Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween from Italy!

Hello everyone. I hope you all have some suitably spooky plans for this evening?

We have been doing special Halloween lessons with the youngsters in these last couple of days. Do you think my look was suitably scary?!

The teeth were actually so uncomfortable I could only leave them in for 5 minutes at a time. Should have gone for a witches hat.

 If you haven't kept up with my tweets (@BritInItaly!) then here's another reminder to check out my horror story on the Displaced Nation website.

check out my story here!
 And finally, my long weekend starts tomorrow! We have decided to take a trip to Pisa and Florence, so expect a write up and pictures upon my return. The weather up there is really  bad at the moment, so hopefully it won't ruin our plans too much. As we'll have to get up fairly early in the morning, I don't have a Halloween rave planned for tonight, but I do fancy getting all cosy and scaring the beejesus out of myself with this classic Italian horror film:

Go the trailer here....

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

News and nibbles

I have some exciting news to share with you.

As of yesterday, I became the new contributor to this super stylish blog:

You can find my article on living in southern Italy here, and make sure you stay and look around for a while! There really are lots of pretty things to feast your eyes on.

In other news, it was a friend's wedding yesterday which unfortunately I wasn't able to go to, due to work commitments. So the boyfriend bought me back these tasty treats:

sugared almonds

what can only be described as fried, gooey, creamy, amazing bites of heaven (or: I don't remember their name!!)
 Every guest received a box before they left, and after munching his way through a million courses, my man thought it best that he brought the goodies back to me. Score!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Weekend report

So, this weekend I was supposed to go to a christening, but unfortunately it had to be postponed until December. (Which means rethinking the dress I was planning on wearing. Hmm...)

I did have a lovely time on Saturday though, because I had a very nice meal (well, would you look at that, another post about food...) with some friends at their new flat.

I'm going to admit the fact that I didn't play any part in the cooking (let's face it, would you interrupt an Italian in the kitchen? I thought not...). All I did was wander around, snapping photos and chatting. I did bring the dolce though, which I always consider to be a fundamental part of the meal.

We ate and talked and ate a bit more, then almost fell asleep on the sofa, watching the rain (yes, it does rain here...sometimes!) :D

I adore that yellow wall!

One o'clock IS wine o'clock :D
The secret to a good risotto? It's all in the stirring!

But now it's Monday, so long lunches with friends will have to wait a few days. I do only have half a week this week though, as Thursday and Friday are public holidays. Wooo! And I have a rather exciting trip planned... ;)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

All you need is...antipasto!

What finishes off a long, tiring week perfectly (apart from a spa weekend/massive lie in/bottle of wine)?

Yes, that's right, a fabulous Friday feast.

Myself and my man found a cosy, local restaurant and indulged in a host of tasty antipasto dishes.

I think it's best if I let the photos do the talking....

Fresh tomatoes and mozzarella
Who knew veggies could taste this good?
Prosciutto and salami
Bruschetta and Focaccia

Provola cheese from the forno
Pampanella: yummy, spicy pork
Are you hungry now? ;)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Expats Blog Interview (plus- TGIF!!!)

I don't know about any of you, but this week I'm SO glad to see Friday!

Recently, I've been working on some exciting collaborations with other blogs and websites (more about those soon!) but today I thought I'd share a recent interview with you.

The lovely folk at Expats Blog contacted me to do an interview about my experience in southern Italy. And, here it is:

Feel free to browse the site/tweet/like/share/laugh at the pictures. :D

I hope you all have a smashing weekend! I'm off to (another) christening on Sunday. Dress and food pictures to follow! 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Too much cake?! Is it even possible?!

So, I'm pretty sure by now that you are aware of my love for all sweet things. Gelato, chocolate and in particular, CAKE.

But even I struggled with this helping of sugary/chocolatey/creamy awesomeness that was placed in front of me at a recent family get together:

I mean, oh my WORD. I got through half of it and was almost in a sugar coma already. The hardest thing about it though, was that I wanted to finish it, because it was all just SO.DAMN.GOOD. Starting from the fork and working clockwise, we have nutella cake, some kind of lemony/spongy/gooey thing and of course, tiramisu.

I couldn't eat anything for about 2 days afterwards. Only then was I ready to face the nutella jar again.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Friends are like a good bra...

...supportive, hard to find and always close to your heart.

For today's blog post, I have taken inspiration from Corinne at Cat Eyes and Thigh Highs, who writes about how important and valuable friends are.

Being an expat, you get to experience an exotic lifestyle, a wonderful climate or maybe a great job opportunity. But there are things that you have to sacrifice once you have decided that the expat life is for you. One of those things being friendships.

Now that's not to say that you must cut all ties with people, seeing as you've decided to make the move abroad. But it's not like you're going to be able to pop round for a cuppa and a few too many chocolate hobnobs anymore. You have to make use of Skype (and its fondness of crashing), rely on (expensive) phone calls and emails. Maybe the occasional tweet here and there.

It takes a special friend to deal with the distance. Take my best friend for example. Even if we haven't seen each other for 6 months, or perhaps not spoken for 3 weeks, when we do get in touch, it's like nothing has changed. It's not forced. There's always stuff to say. We just carry on as normal.

So, to all you fellow expats out there who totally get my drift, and have moments where the ONLY thing that could cheer you up is your best friend/a cuppa/biscuits, send a tweet/email/Facebook message to your bezzie right now!! Because even though you have moved away, they are still as awesome as ever. And to those non expats who have been to busy with work/family stuff/boyfriend/shopping(!) recently, I suggest you do the same ;)

Here's my favourite girl, who, by the way, has a very important job interview soon, so please all wish her the best of luck!

Monday, 22 October 2012

More Italian music!

Back in May, I wrote a blog post on Italian music. But now I feel the time has come to once again update you with some more Italian music finds. Behold, some new songs by my favourite Italian artists:

and yes, even this one:

Go on, give them a listen! You never know, you may discover something you like...

I'll leave you with this little inspirational message from the one and only Winston C, and wish you all a Happy Monday! 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Almost time for olives!

After a lie in, a delicious cappuccino and a stroll around the shops this sunny Saturday morning, my boyfriend took me on a little drive into the countryside to see his family's olive trees. He reckons that it'll only be another few weeks before they'll be able to pick them (I offered to help. I may regret this.) Once picked, they'll be made into gorgeous, green olive oil. There really is no taste quite like it.

He commented on how the olives look really good already. But don't take his word for it, see for yourself:

Have a great rest of the weekend! :)

Friday, 19 October 2012

The girl in the yellow dress (part 2)

I recently posted about a great new dress that I picked up from the very purse friendly Oviesse. Well, last weekend it has its first official outing, and a religious outing at that.

Paired with a scarf and heels (which I deeply regretted later, as I discovered we had to walk A LOT and up HILLS and on COBBLES), it was perfect for my boyfriend's niece's christening.

His other nieces look pretty cute too, don't they? ;)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Here's a little midweek mini-blog for you. 

See that button at the top? Yep, the one which says 'find me online'? Click it. Because there you will find one of my new expat articles which has been featured on the fantastic Expat Hub website. And if you're too lazy (let's face it, many of us are) to go up to the bar at the top, you can also click here

In other news, I have recently received the biggest bill in the entire world (OK that may be an exaggeration, but only a slight one) for the summer months. I just have one thing to say (apart from many, many bad words): AIR CONDITIONING COSTS A LOT. I was actually shocked into silence (yes, it happens, albeit rarely) when I saw the amount. I know it was a scorching summer but GOOD GRIEF. Looks like it's going to be budget budget budget for the next couple of months to make up for that whopper. 

And finally, on a lighter note: fabulous readers, I need your help. I have been nominated for an expat blog award (yay!) but I can't win on my own witty words (how much alliteration is THAT?) alone. I would LOVE it if you could click on this little link below and leave me a lovely comment. Thank you in advance! :D 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Assisi: Prepare to be impressed (but don't wear heels)

Here, as promised, is my full report on my recent trip to Assisi. Now, it won't be as extensive as the Sicily Chronicles, but I thought I'd give you an update.

On Saturday morning, at 7.30am ( hurts to even remember it) I traipsed down stairs and waited for my boyfriend to pick me up. We were to meet with his brother's family and parents, and complete the 4 hour drive in convoy. My doubtfulness at the likelihood of actually carrying this out was quickly shot down by my boyfriend, as he said that it was important that we left early to get to the bed and breakfast on time. (On time for what? A nap?). Anyway, I was there, it was 7.30 and I was ready.

We ended up leaving at 9am.

The situation was nothing other than farcical, and my boyfriend's dad turned to me and said:

Ahh Amy! You should write about these kind of things!! (Errm...sort of already got that covered) 'A typical Italian family trip!'

Southern Italian, my boyfriend corrected, growling almost as much as me at the situation.

The amount of 'stuff' required for two days. Good grief.
And so it continued. We waited, we were late, we waited some more, we ate too much. We were even late for the Christening by about 40 minutes. But, such details aside, it has to be said that Assisi is beautiful. Full to the brim with tourists, but definitely worth a look, even if you aren't so religiously inclined. Just take my advice, and don't wear heels. You will be walking uphill. When you've finished gawping at the beautiful basilica di san francesco, have a meander around the town. There are lots of cute little shops. We ate a fantastic meal at Buca di San Francesco, a gorgeous restaurant that's perfect for big parties but also for 'normal' dining too.

Not far from Assisi is the city of Perugia. Not to be missed, if only for the chocolate production. Take a stroll around the centre and have lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants, then stop at a chocolate shop to stock up on goodies. I did.

On Sunday evening we also had a jaunt around Foligno. Unlike the south, there were hardly any people out and about having their evening walk, but it was still a pleasant city. It reminded my boyfriend of Parma somewhat. We finished off the weekend with a cocktail in a cosy little bar.

This area of Umbria is beautiful, and definitely worth a visit- a long weekend is perfect. Watch out for the windy roads though- the views of the countryside are stunning, but the sharp bends are a little nauseating....

Monday, 15 October 2012

Spotted! The dirtiest band ever??

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a smashing weekend.

I'm now back from Assisi, tired and full with sore feet from accidentally wearing high heels to walk up hills.  

Anyway, expect a full report very soon, but for now, I thought I'd leave you with this incredibly funny find, seen at an Autogrill near Pescara:

What a crap CD...their music is just s**t...(enter more jokes here..)
 Happy Monday!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Sausages and Spuds: Italian Style

Every part of Italy has its own sausage.

The other evening, we picked up some yummy Pugliese sausage, and decided to do something exciting with it. So, this is what we did, and I suggest you try it too:

1. Take a baking tray, and add some chopped onion and a garlic clove split into 4 (don't forget to remove later. Not that I've ever forgotten..ahem)

2. Chop some potatoes (we used 4 or 5 medium sized ones for two people) into wedge-sized pieces. You can see there's no uniformity with mine. Add the potato to the baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Then chop up the sausage into pieces. Add to the tray, along with a little chopped tomato, salt, pepper, rosemary and another drizzle of olive oil. Mix it all up.

 4. Put in the oven at about 200, but after about 5 minutes, remove from the oven, add half a cup of water and half a cup of white wine. Add half a crumbled stock cube.

5. If the ingredients are looking a bit dry, add another cup of wine/water and mix. You may need to do this a couple of times. Keep a watchful eye on that sausage!!

6. It should take about 40 minutes in the oven, but this may vary slightly. When the potato is cooked through and the sausage is browned, you're ready to go! You can also grill for an extra 5 mins to make it nice and crispy on top.

 This is a perfect dish for Autumn- hot and filling. Buon appetito!

And finally.....

This weekend I'm taking a trip to Assisi for a Christening. I've never been before so will write a full report when I return on Tuesday. Have a smashing weekend!!