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TRAVEL

ITALY - THE MOST GEORGIAN COUNTRY

I love Italy only slightly less than Georgia. Luckily, our national rugby team had an away game in Florence, which provided me with a reason why I “had to” go. This trip convinced me yet again that Italy is the best country in Europe and that there really isn’t anywhere else I’d rather spend my free time.

“Is he Italian or Georgian” – this was our favorite game to play during our travels. Apparently it’s almost impossible to distinguish these two ethnicities from one another. This became particularly clear now, when 10,000 Georgians all ended up in Florence at the same time. “Hey look at the Italian Levan Maisuradze! Look at the local version of Givi Bitsadze! There’s Edo Grigorian! – there were just so many doppelganger.

Georgians recognize Georgians abroad pretty easily, although they typically avoid eye contact. Here however, we come across tens if not hundreds of “clearly” Georgians who turn out to speak a completely different language.

Hugging. Rome, Trastevere. November 2018. Coach. Florence, November 2018.

Italians like to dress all “wanna-be gangster”-like, as do Georgians. Most of the people walking around the streets are metrosexual and wearing leather jackets. They’re loud like us, and tactual – lots of touching, hugging, gripping. I like to think that we too are full-fledged members of the Mediterranean family, just unlucky with our adversaries unlike Italy.

Khinkali – Ravioli; Dante – Rustaveli; Pizza – Khachapuri; Bologna – Kutaisi

In the lines below, I tried my best to express my love for this country, to support my claims with photo-material, and to provide information on at least a few places that indulged us in the great joy that is Italian dining. Without further ado, Andiamo!

Midnight in Bologna. November 2018.

If there’s one thing that’s better in Bologna than Florence it’s the street lighting: the streetlights here are very elegant, centrally arranged, and appropriately distanced from one to the next, creating a proper rhythm and instrumental for proper perceptivity of the city at night. There are few tourists here and many students. The bars are amazing, and the people are incredible. Grass grows between the tiles of the cobblestone streets, which is covered in dew at dawn and dusk. Georgian Airways flies here directly, so book yourself a ticket, and go, so you can see and feel the love which seems to hang in the air.

Grass-covered cobblestone. Bologna. November 2018.

Gawking at people particularly fun in Florence.

I wonder if anyone else has a silhouette like this. The answer is no. 


If you’re not versed in soccer (calcio), and someone asks you whether you’re a fan of Roma or Lazio, make sure to answer the former, because Romans consider Lazio fans to be provincial bums. Don’t risk your status.


Palm trees look as good in Rome as they do in Tbilisi.

In Tbilisi, shutters open from the inside, in Rome, from the outside. Same latitude, lighting, and colors. Rome is not being destroyed, unlike Tbilisi.

Establishments that “real” Romans frequent:

Café “Castroni”, on Via Nazionale. Take away espresso from a stand. Toasted Panini and discussions of Cengiz Ünder’s goal against Real Madrid. An espresso cots 90 cents, the Panini: 4 euros. 5 euros and you’re set.

If you’re close to the railway station, stop by café Neapolis, on via Agostino Depretis. They consistently have three types of pasta, risotto and several different salads. The coffee is great. Keep in mind they only work until 7:30 though.

This is the bar “Calisto”, the best bar in Rome, where every ragamuffin and wanderer ends up to drink. Pitcher – 4 euros, a bottle of wine – 7 euros, Prosecco – 15.When I thought about which bar in Tbilisi it reminded me of, Salve, on Dadiani street came to mind, where you drink cha-cha from a kettle and chase it with nothing. There are plenty of Lazio fans here. You pay money at the register, then they pour your drink at the bar after the “maestro” yells: “un vino bianco grande!” … or something like that.

I love taking pictures of tourists and seagulls together.

The story of how Instagram and Tinder changed photography techniques with tourists.

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