Dear Ms. Marist,
I studied abroad in Florence and am missing it like CRAZY. The food, the culture, the men… How can I live like an Italian in Poughkeepsie?
Dear Reminiscent Romantic,
No way—I studied in Florence, too! I guess we got lucky with this one! Does it drive you crazy too how gorgeous everything about that place is?
I miss everything about it too, more than I’m ready to admit. But there are ways for us to pretend we’re still there. Here’s the top three restaurants you can visit when you’re craving that authentic Italian feel that tastes like it came straight from Nonna’s kitchen:
MILANESE, slightly more expensive than the other two but well worth the price bump, is a favorite of mine. It’s a relaxed restaurant, but with some authentic Italian-style ambience to boot. Wave a hello to the Romanesque statue out front on your way in. Milanese is 1.4 miles away from campus.
ALOY’S serves thin-crust (traditional Italian style) pizzas and other traditional dishes in an understated, muraled setting. This restaurant may have been around the longest of the three It’s priced terrifically, is only 1.2 miles away from campus, and tastes. SO. Good. (This next fact might take away from the Italian feel – but there is a drive-thru here. In between classes, pick up a traditional pizza on the run!)
PIZZERIA BACIO feels the most like Italy to me, and has the highest rating of the three on Google. This family-owned pizzeria reminds me of when I used to stop in little side-street stores for pizza on my way to class. The vines ambling across the ceiling, the red and green walls, and the wine bottles (everywhere!) add to the delicious dining experience. This one is 2.9 miles from campus, but I promise it’s worth the travel.
The best part about Italian culture is how positively easy it is to replicate anywhere you go. Il dolce far niente… the sweetness of doing nothing… exists in your own home, on your walk to class, while you eat, and everything else in between. Buy a bottle of wine and prepare a home-cooked meal with your friends (featuring lots of olive oil, balsamic, and mozzarella). Turn on the Top 50 Italy playlist on Spotify for every moment in between.
And as for the men… honey, there are Tinder men and there are Marist men, and neither of those things are Italian men. This bit deserves another advice article entirely – nay, an entire library stacked with articles. But if you had an exotic love affair while abroad I’m dying to hear about it. Make sure to cherish it for what it was; it will help you open your heart to what the world has next to offer.
Arrivederci, Ms. Marist