It’s my last day in Italy & what an amazing holiday it has been. I’m on a train on my way to Rome from the east coast Ancona. The almost 4 hour train ride gives me a chance to stop & reflect as I watch the gorgeous scenery go by from the ocean to mountains, the rolling hills of the countryside with an abundance of farmhouses, grape vines, olive & fig trees. The rustic charm of pastel coloured Italian villages etched into the hillsides. Bay tree hedges, fresh herbs & vegetable gardens scattered everywhere.

I am just so grateful to have experienced such diversity in the 2 weeks I’ve been in Italy. The first 4 days was the Emerald Class trip organised by Thermomix in Australia.

Afterwards I travelled with my 2 friends Adriana & Susie best friends & Thermomix consultants from Sydney, I travelled with them last year after the Emerald Class trip to Las Vegas. Adriana is originally from Italy so it was good to be travelling with her as she can speak Italian & we got to meet & stay with her friends & family throughout our journey. It was such a good way to experience the authentic Italian life.

I only learnt a few words of Italian but just loved sitting at the dinner table listening to everyone speaking in Italian, laughing & enjoying good food & wine. You can really taste the love & generosity of an Italian shared meal & you are guaranteed to be completely full (& in a major food coma).

We caught a train from Lake Como to Milan for a few hours to meet one of Adriana’s cousins for lunch, walking past the awesome duomo on the way. We went to one of his favourite casual restaurants just opposite his apartment known for the authentic Puglia style food. We had a fried dough filled with mozzarella, mushroom, basil & tomato. It was great & I also had a chinotto. (Bitter Italian soft drink).

Then we caught the train to Padova to stay 3 nights with Adriana’s Aunty & Uncle.

We explored the city of Padova for the day. Did I mention Adriana & Susie are expert shoppers? They also love good quality food like me. So between site seeing the local churches of Padova, we explored the food markets, bought some fresh focaccia, mortadella & prosciutto to make a picnic brunch. We had our Italian breakfast at home, sweet biscuits, short black coffee (I had hot milk with mine) homemade jam & small toast style crackers.

We fell into the Italian routine & made it our own. After breakfast we would have another coffee. We would have a late lunch & apperitivo. Dinner is always late normally about 8.30pm. Plus I was on my gelato challenge so would have at least one gelato stop a day & 1 day I had 5 in one day!!