When Italians have their male dogs neutered they don't want them to be embarrassed, so it seems to be a standard practice to put in prosthetic balls.
Zeke kept his distance from us for the first couple of days. Not shy--just checking us out. Eventually he decided that we were OK.
(Man, but I look tired in that picture. Possibly because I was)
And by now people are wondering--what about the Italian food? What about the Italian wine? What about sipping a cappuccino, or slamming down an espresso?
Well . . . Amanda dislikes Italian food. And Robert is a heck of a good cook (does a mean chicken curry, and his Turkish zucchini/feta fritters are to die for). We did get pizza the first night, and we ate out twice--at the first place I had mussels with pasta, and Bob got gnocchi and a pizza, and both were quite good (the Italians don't drown their pasta or their pizza with toppings). We also had some delicate orange fritters for dessert. Another day, I had pasta carbonara with guanciale (sort of like bacon but from the jowl) and squash blossoms. One evening when no one felt like cooking (or going out) we walked the couple of blocks into town and later feasted on bread, fresh buffalo mozzarella, another cheese that I bought just because it looked good, black olives, prosciutto. So we didn't starve. (and Robert made those fritters on two nights!)
As for the wine and the coffee--well, the temps were in the mid-high 90's, with the heat index (what they call "real feel") well into the hundreds, so our major liquid of choice was this.
As part of their rental package they get several cases of water on a regular basis. We took at least 2 on every trip. Not to be too delicate about it, but never have we drunk so much and peed so little. (Oh--check out the marble staircase. Posh, huh?)
When Bob and I are separated from our cats for more than about 45 minutes, we start getting cat hungry. Fortunately, Amanda has two--Alba and a recently adopted street stray. Like Zeke, they kept their distance at first but we soon got some much-needed cat time.
Alba was more interested in getting her head scratched than in posing. (The picture of
Bob taking a nap with little Gato seems to have disappeared. It may have been another one that Amanda took)
We did go into a mall so that I wouldn't leave Italy without having gelato. And, indeed, it is superior to ice cream. More dense, more silky. While we were in the mall, Amanda pointed out the area where you could rent the equivalent of strollers for your kid. They're stuffed animals on wheels that you just pull behind you. They make up in cute for what they lack in safety--Amanda pointed out that there are no straps. The kids are expected to hold on. We've noticed that a lot in both Mexico and Italy--people (and kids) are expected to watch out for themselves, so there is often a lack of things like straps or railings. It's up to you not to fall off.
Finally have to show Amanda's dwarf pomegranate tree. Adorable, no?