A few months ago, I wrote about Harriet's leaving party in Milan.
Since then, lots of things have happened. I desperately crammed as much travel around Italy as I could before leaving myself, I went home and played with my rather naughty puppy for a heavenly few weeks, I spent a week working in London on a work experience placement and I came back to university where I have been catapulted headfirst into a world of new people, new housemates and new experiences. And new home decor. Which I will post about as soon as my room is ready.
But first, Mollie left Milan too. Which made me very sad but on the night of her leaving celebrations, there were smiles all around.
The main reason being... the food.
Il Doge di Amalfi has been my favourite pizzeria in
With the owner hailing from the birthplace of pizza itself down in Campania, there are no thin and crispy bases to be seen here. Instead, we're talking thick, fluffy crusts, all the better to hold up under all that delicious topping.
We were all very, very happy once the food arrived.
Il Doge serves pasta as well as pizza although I've never tried it myself. Some friends of mine who are Doge regulars alternate between the pizza and the pasta so based on that, I would hazard a guess at the excellent quality of the pasta dishes too.
However for me, it is all about the pizza.
There are many ways to eat a Doge pizza. You can smear it across your face.
You can tackle it aggressively, caveman style.
You can fold it up, all the better to get more in at one time.
You can eat it in the standard format.
Or you can shove as much as is humanly possible in, in one go (sorry Martina!)
It is also an excellent place for drinking.
Whenever I go to Doge, the standard order is one of their excellent pizzas (I adore the Amalfitana which serves up tuna and olives on a tomato base - cheese can be added no problem) and a medium beer (Poretti) which is actually pretty large but there you go.
The perfect place to get the party started...
We girls got a bit competitive at one point and decided to secretly devise a contest to see who could drink their second beer before Andrea finished his first (seen in background above, I was clearly winning.)
As was the festeggiata herself.
Although I have no idea what happened next.
Martina had very kindly put together a collage to send back to the USA with our dear friend from all of us. It was full of memories from our year together in Italy's industrial capital and made all of us feel quite emotional at the end of this era.
It was definitely time for some sugar.
Dessert (modelled very nicely by my replacement at work sob sob who has her own blog - follow her here) had to be the unbeatable combination of sorbetto al limone (which will blow your mind if you have only ever eaten sorbet in the UK) and limoncello.
Doge is a very kind establishment which gives a bottle of limoncello, free of charge, to each table at the end of their meal.
You're allowed to take as much as you want which is normally one or two shots on a standard night.
This was not a standard night.
And where would we be if it weren't for the Doge himself?
The owner (whose name I don't actually know??) on the left here is truly the star of the show. Not only does he run a joint selling excellent pizza and giving away free alcohol, he can usually be found with a napkin tied bandana-style around his forehead, shouting "Hola!" at clients (and occasionally attempting odd English conversations with pretty girls), cackling wildly and cranking the music up when his favourite traditional Napolitan song comes on, openly encouraging the clients to bang on the table in time and sing raucously along.
Bloody fantastic and a steal at... well... ok I can't remember how much I spent...
....because this happened.
We took our party to the Union bar just around the corner and squeezed onto the only free table left. Cocktails are only around €6 each and pack a real punch.
It doesn't help to have more than one, especially if you've already downed two pints of beer and a bottle of limoncello.
Things escalated pretty quickly.
And the night culminated in Fabio popping his umbrella out at Mollie.
It was the best way to say ciao to an absolutely amazing girl who has easily become one of my best friends despite the short amount of time we spent living in the same country. I miss her (and all of the gang, pictured here in part, missing Harriet, Laura, Sophie and Niccolo.. and Magro who was behind the lens) a lot. Hopefully one day we'll be able to organise a reunion.
I tried to persuade her to stay; I picked her up and ran off with her in an attempt to hide her away but it didn't work (partly because I only managed to run about 50 metres...)
Never going to stop missing these guys! xxx