Mexican Food in Europe

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that one of my long standing complaints about life in Italy is the lack of decent Mexican food.  Oh, there are a few places here in Padova, and once in a while I get desperate enough to go back to one, but then I remember why I never…

The Retiree Party

Italy is a rapidly aging country, and sclerotic politics, that much is widely known.  Once again, however, I was to be surprised by an election billboard posted near our home: This is for the “Partito Pensionati” or, translated literally, the “retiree party”.  Their motto is “get off our lawn, you damn kids”.  Not really, I…

Tu Razzista

Immigration to Italy is a relatively recently phenomenon.  Until very recently, Italy was a country that sent people abroad, rather than accepting immigrants in search of better jobs and lives.  Unfortunately, however, like everyone else in Italy, the immigrants have figured out that the consequences for misbehaving are hardly ever very serious, and so the…

Random Notes from the “Big Move”

We recently moved back to Padova, Italy from Innsbruck, Austria.  Here are some various, random notes: Moving truck rental in Europe stinks compared to the US.  It’s something like 3 or 4 times as expensive if you want to rent a truck in one place and drop it off in another, and those two places…

No Kebabs in Lucca

Between Berlusconi and the opposition, there is plenty of silliness to go around in Italian politics, but I don’t like to write about that too much, as it just gets depressing and is covered better elsewhere.  What is occasionally interesting to report are the odd bits of local news that are, at times, particularly crazy…

Alitalia – Off to a Rocky Start

For those wondering what has become of the "new Alitalia", it can best be described as hurtling down the runway, but not gaining a lot of altitude.  The "sale" has been closed, although there is still a lot of union activity going on that’s quite disruptive – apparently a number of people missed their Christmas…

Visiting the Veneto: The Mountains

As if the Veneto didn’t contain enough variety in the towns between Verona and Venice, it also has a stunning set of mountains: the Dolomites, and reaches as far as a short section of border with Austria. The "Queen of the Dolomites" is Cortina d’Ampezzo, an expensive ski town that hosted the 1956 winter olympics…

Rodeling

Many Austrians seemingly know how to ski before they can walk.  In this part of Austria, with all its lofty peaks, skiing is practically the national sport, and it seems that ever other little mountain town has its own ski run.  Unfortunately, I don’t know how to ski, and don’t have the time or money…

Trick or… wait, what?!

The doorbell rang, which was odd – we weren’t expecting anyone, and mail and that type of thing shows up in the morning.  We click on the speakerphone to see if it’s someone outside.  Nothing, so I open the door and look out.  You can imagine my surprise when I saw the individuals in this…

Innsbruck Fireworks

Sometimes, something just strikes you as neat or interesting even if it’s not really anything special in the grand scheme of things.  For some reason, I really enjoyed New Year’s Eve here in Innsbruck.  We were in good company, having gone to our friends’ place for dinner, but I also really enjoyed the fireworks. Innsbruck…