Monday, April 14, 2008

Italian elezione

Yesterday I sampled the crisp Florentine air by going out to buy some fresh salami and pane (bread). Now that I have written that sentence, I am wondering why I refer to salami as fresh, when the best kind is sometimes left to hang for a few weeks?

On my walk I noticed that a lot of the shops were closed and it was well after 10am so I didn't understand why. Then it hit me, yesterday was the second day of voting in the Italian elezione and I guessed that was the reason.

I've only really 'lived' in Florence for 7 weeks now so I will not profess to any knowledge whatsoever of the Italian political system apart from what I see on CNN, which is the only channel I can understand here. But I have spoken to a few local people here who say that living conditions are getting worse. According to them, the taxes are high but public services are inadequate. CNN reported that the national debt is so high that for each Italian there is a 1200 Euro debt. (It was early morning, half awake, when I listened to this but I think I have this information correct).

So, it was with interest that I waited for the results to appear on the internet this morning . But I see that the current leader, Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, won again. What this means for Italy I don't really know. However what I do know is that compared to Australia there is a lot less advertising in the weeks leading up to the election. This could explain why their voting turn out was low.

Late last year, the Australian election was held. During the boxing match Johnny vs. Kevin it was impossible to watch any TV programme without being bombarded by annoying and biased advertisements slandering each others political party. Here in Italy, it seems a lot more civilised and whilst I can't comment on Italian press as I don't read it, the TV did not seem to have every second advertising spot crammed with ridiculous election advertisements. Aussies, you know the ones I am talking about.

As the Italian country voted, I waited at home for my husband to return from work. He was working late as he had received some very good news that afternoon. Our paperwork for moving here permanently had come through. Anyone that has dealt with the Italian immigration office (or any immigration office for that matter) will understand the significance of this. If you have been the recipient of my sometimes angry emails, you too will understand!

So, I decided to make a big antipasto dinner to celebrate. I didn't have any wine at home but had bought some beautiful oranges at the markets that morning. Imagine my surprise when I cut one open and saw a brilliant red coloured flesh. At first I thought there was something wrong with the orange but then realised I must have stumbled across the Sicilian blood red orange. This delicious arancia made deliciously sweet orange juice and we sipped it in wine glasses with our plates of fresh/old salami and cheeses and celebrated the fact that we after six long months in between three countries, we will now have a permanent home soon.
Book recommendation: Well I have a confession on what I will be reading this week. Whilst I love reading books, especially autobiographies, I also am a fan of trashy magazines from time to time. This week my husband flew to London for a meeting and asked me if I wanted anything brought back. I'm ashamed to say that at the top of my list were an English Ok! magazine and Cadbury's chocolate.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mons

I love Blood Oranges, and in fact my favorite Apperitif is Campari which is Italian Blood Orange Liqueur. I love it with Soda, with tonic or with orange juice, I even invented a cocktail using it called a Camptini which is 2 parts vodka, 1 part Campari, dash of bitters and 2 parts Orange juice. Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass with a twist of orange peel. Voila!!
Such good news about your visas, I'm relieved for you and excited you will be able to stay in beautiful Italia. Love Rhons

Simone said...

I understand the hankering for cadburys, sadly we are nearly at the end of our caramello koala stash - that will be a sad day. I am sure you sympathise.