In Italy, there are a variety of law enforcement corps that specialize (and often overlap) in several functions. The Carabinieri (dressing in light blue in the picture) are the Italian military police. The Polizia (dark blue shirts) patrols highways and railways. The Guardia di Finanza (usually dressed in elegant gray uniforms) goes after IRS and tax evasion violations. Finally, the Vigili Urbani are those officers who dispense parking tickets on the streets. In this regard, a friend of mine told me a word of wisdom: you don’t want to be a Vigile Urbano in your own town…
Bruschetta is an extremely simple appetizer to make. Yet, every time my mom does it, it tastes so original and so good. The secret is all in the quality of the two key ingredients: ripe tomatoes and olive oil. This year for the first time I tried to grow my own tomatoes. The difference between the home grown fruits and those purchased at the store was like day and night. We only use imported extra virgin olive oil at home, often brought back from one of our trips overseas. Don’t settle for an average bruschetta. Strive for quality of the few basic ingredients and avoid the temptation to add more ingredients in lieu of quality.
In Italy, you can start driving at 18. Students in the process of getting their license, can drive dad’s car (with daddy inside) if they display a big letter ‘P‘ on the back of the car. P stands for principiante, that is beginner. The journey to graduate to ‘crazy Italian driver’ implies the following next steps:
– get the license
– get rid of the un-cool P sticker
– convince daddy that there is no need to come along anymore