Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/BravoBuongiorno PopWatchers! It’s just me, writing this to you in my cozy Italia sweatshirt, sipping a nice morning glass of Chianti, as memorable moments from the 2006 World Cup flash on the TV screen and Frank Sinatra plays in the background. Sensing a pattern? We’re going to Italy! Andiamo!

But before we fasten our seat belts and put our tray tables in the upright position, there was some Real Housewives business to be dealt with back in Jersey. “Juicy” Joe had recently been in a car accident, which according to the TMZ photos looked pretty severe. Jacqueline and Chris went over to the Giudice’s to make sure he was okay. Blame it on the alcohol? No blame it on the trees, Juicy said.

According to Joe, he took a deep yawn, shut his eyes for a SECOND, and floored it (the logical sequence they teach you in driver’s ed), and the next thing he knew he was sent through the trees and into a pole. “Those trees shouldn’t have even been there!” he complained. Jacqueline and Teresa attested to the fact that Joe wasn’t drunk, but Chris offered to drive from now on, just to be on the safe side. Joe later revealed he had 3-4 glasses of whiskey after the accident but before the police came to the scene. His truck was totaled, so what did anyone expect him to do? “[My dad] offers me coffee and water, what the f— am I gonna do with coffee and water?” Exactly.

At a nearby diner (or outside in the bushes, take your pick), Danielle met Danny and ordered one of the more exotic things on the menu: a blueberry-banana smoothie. “I hit 47 I gotta start watching out for things…plus I have this nutritionist who says the more blueberries the better. I get a smoothie here once a day!” she said. Oh boy, Danny’s not listening. Chalk it up to him being yet another person who hangs around Danielle not because he or she actually is interested in her burlesque knowledge, her antioxidant plan, or her quest to find her birth mother, but rather for any and all opportunities to trash talk the Manzo-Laurita family….oh, and to be on television of course.

Of course news of Joe’s arrest brought glee to Danielle’s square tit, ahem, I mean heart? “Why are you out ‘til 2 a.m. as a grown man and a father, drinking?” she asked. “I mean and I know the strip clubs are still open at that hour” — yeah, you do — “so let’s just call it like it is!” Add this to the list of the Giudice’s animalistic behaviors. And Caroline thought Danielle was unfit to associate with her family?

Danielle: “Why did Caroline investigate me and she didn’t investigate Joe?!” (did you catch the amazing inflection on “Joe”).

Danny: “Well he allegedly had had more money than you, come on…”

Danielle: “Really?”

Danny: “Yeah…”

Danielle: “Cause I had more money than all of them when I was married to my children’s father” — The keyword is WHEN, Danielle.

The Wicked Witch cackled to herself and went back to enjoying her antioxidants, but only before making a prophecy for the Manzo family’s imminent downfall: “I’m just going to continue living in the love and light that they make fun of while their darkness rains upon them.”

The stress from the accident was too much for Teresa (fresh bail money and legal fees added to their mounting debt probably didn’t help the situation) and the ladies decided to take a vacation. But no bathing suits, said both Jacqueline and Caroline, so Teresa suggested the most logical destination: Italy! And what better way to relax and get away from it all than by inviting your parents and bringing small children along? And how about booking a cruise where the only kid-friendly area is “Teen Zone,” which looked like a tuned down version of Gia’s birthday party? Poor Albert was hesitant about leaving the Brownstone (at least with Albie in the police academy he knows where to get free security for his events?) but agreed to the time off with one stipulation: No kids. That’s not okay with the Giudice Girls, who plan to take Team Fabulous international. Of course they were coming along (including tiny Audriana). Milania was named after Milan after all. It’s only fair.

With 20-person group, travel is bound to be hectic. Thankfully, Teresa is an expert at navigating Europe’s cobblestone streets even in her highest of stilettos. I’ve compiled a list of her simple tips to help make your trip a breeze:

1. Before flying to another country, ease your transition into the native cuisine by savoring your local, familiar fare. In this case: New Jersey pizza. Sure, Naples may be known for its pies, but do they taste just like Daddy Juicy makes?

2. Long flights can be scary. To calm your nerves, throw back a few drinks, regardless of the time of day. Got a short ride to the airport? Bring some bottles with you! Just make sure your party bus has a designated driver. (Am I right, Joe?)

3. If you have a few hours to kill, skip the lines at tourist traps like cathedrals and museums and opt for high-end retail like Chanel (or Chanels as Joe calls it). Even if there’s one in Manhattan you can tell everyone you got this from Chanel in [insert foreign country here] and they’ll be seething with jealousy. You can tell them the sales clerk didn’t speak English at all and you still managed to make the transaction through your extensive fashion knowledge! You’re just a woman/man of the world, after all.

4. Want to make unruly kids listen to you during your cruise? Repeatedly mention the Titanic and invoke fear with threat of “going swimming” overboard and the many “sea rats” that will creep into their beds at night.

5. Bring your 70-year-old parents along as babysitters. Sure Caroline’s mother Nettie popped out 11 children, but she’s not tired and would love to babysit aboard a cruise ship all day.

6. Always use sea sickness as a way of getting out of a bratty child’s birthday dinner.

The group was also full of astute anthropologists, taking in the culture and history of Italy while also being ambassadors to the United States. What were the most embarrassing representations of Americanism on the trip?

1. Joe’s obvious reference to the bountiful waterways in Venice

2. Teresa screaming “spank me” as they rode across the water

3. Jacqueline comparing Venice’s gondoliers (or “gondola guys”) to those in Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel.

4. Joe describing Milania’s birthday cake as being adorned with “potato chips” along its edges? (Ah, Americans and our junk foods…).

5. Teresa and Jacqueline indulging in mojitos while sailing the Mediterranean? When in Rome…

Next week, the trip continues with a stop in Naples followed by the family reunion in [help me out with the name here] with Teresa and Joe’s extended families.

What did you think about phase one of the Italy trip? Were you surprised to see Chris and Joe talk about Danielle on their own, without the women around? Should Jacqueline’s mother be afraid of Teresa after breaking her vase? Are Teresa and Jacqueline just two “wild and crazy girls” with that piano bar act? Do Caroline and Albert deserve a proper vacation for two? Is Ashley burning the house down while her parents are away or using it as a “love shack”? And finally, were you happy with the limited amount of Danielle and zero Kims this week? Until next time, ciao bellas!

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