At this point, I know Chicago is in a complete Christmas frenzy. Florence on the other hand, is not. It's honestly kind of nice.
There are a couple of 99 cent stores that have Christmas decorations for sale, and the streets have big snowflake/star balls of lights hanging above them, but I have yet to see them turned on. I'm enjoying not having Holiday Spirit shoved down my throat everywhere I turn. It's Thanksgiving though, and I'm a little sad about not having my mom's traditional meal... there are many restaurants here that offer a Thanksgiving dinner, but I just don't think it would be the same. My lovely roommate Izzy knew I was feeling a little morose about this, and she surprised me with a mini apple pie as consolation. Awww, so sweet!
Last night I had about 10 people over to my apartment, and I made a massive batch of chili with fried polenta cakes to feed everyone. I've never cooked for that many people before! It was really nice though, and I told myself it was my stand in for Thanksgiving dinner.
On the subject of food, Florence does this thing called apertivo, which is basically the best invention ever. There are an incredible number of bars/lounges/restaurants here where if you go in and buy one drink you get to help yourself to a buffet of appetizer type food stuff. And the food is generally really good. It's such an amazing deal, and I wish it was big a thing in the States!
So, the other night I went to apertivo with some friends of mine. I just went to see people, and I didn't get a drink or help myself to the buffet. A friend of mine came back with a plate piled with pasta and some kind of weird rubbery looking meat. It smelled good, so I tried a piece of it.
I was then informed that I had just eaten stomach-lining.
What???! Eiw! It's called tripe, which I have definitely heard of before but I didn't really know what it was... I always thought it was some kind of fish. I didn't enjoy it... I'm glad he didn't tell me what it was before I ate it though, because I wouldn't have tried it, and now I can say that I have.