What a wonderful tradition happy hour is! A time when friends can gather and join in a few post-work drinks and perhaps a little nibble to eat. We’ve always known happy hour to be a 5:00pm – 7:00pm (ish) time to partake in a few cocktails at a discounted price.
Caffè Mazzini – Our favorite Happy Hour in Como
We were pleased to find that the tradition of “happy hour” also exists in Italy and it’s even called the same thing (just imagine saying it with a funny little accent… drop the sound the “h” makes). However, it’s a bit different here.
Instead of discounted drinks and food, you usually pay the same price for the drinks (which always tends to be low anyways… between $4 – $6) but get a big bonus. ALL YOU CAN EAT heavy hors d’oeuvres – Italian style!!! Imagine a bar full of pasta, pizza and other wonderful treats. If you’re not to embarrassed to fill a plate – you can easily have enough for dinner. Continue reading Happy Hour – Although This One Was Unhappy!→
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there is a market on the north side of Como. It exists just outside the old fort wall that surrounds the original city. There is a collection of over a hundred vendors, most which arrive in their vans and vend from open doors.
Vans – vending on the other side
We strolled through and decided there was nothing we needed before moving on to a late afternoon snack (more on that in a subsequent post). Below you’ll see a collection of the random items you can purchase if you so choose. Continue reading Saturday Market in Como→
Whoever said the “easy-going” Italy lifestyle is “easy” was pazzo (crazy). Take for example our experience in obtaining cell phones.
We thought it would have been simple. We both have unlocked iPhones that only required a TIM card (the same as a SIM card in the U.S., you just have to slide it in… batta-bing, batta-boom). We had been briefed that there are no cell phone plans; you simply pre-pay for the week, month or year. We had decided to get plans with voice, data and text – just enough to help us find each other if separated and maybe find a good trattoria (restaurant) if we were in a new city.
So one nice day (maybe 3 days into our trip), we decided to walk across the street to the local TIM store. The woman did not speak any English and we didn’t feel comfortable picking a plan blindly. So we did what we always do… we asked Jen’s uncle Franco (who lives upstairs) for his help.
I think this will be a recurring theme… most differences are charming, some can be frustrating and all of them can be humorous when looked at in the right light.
A perfect example of some of these differences that “welcomed” us to our new life in Italy was our own house key.* There are normal keys right next to it so that you can get a proper scale.
Didn’t know we were living in a bank vault!
*When we say “our house,” we really mean Dominic and Diane’s beautiful home that they have so graciously allowed us to live in for the next year. We’ll do a separate post with pictures of the place as well.