Before I had the pleasure of spending time in the great nation of Italy, most of my preconceptions about that nation were to do with wild hand-gestures, bad driving and women with mustaches.
Having now spent some time in that fine country I now know better. Sure, some of the hand-gestures were pretty effusive, but the people were loose and welcoming, the gigs were professionally organized and I didn't see a single mustachioed woman in the whole week we were there.
What I really learned about Italy is that if you have intelligent, sensitive Italians to guide you to the right place, every single thing you put in your mouth can be a transcendent experience.
I mean, where else in the world do truck-stop boutiques look like this???
Fucking nowhere, in my experience.
Anyway, I'd like to take this space to share some gratuitous Italian lunch porn with you.
First stop, Faenza. We didn't have a gig here, but we were breaking a big drive by crashing with Morena, the proprietor of Clan Destino, an all-in-one venue/wine/bar/high-end-eatery. We'd sampled her cuisine before and my mouth started watering about an hour before we arrived. I was not disappointed.
I opted for a selection of raw and smoked fish. The whole dish was only about a dozen mouthfulls, but every one made me moan and shake in a kind of sensual melt-down.
The Baaron opted for some octopus with potato and greens in a tomato based sauce. I had some. It was the business.
Followed by home made gelati that was so good it made me cry, and a couple of Morena's grandmothers pastries. Fuck me.
Next Stop, Pescara, the location of the first show. We have a shamefull history in Pescara, and I was nervous about being seen on the street there. In the end a few strangers spat at me and one guy tried to set fire to my jeans, but we came out in one piece and we ate well.
Once we hit town we were firmly in the hideous clutches of this man, local punk-made-good and concert promoter Paolo Vizio.
Paolo is a very difficult guy to be around. He has many personal habits that are frankly disgusting and his violent temper seems to flare up at the worst possible moments. But Paolo knows how to do two very important things.
A: Put on a great independant music festival and
B: Have lunch
So let's fast-forward through the next five days of lunchtastic, gastrotronic awesomeness.
...and here we see the Baaron going through the daily task of digestion.
This happened to all of us after pretty much every meal, and it made us late to every sound-check, but fuck it. It had to happen and I feel like a richer man for it.
So thankyou, Italia, for serving up endless amounts of THE BEST SHIT I HAVE EVER TASTED, and to Paolo for shepherding us and making sure we got the good stuff. I didn't really mean that shitty stuff I said about him.
Paolo, come on! You know we love you, man.