I need to have a terrace.
If you can't have a backyard, and there isn't a city park on your block, then a terrace is probably the most peace you will find in an apartment building or hotel. Even when there is noise and traffic and everyday life right below, on your terrace you are separated just enough to cancel everything out as "white noise" or at the most "people watching." You don't have to uncross your legs so people can pass on the sidewalk, you don't have to pay extra to drink your coffee sitting down (as is the norm here), and you can even hang your clothes out to dry overnight. In TN I have a door stoop that I've covered with flower pots in a feeble attempt to convince myself that it is, indeed, a terrace. Unfortunately there isn't room for a table and chair, so I sometimes just sit on the step and drink my coffee. It's not the same, but it'll do for now.
This week, after exhausting most of the popular tourist sights in Rome, we took a little side trip to the coast. Instead of watching pedestrians, our terrace offered a breathtaking view of Sorrento with the infamous Vesuvius looming on the horizon. We shopped, we strolled, we took the bus to Positano/Amalfi. We sipped Chamomile in the evening. We tried to watch Netflix, but it doesn't work overseas. I fell asleep sitting up with a tea cup and a C.S. Lewis book in my lap. A lovely time was had by all.
Now, one thing about the south you need to know:
There is a big dispute over whether the pizza is better in Naples or Rome. In Naples, the pizza has a thick, soft crust with just a taste of topping. In Rome, you get a crispy and almost focaccia-like crust loaded with goodies -- zucchini, eggplant, sausage, mushrooms (but I hate mushrooms), tomatoes (don't like those either), peppers, onions, cheese... Whatever you want. So I'm casting my vote for Rome. The famous "Margherita" is remarkably plain in both places. Sauce, mozzarella, and basil leaves. It's not bad, it's just not amazing. I can't enjoy this when I know I could have a slab of pizza with a half inch layer of sausage, peppers, and onions for 3 Euro. Yes, please.
I'm afraid I may have lost track of my gelato! But if I remember correctly:
Straciatella - didn't have enough chocolate flakes, I may try again at a different shop.
Chestnut or Hazelnut - I wasn't sure, but it was good.
Mint - probably my favorite
Coconut - I got chocolate as my second flavor, loved it.
Crema - egg custard, didn't like it.
I know there's one I've forgotten, and I think it was an Italian flavor I couldn't identify. Keep in mind that in every small cup of gelato you choose 2 or 3 different flavors! But I've still eaten a lot... 4 more days, and I'm running out of options. I may be forced to go to the fruit varieties. Maybe paired with chocolate?
OH! One last thing: After more than a week, I finally saw a beautiful Italian man yesterday. He made my cappuccino at the "bar" by the bus station. I think it was love at first sip ;)