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  1. whisperinggums

    Ooh goodie, a travel post. And one about my favourite, to date, European city. I can still remember my excitement when I got off the train there and saw Brunelleschi’s dome (on the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore). Love your photo of it… I look forward to more glimpses.

  2. Simply Life

    Wow, can I go there too now? Actually I must say, that may be the best looking fast food I’ve seen! 🙂

  3. Kristy

    Vegan gelato, I really do need to get myself to Italy 🙂

  4. Helen (grabyourfork)

    I’ve always thought the octopus look pretty packed into star shapes like that but now you’ve corrupted my mind and I will never look at them the same way again. lol

    And it’s true, you take for granted all the colloqualisms you use in everyday speech until you head overseas. I used to constantly confuse my English mates when I suggested we stop at the servo and grab a sanger. And the number of times I had to explain what a bludger was… lol.

  5. Hannah

    Whisperinggums: I didn’t know Florence was your favourite city! I guess we’ll have to see if anywhere in Spain knocks it off its pedestal, right? 😉

    Simply Life: Italians definitely know how to do great food!

    Kristy: That reminds me, I actually found vegan gelato at a gelateria, too. I’ll have to revisit my photos to work out which place it was for you 🙂

    Helen: Whoops! 😛 But you’ve been known to paint your photos in rather risque lights too, you know, so I think we’re even 😀 You’re right, though – it’s always the little colloquialisms that trip up conversations overseas! I remember confusing an American friends when I said I needed to go put on a jumper. (Maybe they thought I had a jacket made of kangaroo skin?)

  6. Amy

    YES! I have always had a problem with renaming countries, they should all be called as they are in the country, why do we have to make things more complicated by making up 5 different names for one place.

  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    LOL now that you mention it… those octopi… 😛 Oh dear now you’ve done it! And I suppose “shouting” is like the term “taking the piss”. Can cause odd looks!

  8. Johanna

    I agree that Ben and Jerry’s beside the basilica is a travesty but I must protest at your cringing re Canberra’s architecture – I am really proud of it because it isn’t afraid to be modern and some of it is really beautiful. OK though I have to admit that I love the florentine architecture (how do you say florentine in Italian?)

  9. Hannah

    Amy: Super pleased that you agree 🙂

    Lorraine: Yes, that’s another one! Slightly more tricky to explain… 😉 (It’s really very odd when you think about it literally.)

    Johanna: If you’re talking about places like the New Museum, then I shall bow my head and meekly agree with you somewhat. But I was thinking more about the endless office buildings and ugly apartment blocks… particularly the one in Woden that looks like a giant pimple from afar… And oops, you’ve caught me out! I don’t know enough about Italian grammar to answer that one. Firenzian? 😛

  10. Johanna

    I am thinking the war memorial and old parliament house – I confess I am fond of some of the 1930s buildings. Oh yes I also remember some of the terrible buildings too in Canberra from my visits. For some reason the name Woeful Woden comes to mind!

    But I think many of the european cities that we love have eyesore buildings too – the place I know best is edinburgh with some of the most amazing buildings but also terrible modern ones (though my favourite eyesore called Melbourne Place had been replaced on my last visit). So I am just protective of our Australian architectural history and also like to acknowledge that some modern buildings (like the New Museum) are lovely.

  11. Hannah

    Johanna: Ah yes, those are quite nice too. And New Parliament House has the slopes of grass for rolling down, so the architects got something right 😛 But Woden is even worse now… it’s Woeful Westfield Woden. I think you’re right – most cities have their architectural highs and lows. Even in Florence, the area around my hostel was far less gorgeous! I shan’t be so disparaging about Australia in the future, I promise.

    1. whisperinggums

      LOL, we have our own WWW here in Canberra. But, good for you Johanna. I think we do have some nice architecture here too. The National Library is a lovely classic but modern building; the National Film and Sound Archive is another of the lovely old 1920s/30s buildings.

  12. Vaala ◪

    Gilmore Girls!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, I got a bit excited…

  13. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    YES YES YES about the names! I have whinged about this before, and think it’s ridiculous to not call places by their actual name. Hannah for president on this policy!

  14. Hannah

    Vaala: Completely understandable 😀 That show was good times.

    Conor: Fantastic, there’s a whole coterie of us behind this issue! Together we shall change the world! (Can we have a secret handshake?)

  15. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    ::Sigh:: Oh, I miss Florence. What a gem. Just last night I closed my eyes and remembered sipping cocktails on the patio of Oibò as the warm late-summer air swirled around me. Then I showed my Aussie companions how to tie a cherry stem in a knot using only one’s tongue, and they all said they’d never seen/heard of such a thing! Do people not do that down under? It’s a great bar trick, I tell you. And it’ll impress any date you ever have. Which makes it all the more disturbing that I once saw my mother do it, but I digress.

    Oh god, it’s a good thing I didn’t see that Ben & Jerry’s while I was there, or my traveling companions would’ve witnessed quite a rant…although I’m sure they’d have found me just as easy to ignore as when they insisted on getting Starbucks in Madrid (say it ain’t so!) and McDonald’s in Cologne, Germany (oh the agony!).

    *I agree with you about place-names, especially since you included the word “transmogrify” in your argument 😀
    **I had no idea! That’s one I didn’t learn, oddly, while traveling with a gaggle of Aussies for 5 weeks. I think “pissed” and “poofta” (sp?) were my favorites.

  16. Hannah

    Amber: I am speechless with how utterly, utterly, utterly we were destined to become friends. My mother, too, can tie a cherry stem in a knot using only her tongue, and has been called upon many a time to show off this party trick. I’ve never really tried to do it myself, but I now feel I must dedicate my life to the task.

    Interestingly, I think I saw more KFCs around the world than McDonalds… but I was equally unhappy about it.

    * It’s the deal-clincher, right? 😀
    ** Obviously your Aussie friends weren’t as generous as they should have been. When you visit, I’ll definitely shout you some lovely glasses of wine 🙂

  17. croquecamille

    Absolutely agree with you about the place names. Really, Japan should be called Nippon, and Greece should be called Ellas (to give two examples of places whose names use alphabets not included on my keyboard).

  18. Hannah

    Camille: Hurrah! More for the crusade! (I didn’t know about Greece/Ellas… ta :))

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