In preparation for some big travel plans next year, I decided to enrol myself into a language course.
The tongue of choice? Italian.
One would think that growing up in a family where English was a second language, you would learn to speak your families native tongue. Unfortunately, in my situation, this was not the case. I think I understood more Italian as a 5 year old than I do now. It is pretty disappointing so I am making the effort to learn it. I am starting a course here, in Melbourne, to learn the basics, before heading off to Europe next year and attending a more advanced school in a little beach side town called Taormina.
The Centre of Italian Studies is located just behind the very vibrant Lygon Street, also known as Melbourne's "Little Italy". This is the perfect spot because it means that every saturday, after class, I am forced to treat myself to some fine Italian cuisine.
My place of choice is D.O.C. If you close your eyes and just breath, the smell of fresh italian coffee and buffalo mozzarella, and the sound of conversations you can't understand, make you feel as though you are sitting in a small café in Rome. Docs boast some of the finest simple, traditional Italian food on Lygon Street. Very rarely is there a day where I have not had to wait for a table. This café is always full of customers treating themselves to some of the best piadini in Melbourne.
They have recently opened up a traditional Italian delicatessen next door, selling prime cured meats and a cheese selection to please every palate.
If you're lucky enough, though this did not temp me, you might even catch them carving up a freshly cooked roast and serving it with fresh ciabatta rolls. I don't eat meat, however that doesn't mean my mouth doesn't water when I smell something delicious!
I can't wait to immerse myself in the European culture next year and look forward to sharing my journey with you.
For now, I will leave you with some photos to make your mouth water.