Soup, er, I dunno

Our last night in Italy was Easter and we opted to have dinner in our hotel as we assumed, wrongly, that the city would be virtually closed. It was not. Utterly nothing was closed unlike Germany where you could not get so much as a bottle of water on any Sunday, much less Easter. Italy was hoppin.’

Our hotel was a glorious, luxurious place. And the dining room had a kind of 50’s feel with navy blue velvet cushioned low chairs with cream welting, and marble floors. We had a seat in the window with a glorious view of the Mediterranean. It was crepuscular (setting the scene here). I ordered the four-cabbage soup (zupetta) as a starter probably not the most scenic, romantic or Italian thing I can think of but I like cabbage soup. What I got was beautiful but also insane.

The leaf thing was a savory cookie. The “cabbage” turned out to be cauliflower, an error in their English translation on the menu which is sort of understandable I suppose. An expensive hotel serving expensive food ought to know better. But OK.

This was not soup. The cauliflower was not cooked. Or if it was cooked at all it had been only for a brief moment before it was artistically placed in the . . . the . . . the . . . the . . . I have no idea what that was, pudding maybe. It wasn’t pourable and It was almost unflavored. It wasn’t bad although I do not like running into clusters of uncooked rosemary and thyme. If it had had more flavor I would have had some guilty pleasure eating this decadent dish. As it was I ate it more in confusion than anything.


Is an easy trip from Berlin—aside from the fact that we had to get up at 4 am for a 6:30 flight but it is a short flight. My sister had been here last year and loved it. So we, the ol’ ball and chain and I, decided to go. After all the weather in Germany is not all that great at this time of year and, well, Italy.

We arrived at like 8:30 in the morning and what had not occurred to me, among the many other unrelated things that don’t occur to me, was that we’d gotten up at the buttcrack of dawn and would arrive in Naples shortly after that buttcrack but we would be unable to access our (spectacularly stupendous) hotel room until 3 in the afternoon so we’d walk like zombies around the city until then. So . . . fun!

We chose Naples in part because it didn’t seem to me like a top choice tourist destination and that appeals to me (as, you know, a tourist). Visitors or not, the streets were completely and absolutely jam packed with people. Apparently all Italian. I can’t say what they were doing there because the shops were, in fact, pretty much just for the tourists. But I loved looking up the side streets. We walked up a few and I can say, with some authority, that they are better viewed from a distance. We stopped early on and had what the Italians think of as coffee and later a pizza (Naples, the home of Pizza) which was fabulous.

Eventually, and about 10 minutes before I was going to just freaking lie down and sleep in the street (a quieter side street, tho), we were let into our hotel room. OMG. So fabulicious.

The goddamn view from our room!!