Why Julia Roberts Was Right About Italy

I have been on a diet for as long as I can remember. You would think I’m kidding when I say this, but I have not stopped counting calories since I was 15-years old. How pathetic, you must be thinking. But hey, you weren’t the size of a baby elephant on a tiny human’s body!

I’ve forever lived with the guilt of ‘OMG! how dare I smell that buttery croissant!’ The voices in my head always said, ‘Shitika, how dare you even look at that cake?’ OK, that part is a lie – cake is one thing I eat (and a lot of) without any guilt. You’ll rarely ever catch me say no to a big, chunky piece of creamy, spongy chocolate cake, with perhaps some fluid ganache running through the middle. And a soft layer of airy mousse on top. Mmmmm!

What were we talking about?

…. Right, calories!

Picture dated of the 50's showing British violonis

I’ve been away from London for just over three weeks now. I have hiked in every country, told strangers my most intimate life details, ate fresh salad straight from farms, danced with Greek men on questionable house music, and for the Italian part of my adventure, I have eaten all the food available in the country. Yep, that’s correct.

Since the past 11 days, all I have done is eat. Eat and perve, but mainly eat. I know women who go on ‘bikini body’ diets before coming to the Italian coast, but me, nah, give me all the cheese and bread, dude! As for the perving, have you seen the men in this country? I cannot get enough of them – young, old, middle-aged, in a pram, on a bicycle – I’ll have them in all shapes and sizes. If you are one and reading this… call me! Chances are, i’ll ask you to make me some rustico filled with mozzarella and then jump you, and most definitely in that order.

Now without getting distracted by the irresistible sex appeal of the inhabitants of this country, I am here to tell you that if you’re planning on holidaying in Italy anytime soon, be prepared to not fit in your trousers on your return back home. This is why:

  1. Refills of bread at every meal: You wouldn’t even have to ask for it; the bread basket will be sitting on your table, even before you arrive and it will stare at you with its carb-filled, white eyes until you eat it all. Usually made with durum wheat (which is easier to digest; yeah keep telling yourself that, Shitika), the bread is soft, fluffy and incredibly airy in this country. You needn’t dip it in any oil or smother it with butter, it’s orgasmic just as it is. Multiple orgasms, might I add.
  2. The waiters and bartenders sex appeal: As I said earlier, the male species of this country is so damn sexy, you wouldn’t be able to resist from ordering that cheesy pizza or a chocolate-filled croissant. Another little bonus for solo female travellers, give these handsome men your best smile, say ‘ciao’ and see the extra magic that lands with your order – mainly in the form of another sweet, fat-laden treat.
  3. Blame the hotness around you: No, not the temperature, but the human hotness. Every male or female Italian who walks past you, will have the most enviable physique, that while inadvertently make you drool over your margherita pizza. So much so that you will not be able to come to terms with the fact that the cheese on your plate is one hundred percent capable of marrying your love handles. And when you go for your morning cappuccino, and see the girl in a bikini eat a very creamy puff pastry delight, all available courage in you body will commit suicide and force you to order the same whilst forgetting how disgraceful your metabolism is.
  4. The organic and fresh element: For about 5 seconds, you will feel really good about the fact that your plate is filled with all natural, handmade, organic and local produce. Everything in your gnocchi is grown on the farm behind the restaurant and there’s nothing that’s come out of a tin, packet or powdery bullshit of the Western world. Ooh la la, the joy of eating organic.
  5. You won’t waste anything: Everything is made with so much love and attention; sometimes restaurants will even use the grandmother card and allure you by saying that the recipe is a 100-year old family dish that’s made by the oldest lady in the house. Damn that bitch! How could you leave anything on the plate when the grandma is making it for you? To top it all, the bread basket we spoke of, yeah that’s just there so you can clean the sauce off your plate with the lusciously fluffy bread. You will literally want to leave nothing on your plate.
  6. Cheap wine: Even when you go and order house wine with your dinner, and pay about quarter the price you will pay in your respective countries, you will get the best of the best vino. Half a litre of vino russo will cost you about 3 EUR / 2 GBP / 4 AUD / 3 USD / 200 INR. Get the point? It’s bloody cheap; how can you resist from drinking 5L of wine with dinner? No, I didn’t do that. Of course not.
  7. Gelato. It’s illegal and rude to not have gelato every single day of your time spent here. Full Stop. You wouldn’t want to mess with the law.

Now, if anyone needs me, even all you London-based Italian men (CIAO!), I will be living at the gym for the rest of my life to get rid of all the excess baggage I’ve piled on.

A crossfit date is sexy, right?

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