29 October 2022
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Even More Italy

The Joke About the Drums Stopping

Perhaps you know the joke about the drums. I think it may be politically incorrect but one is never sure these days, so I'll tell it once removed by suggesting you click the link in the heading. The point of the joke is relevant to this blogitem, however. I've been doing too much traveling recently, and if I wind up my Italy blogs, you might end up in Tombstone.

So What's Left?

Quite a bit. Underground cheese, Marko's mom, Lake Como, the Duomo, more wine, my pasta kit, and learning to pick vegetables.

And, of course, pastry.

Underground Cheese

This is more cheese than I have eaten in my entire lifetime, although I've probably had a greater variety and I rarely make the effort to eat it underground. The people that made it gave us entry to the temperature-controlled underground cave where it was piled to the rafters or whatever they call them in Italy. (They have different words for almost everything.)

After the viewing, we repaired to an associated restaurant in which various cheeses were served along with a lamentable lump of polenta. Everything else was delicious, of course.

Marko's Mom

Marko has no ordinary mom. Ordinary moms don't have estates, and don't have sons who organize group tours of Italy, as Marko did.

Marko, pointing, and the wing of the estate in which we had a fabulous dinner. I think there was an ambassador or two dining with us, along with the mom herself. Gracious dining, wonderful food. We had a tour of the other wings as well. As I recall, they were filled with Artifacts of History. (Notice: Most tours of Italy don't include moms. Select one that does if you can.)

Lake Como

Lake Como was a bit of a disappointment. Not because it wasn't beautiful, which it was. Not because our hosts weren't wonderful, which they were, but because I had heard so much about it and we had so little opportunity to do more than that detailed in the following sentence: We drove to a spectacular hotel, saw a gorgeous lake, and drove back to Milan, all in about three hours. Damn You, Relentless March of Time.

The Duomo in Milan

What can I say? That is one great big enormous fabulous ornate Duomo, to which this picture and the many others I took cannot do justice. If you click on the photo below, you'll get a slightly better impression of its majesty and intricacy, but only slightly. I suspect, since this is a pretty famous building, that you just might find more information about it on the internet, along with professional photos. It's not elliptical, though, so I'll leave the commentary to others.

The Farm

Long ago, when I moved to New Jersey, I learned to recognize common fruits and vegetables. Of course, in my youth I had eaten fruits and vegetables, including the banana, for which I developed some facility in removing its integument. In my New Jersey days I discovered that one needn't rely on restaurants and parents to deliver comestibles. Rather, they came from "stores" at which one "shopped." Perhaps I was insufficiently curious at the time, because it was only recently that I found out where the stores themselves get their vegetables. You're probably ahead of me, but for you city folk, the answer is "farms." In Italy we visited a farm. At this farm we were encouraged to remove vegetables, five-second-rule notwithstanding, from the ground!

These are genuine actual vegetables that I personally extracted from dirt! They come in green and yellow, and I'm sure there are red ones, too, but I don't remember if there were any at the farm.

At least for the purpose of this blogitem, I regret I don't sport any tattoos, since they would would conclusively identify the arms holding the box containing the vegetables as my own. You'll just have to believe me.*

After the "picking" process was complete I and the rest of the group turned in the vegetables to be modified into food, specifically soup. It's possible that I ate some of my own-picked veggies, but having failed to anticipate this outing far enough in advance, I neglected to bring any radioactive tracers to apply to them,

And there's more!

Italy is famous for "pasta," such as spaghetti and other sizes and shapes of noodles. When we were allowed to go inside away from the land and sun, we found a long table had been prepared with machines and ingredients. Space limitations preclude a full description of the process of turning these ingredients into pasta, but the docent guided us through the process. (It involved breaking at least one egg, covering ones hands with powdery material that eventually came off, and a lot of squishing.)

At the left is the machine into which you put the ball of squishy stuff made from the ingredients including the egg. After turning the handle enough times and folding the extrudate, you end up with the material at the right: individual pastoids of various dimensions.

These, too, were collected and turned into food, which we all ate. Or so they assured us. It may have been a batch made by hidden experts in a different room. They might not have wanted to take a chance.

Are You Wondering:

<Wine Cheese>

Is Italy only wine and cheese? No! They have bakeries and Linzer tortes as well.

V Pastry V

Italy and Time Have Two Different Problems

And yet they're related in a way. There's too much Italy and not enough Time. For each photo in my last few Italy blogitems, I probably took 10 or 20. As eager as I am to regale you with palaces, arts, artifacts, comestibles, and our fellow travelers, I must move along. I'm sooooo behind!



* Of course you don't have to believe me. It really does seem improbable, doesn't it?

Richard Factor


"Let's Active"

Blue Line



Cheeky was a rock & roll band in the 1970s. Unlike most random band shirts, I knew the personnel, since one of them was Tony's brother Robert. Sadly, all I have to remember them by is this shirt.

Possibly, somewhere, I have the text of some radio advertisements I wrote to promote a show of theirs. They ads were never aired.

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