It’s not every morning you wake in the darkness and wash your hair and get ready for an interview on Italian TV.
Two things: I’m shy. That’s why I write. It’s so much easier to type in silence than to chat out loud. (ON TV.) However, I’m also adventurous and willing to try just about anything, so when producers at Aria Pulita found our collection of stories from the Italian region of Emilia Romagna and asked me to join them for a conversation about travel in Italy (and Oregon!) on their local television show out of Bologna, Italy, I said yes.
A third thing: I know I can’t reference the show without posting a link, so here it is…but, honestly, I can’t even bear to watch myself. I got twenty seconds into seeing my face on the screen and had to turn it off. (Go easy on me. Hah.)
I’d had all sorts of notes scribbled down for reference, but once the time came, translation between English to Italian slowed the pace and cut out detail…
So, just for you, the behind the scenes version:
1) What’s your blog about?
– Life and the things we love experiencing: travel, adventure, food, and family
– I began writing my first blog in 2003 in preparation for moving to New Zealand for a stint at Lincoln University’s department of Landscape Architecture
– I started another blog with a friend several years later to share about our experiences sourcing, preparing, and sharing sustainable food here in the Pacific Northwest
– twoOregonians came to life as Ted and I started preparations before we left for our year abroad and has continued to touch in on our seasons of life since returning to home in Oregon
(Just the two of us and the best Italian pizza ever)
2) How is it to travel in Italy? Cheap? Expensive? Are Italians nice? Is it hard to get information about places to visit?
– I’ve visited Italy three times, and Ted’s been twice: the big cities and big sites are fun (Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Pompeii, Capri), but our time in Umbria and Emilia Romagna, and specifically Bologna, felt more like home
– As with travel in many places, it can be cheap or expensive depending on your tastes and your connections; asking for recommendations from locals was a great way to find good deals
– The Italians we spent time with were more than gracious
– It wasn’t hard for us to get information about places to visit, thanks to very welcoming tourism boards and other travelers willing to share tips. The Emilia Romagna Tourism Board welcomed us generously to a home base at Blogville in Bologna and arranged to share many local experiences with us during our time in the region
3) Which place in Emilia Romagna would you recommend to visit next weekend? Why?
– Head out to the coast – Cesenatico! Here in Portland, Oregon, a perfect weekend trip is a drive out to the Pacific Ocean. When we were spending time in Bologna, the train ride out to the town of Cesenatico on the Adriatic Sea reminded us of that experience. It was a treat to get fresh air off the water during our walk on the pier, to see the boats, to sample seafood and, when we were there, to see the Frecce Tricolori Jet Team…
– Also, I’m a landscape architect, and it was really a treat to see the port canal that was surveyed and drawn by Leonardo da Vinci
(Port Canal in Cesenatico)
For a bite to eat local to Bologna: Dinner at Antica Osteria Romagnola
– we loved the quiet, unpretentious atmosphere and the beautifully prepared tastes from the region
4) Which place in Italy would you recommend to visit next weekend? Why?
– I’d head toward Pisa. Not because of the Leaning Tower, but really despite it. By good fortune, we met friends Kinzica and Alessandro of 100 Days, who introduced us to sweet spots in and around the city
University of Pisa’s Natural History Museum
– living fish species (including piranha!)
– reconstructed dinosaur fossils from Patagonia
– displays of ancient geological transformations of the Italian region
– the largest continental European collection of whale bones, with full size examples running hundreds of feet down the long stretch of exhibit hall
– oddities gathered during previous centuries’ periods exploration and discovery of then-rarely visited corners of the earth (kiwi birds and puffer fish, salmon coral and baby human skeletons!)
Pizzeria ZenZero, tucked away outside the city in Vecchiano
– past ancient Roman aqueducts and fertile farmland
– some of the best pizza we’ve eaten in our entire lives
– a wall of beer to make Pacific Northwesterners proud
De Coltelli Gelato
– artisinal, fresh-made, top-of-the-line-ingredients gelato
Pizzeria il Montino
– Cecina (chick-pea-magic)
– Gourmet chocolates + teas, coffees, honeys, wines and liquors
– a bit of a drive, but worth it for mouthwatering mussels
See this original post for all the links and details: An Indie Trip to Pisa
What do you recommend to see to an Italian visiting Oregon?
– Portland is easy: fly in to PDX, see all sorts of sights (Travel Portland is a helpful resource)
– Check our walking guides to Portland for ideas around town
– But then, get outside the city! We grew up in the Willamette Valley, and there are so many places to explore: Head to Silver Creek Falls, and if you’re lucky (and wise), stop for doughnuts at E.Z. Orchards Farm Market where they’ve been selling the bounty of Oregon farmland since 1929
– If you’re ready to off-road it, find your way to Abiqua Falls
– Visit Oregon’s wine country and stop at Red Hill’s Market
– Get out to the coast and make a visit to Cannon Beach
– Last but not least, no trip to Oregon is complete until my traveling friends have made a stop for fresh, hot treats and house made chai tea at Pip’s Original Doughnuts
Midweek cheer from @traveloregon! 💚 Thanks so much for the surprise package and the kind note. I couldn't be more proud of the Oregon Tourism Commission and their current Seven Wonders campaign. Now, to dream up a few more summertime adventures and put my new @polerstuff rucksack to work… #traveloregon #hāndyme
The Emilia Romagna Tourism Board provides suggestions and guides for all sorts of local Italian experiences.
The Blogville site provides links to write ups from many, many travel bloggers who have visited the region, including this collection of our stories from Emilia Romagna.
Our tidbits about the Portland/Bologna Sister City Connection.
The Art Cities of Emilia Romagna eBook, which includes a few of our stories from Italy.
[Google translate:] I admit that I am Italian from a certain effect have in my hands a guide to an Italian region, written in English. But not last long: after watching Italy with foreign eyes can be an antidote to the disillusionment that too often the reserve. Moreover, in the past were not the writers of the Grand Tour, from Montaigne to Goethe to show us how much we were rich and beautiful (to our knowledge)? Nor is it surprising that it is precisely the Emilia Romagna to let it tell: it is still the land of Pier Vittorio Tondelli, the writer who first, in the ’80s, he made great literature describing the minimum life of young people, including travel, music and fun (his articles are collected in a Postmodern weekend , a book that is almost a blog avant la lettre, ed.)
-Eugenio Spagnuolo writing for The Huffington Post, April 5, 2014
>> download The Art Cities of Emilia Romagna PDF eBook for Apple and Android devices
>> read The Art Cities of Emilia Romagna PDF eBook online
(You’ll find the recipe for homemade Taglietelle pasta on page 105!)
So, there you have it.
The rambling, random notes and tidbits running through my head before the interview, and the 15 minutes of fame cheeseball chatting aired on TV sets half way around the world.
What on earth was I thinking?