Tuesday, October 22, 2013

But a strange place, nonetheless...

Italy is a strange place for an American who loves all things French. The Italian cheese and wine compare favorably. The Italian baguette is only ever so slightly behind the French. All three are far, far better than anything available in America. The cities certainly match in beauty the wonderful cities of France.  Except for the Selva family - and that is a huge exception - the Italian people are not as friendly to us as the French. But there certainly are shortcomings. Consider bread. I loved getting up in the morning and going out to buy - for €.90 - the French baguettes, still warm from the oven. 7am, 6am, the bakeries were open for business.  Here, they open at 8a. for the €1.1 loaf (all Italian grocery food is more expensive than in France).Too late for us, so we buy them the day before, but they are a bit stale at breakfast. Banks. French banks are there to help customers, tourists or not.  Italian banks are open a couple of hours in the morning for retail business for deposit-holders only. I sought to get coins for the laundry from "our" BNL bank a block away (BNL is a partner bank with our BoA). "No".  No explanation, no suggestions, no appeal from the English-speaking teller. Trains and busses.  The French train and bus system - like the Italian - is efficient, clean, comfortable, and prompt. But schedules are only in Italian and the websites share authorship with healthcare.gov.  For example, the ONLY way for us to get train and bus tickets for tomorrow is to walk to the main bus and train stations and buy them there.  In France, user-friendly GUIs make it simple.

No comments:

Post a Comment