It’s hard to believe that August is over, our three months in Eastern Europe have come to an end, and we have at last arrived in Italy, where we expect to spend at least five weeks.
On one hand we saw so much in those three months in Eastern Europe — from the vast expanses of Siberia to the beautiful pines of the Curonian Spit to the stunning cliffs of Montenegro. And yet it seems like we just scratched the surface of this incredible part of the world we set out to explore. I can’t help but to imagine when we’ll return to see the things we didn’t get to this time — castles in Romania, cafes in Belgrade, and lakes in Macedonia. And we still didn’t get to Moldova, nor do I yet have any sense of what is there.
Brindisi, our first stop in Italy, is mostly just a sleepover on our way to Naples. While we expected a gritty port town, we found so much more: streets bursting with whatever magic makes Italian towns so…um…Italian. It’s some combination of marble pavement stones, dull facades, ornate facades, faded grandeur, messy commercial buzz, traffic chaos, ancient monuments, coffee bars, iron railings, strollers, and cats and dogs going about their business.
And food. For dinner we found a perfect little trattoria on a perfect little side street. Four or five outdoor tables. Young people, old people, and some in between. A half carafe of house wine for €2.50. Food unassuming, cheap, and perfect. September is going to be a good month.