So, the year was 2001 and it was over my then girlfriend's birthday month of March that took a flight across ocean to the Boot.  It was the first time I was going out of the country (unless you count Canada - which sort of counts).  But definitely the first time across the 'big drink'.  My wife's mother has family still living in Rome, Italy and we were going on a 10 day vacation to visit them.  I was extremely nervous as I didn't speak any Italian.  I was also nervous because this was the trip I was to propose to my then girlfriend now wife!  I was a nervous wreck hiding the ring and going through the airport, and all of Rome.  I didn't really have it "planned out" of exactly what I was going to do when - but I can tell you all the days we were over I was missing a lot of the city because all I could think about is where/when I would propose to my beautiful bride.  I decided to do it in front of the Fontana de Trevi.  It was a beautiful scene; not quite like you see on TV.  There were gypsy "You Buy Guys" and tourists from all walks.  It was crowded and loud.  But luckily we got a quiet little seat on the left side of the fountain.  My mind takes me back there as if it was yesterday as I write.  I attempted to ask her in Italian - but honestly I think I found simply "sposare" where now I've found "mi vuoi sposare" which I wasn't sure exactly how to pronounce.  And when I attempted to say it I was so nervous nothing came out.  Andrea was starting to look at me weird so I just spouted out - will you marry me?  I still to this day do not think she said yes!  I may have gotten a SURE through the smiles and cheer and happiness; not sure how to take that to this day :)  It was a great trip.  A lot of great memories happened while over there, and yes - I did throw a coin in the fountain in hopes that one day we return.  I would love to show my children that very spot some day as to me it is one of the most magical places on the planet.

Now, another thing in Italy was beer.  I did not find many beers over there I was happy with; I think possibly because of the lack of interest to drink COLD drinks.  Most things they drank were not refrigerated to my memory.  It was all mostly room temp or a bit cooler.  So, when I first tried Peroni some 11 years ago I was not impressed.  It was a bit bitter and not very thirst quenching.  This disappointed me drinking it in the mother land it is brewed.  At that time, I was fine though because you could buy wine that was equivalent to about $5 out of the back of a grocery store that you poured in your own jug that was so incredibly good you didn't need to ask for anything else.  Also, I got to experience multiple spirits that are indigence to the area.  Lets see, there was Petrus, Staga, Galliano, Ameretto, Sambuca, Lemicello and of course Grappa.  I actually became a HUGE FAN of grappa during this trip.  It is an aquired taste but if you get the "good stuff" it can be amazing.

Anyway, side tracked again, back to Peroni.  Today, we went to Anthony's Cool Fired Pizza in Robinson, PA.  This place has great pizza, good wings - and now we found their meatballs are awesome!  Andrea even mentioned that these meatballs reminder her of her grand mother Mommom's ancient family secret recipe.  Even the waiter was nice and respectful and shook my hand at the end of the meal thanking me for coming.  Anyway, I ordered a Peroni because I was in an Italian joint.  I got it on draft in a nice tall thin serving vessel!  It was bright yellow, clear and bubbly.  The carbonation was great in this beer.  It was nice and cold.  It definitely came across with the lager taste that to me is very distinct.  This beer was crisp and thirst quenching.  I actually went back for another.  I would not put it on the top list of must have beers but there are definitely many WORSE options out there.  One interesting note was that I google'd the definition of Nastro Azzurro and found it to stand for 'Blue Ribbon'.  Sadly, then I guess this makes this the PBR of Italy?  I don't know.  I think it is definitely better then American PBR.  Though I did see this is owned by SABMiller which made me think the Italian PBR is probably fairly appropriate.  Also, I was not very impressed by the website as I didn't really see a Peroni Beer Site.  So that is a bit confusing to me as well.  Over all, it was not a bad beer ( I did order a second ).  But I would not rank this high.  The malt profile was a bit low.  The hops were there and present but again nothing massive.