but too little access to Internet to do so. Between the move to the new house which happened this past weekend, hundreds of odds and ends to attend to, a surprise freelance translation this week and no phone line (or ADSL) at the new house at the moment, I cannot write new posts.

Thank you for understanding.

If the phone service keeps their word, we should have Internet at the house next week, but who knows, considering this is Italy. In their favor, Idl did receive a text message 2 days ago saying I would be contacted by their technician for the phone line installation soon. I hope "soon" is in a few days.

By the way, it's starting to sink in that I am a house owner.