Jonathan and I’s eight-month anniversary rolled around while we were still staying in Capranica Italy and we decided to take the night to get out and celebrate.

Even though there are many authentic Italian restaurants in town, we shamelessly chose to go to a “Tex-Mex” bar that served American style Mexican food. We told ourselves that it was just because we were interested in seeing what the Italian interpretation of “Tex-Mex” was but I honestly think we wanted a taste of home.

We happened to go on the night a live band was playing country music and folk songs which I surprisingly enjoyed considering I am not a fan of country music in America. The restaurant owner and the lead guitarist spoke very good English (a rarity for a small Italian town).

We requested a few from their Johnny Cash and The Beatles repertoire and I kept thinking how ironic it was that I traveled halfway around the world to hear tunes created in Nashville just hours from where I grew up. One thing I have really noticed while being in Italy is the strong presence of American music culture among the Italians even if they do not understand the lyrics.

One thing Jonathan and I have tried to figure out is the protocol for tipping at restaurants. A couple we visited added an automatic “servizio” to the check averaging around 1.50€ per person. However, this restaurant didn’t add anything so we tipped. Part of traveling and experiencing different cultures is learning what is considered rude and what is considered polite and honoring these unspoken expectancies.

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Meghan Mathews