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FF? avoid Italy

Hi FFers,

Yes, I recently wrote about the oil everywhere in Italy, but it is even
worse than I thought.  Today at lunch I ordered a salad with "lettuce,
tomatoes, corn, spinach, mushrooms, no oil, no cheese" and got a salad
with lettuce, tomatoes, corn, and tuna that had obvious been sitting
in oil somewhere for a very long time.  Tonight I ordered a couple of
things for dinner, I said no oil, but didn't insist or act like a pill.
Well, my plates arrived DRIPPING in oil.  Bzzzzzzt.   Not even close.
The wine, however, was excellent, and with almost nothing in my stomach,
I'm still feeling a little fluid.  :-)

Really, the only way to be fat free in Italy is to cook yourself.  I
found in France MANY salads could be ordered without dressing, cheese,
meat and be perfectly acceptable.  In addition, almost no breads have oil
in France, while almost all have oil in Italy.  Croatia is even worse!
People cook whatever it is, sometimes in a perfectly oil-free manner, and
then kindly dump oil on it for "flavor" before they serve it to you.  My
Uncle was very amused at my eating habits, and said my food reminded him
of prison.  He didn't tell me why he was in prison, nor did I tell him
why I was, but we were kindred spirits after that, and I'm still married
to my prison food.  :-)

At any rate, here in Rome it is sweltering hot, dirty, noisy, and
smelling of cigarette smoke everywhere -- all that in addition to the
oil.  However, I'm having the time of my life, and even if I only spend
an hour or two visiting ruins that we (US) can't come within 1800 years
of, well, it's worth it to put up with the above, and I highly 
recommend it.  The people are incredible (bring that phrase book, it's
much more fun!) and the wine great and cheap.


PS Any FFers on the list from Italy?

PPS May I be so bold as to suggest the following: try  not to be a pill
    about FF'ing it in "foreign" countries (I'm speaking from a US
    standpoint).  In the US, culture says we are allowed to order
    exactly what we want and get exactly what we want, and they should
    be pretty sensitized by now to FF living.  In other countries, they
    are very sensitized to other ways of living, and I believe in
    blending in wherever you go.  By the way, in France, you have the
    "right" to as much bread as you need at your meal table.  It is what
    I called the bread-right when I lived there.  In the US, you are
    allowed to be picky about your ingredients.  Go with the local
    "rights" and "laws", is my suggestion.  Buy fresh fruits/vegs and
    canned goods when you can't handle the local restaurant culture.
    Everyone will be happier for it.  Cheers!
Ellen M. Sentovich			
Cadence Berkeley Laboratories	(510) 647-2807
2001 Addison Street, 3rd floor	(510) 486-0205 (FAX)
Berkeley, CA  94704-1103		ellens@xxxxxxxxxxx