It is almost the end of this wonderful adventure in the fascinating country of Italy. I write this from a hotel room outside of Venice, where I am "stranded" at the moment. One cannot enter Venice in a car, unless it's an amphibian, so my only entry to the city is by way of train.
Life halts in Italy for a couple of hours at lunch. Yes, even the trains. I cannot say that this has not been met with exasperation and aggravation (what do you mean there's no other way to get to Venice?). Coming from America, this is startling and rather appalling. But this is the beauty of Italy - it is oftentimes incomprehensible, inefficient, slow - and to the outsider, frustratingly so. But this is why they possess the coveted dolce vita. Nothing is too important than a two hour lunch break where they have molte piatti with friends, family, and who knows how many espressos. I think about the many times I've skipped lunch or sat at my desk to eat, so I could do more work. Do I want to wish that same fate on the Italians? Oh God forbid, no.
P.S. When I finally made it to Venice, I wandered into this beautiful restaurant and found where the Italians disappeared to for two hours (at least). I don't blame them.