You can take the footballer out of Italy, but you'll never, ever be able to separate the Italian from his beloved cuisine and culture:
DUISBURG, Germany - They packed all the important stuff when they traveled to the World Cup: pasta, prosciutto and parmesan.
Italy might be hungry for its first World Cup title in 24 years, but the Azzurri aren’t lacking the comfort food they’re familiar with. As they prepare to face France on Sunday, they have everything they’re used to — drama, delirium and distraction.
MSV Arena, the home of MSV Duisburg, has been renamed Casa Azzurri. There are red, white and green banners everywhere, with a gold star in each color — where will they put the fourth star if they win their fourth title?
The salamis hanging are Italian. So is the coffee. Even the beer.
Nearby is the team hotel, Landhaus Milser. It’s co-run by a native of Calabria, and many of the employees are Italian. Apparently to minimize distractions, female waitresses were sent on vacation.
Female waitresses were sent on vacation? Surely the boys in blue are far too focused on winning the World Cup to notice a few pretty girls. And besides, aren't most of them engaged or married?
(Hat-tip to Lisa in Baltimore)