Only a few things matter in the culture of Italians: family, food, and wine. Which, honestly, are really only the three things you need in life.
I met a couple of these Italians while I was in line checking into the hostel. Mattia and Enzo. They were part of the group of Italians I mentioned in a previous blog who made the mass amount of pasta with sauce. Well, tonight, they invited me to join them. Life lesson: whenever Italians offer to cook for you, you ALWAYS say yes!
I went to the local market and bought a couple bottles of wine as an offering to their delicious meal. When I get back the set up reminded me much of Christmas dinner at my grandmother’s house (she’s Italian). The table was set for eleven and nearly every person had a job to do. One was working on the salad, one cutting the garlic, one the cheese, one the pasta, and quite a few just sitting around drinking wine and eating cheese. Organized chaos is what I like to call it. I have no idea what anyone was saying because only the younger people could speak English but I felt so at home. “These are my people,” I thought to myself.
Before long, dinner was served. And at this point is when it really felt like home. After a brief toast is made and the wine glasses are clinked it’s pretty much off to the races. Only Italians can manage to clear a giant dish of pasta within minutes.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and finishing the remaining bottles of wine and we all fell asleep smoothly. Life Lesson number two: wine before bed helps you sleep through people snoring.
The Next Nights Dinner was Even Better…
I walked the majority of the next day with Mattia and Enzo. It didn’t take long until the conversation fell onto food. Enzo mentioned he was in the mood for pizza that evening and thought maybe we could find a pizza shop to go to instead of cooking. But Mattia had a different idea: he loved making pizza and insisted he could make a really good pan pizza.
I was instantly on board with the idea. Pizza is my favorite food and if it was going to be made by an Italian then I was sure it would be delicious.
When it came around time for dinner, Marco, a man from Spain was already in the kitchen preparing pasta with his home made recipe for sauce. He boasted that it would be the most delicious meal anyone would ever eat. This suddenly turned into a cookoff, suggested by a Canadian. Spainish pasta vs. Italian pizza.
The pasta came out first and we all dug in. Much like the previous night, everything was finished within an instant. But this time we didn’t just have Italians at the table. We had people from Latvia, Canada, Italy, United States, Spain, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Australia, and Lithuania.
Just as the kilograms of pasta began to settle in our stomachs the pizzas started rolling out. One after another of perseonal sized pizza of all different toppings for a total of seven in all. Just as they hit the table dozens of hungry hands reached for a slice of some of the most amazing pizza my tastebuds have ever encountered.
Once the pizza was finished the remaining wine had to be drunk. We stayed in the kitchen until about ten when we were all forced to go to bed by the hostel owner. When you are staying in these Pilgram hostels there is usually a curfew which is usually a good thing so you don’t stay up all night partying.
The night ended the same way most nights end. The entire world coming together. I feel like I’ve writted about this alot but each night becomes better and better. I just can’t get over how incredible it is to have conversations with people from all different parts of this world. So many different people from different backgrounds all walking the same path for different reasons. It truly is the most beautiful thing. I love this world and I absolutely love this life.