Saturday, March 29, 2008

Conquering Smallest Countries in Europe

My Italian friend only learnt from me that San Marino, that little town in the middle of Italy next to Rimini, is actually a country on its own, legitimately. Little did she know that ever since I had my first passport San Marino has been the No.1 on my must-visit country list all these years, simply because it is the only country in the whole world that a Chinese normal passport does not need a visa for, not at all. I really wasn't expecting much, until I knew the following. Besides being the world's oldest surviving republic, another shocking fact of that hidden gem is that it's got its own local brew. I didn't think it was possible so when I sat down in the restaurant and asked for a drink I had to ask for clarification when she offered their local beer.
"You mean, local as in San Marino?"
"Yes, it's Sammarinese and everyone likes it!"
Then I looked around and realized that there is this weird looking bottle on almost every table.
"OK, I'd like to have one, too."
"Large, half a litre."
"Yes, please."
And it's not a bad beer at all. Amberish color, reminds me of the Belgian Quak, though more yeasty. And the bottle was just so well designed and convenient to use it's so far the best beer bottle I've seen and used. Take a close look at the beer label. Impressive, eh?

[From San Marino with love]

Just as I thought San Marino would be my record of the size of the country I drink in, it also became the shortest lived record, lasting for only 24 hours. Here's how it happened.
"Hi, em... may I ask, em.... do you serve alcohol here today?"
"Excuse me? Do you need a menu?"
"Er well, I thought, you know, because today is the Easter Sunday, and the Pope's Mass is still going on, and it is Vatican, you know... Anyway, I can see that you don't have a problem with that. Can I have a beer, please?"
The Holy See never ceases to impress me.

[From Vatican City on Easter Sunday with love]

Nastro Azzurro

1 comment:

Jesse said...

the map is growing!