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Italia oh Italia

Apa sih yang menarik tentang Italia? Mafia? That’s one part of the charms, I have to admit. Italian guys are gorgeous. Rasanya seperti ketemu bintang sinetron di mana-mana. Suka tampang Fachri Albar? Di Italia banyak banget. Cari aja di pasar-pasar. Bejibun.

Lalu apa lagi dong? Makanannya? Italian food is undoubtly the most favored food in the world. Not to mention one of the most well-knowned. Pizza? Semua orang tahu. Espresso? The best in Italy.

Jadi? Orang tidak bisa menggambarkan Italia dalam satu kalimat tentang apa yang paling menarik tentang Italia. Bicara tentang makanannya saja? Itu hanya satu aspek. Makanan dan kopi? Belum lengkap. Makanan dan kopi dan Italian hunk sitting in front of you in a quaint little café, dikelilingi bangunan dan gereja yang usianya ratusan tahun? Now, that’s more like it.

The point is, Italy is one package full of charming, quirky things that warm your heart to the very core. It’s in the food, the comfort of substantial food with the best ingredients you can find in the nearby market. It’s the espresso found at a local coffee bar, savored sip after sip while standing on your feet, resting your elbow on the counter, waiting for the next train or metro or bus or vaporetto to take you to your destination du jour; the aroma of fresh brewed caffè and the warmth of the sweet pastries that engulf you; the bang-bang-bang chatters in Italian and the quick pace of everyone going to work; the winking eyes of the barista behind the bar who serves your breakfast of the day. And it’s the mellowness and the slowness of enjoying lunch and dinner, the lingering espresso after meals that can stretch for hours.

In a country where a 300-year-old church is considered new, it’s not easy to pinpoint one word that describes all. Today you visit a museum of modern art with the likes of Warhol on the walls, in a city that had been built by its people to escape the Hun, and then gone to war against the Ottoman empire. Tomorrow you’ll go to an island which is famous for the art of making blown glasses and chandeliers, and you’ll buy cute glass rings for your friends back home. Yesterday you went from one trattoria to another while comparing prices, and picked one that served you the best spaghetti aglio olio pepperoncino you’d ever tasted, in a quaint narrow alley that lead to the piazza with the fountain of hundreds of years.

I told you: Italia, as they fondly and lovingly call it, is one package full of everything you dream about in long hectic days at work. One package full of beautiful places, great food, good coffee, nice people, and to be enjoyed one at a time. To be savored thankfully so to sustain you when things get rough and you need some place to escape your mind.

And if you happened to be in a charming café near a 13th century building, sipping espresso after long lingering lunch, with the most gorgeous man this side of Jakarta, well, you might say you’re ready to die happy.

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