Monday, June 04, 2007


Okay, first a note in response to comments, then I can proceed with the latest installment.

Gians...come mai pensi che non mi piace l'Italia?? I LOVE Italy. Granted, I have been publishing this blog for friends and family members, who know my background, so maybe to the uninitiated, I seem frustrated. I honestly didn't expect anyone to even read this blog. I am flattered that Italians would want to.

So, some background. I first came to Italy as a teenager and experienced the first of one of many instances of what I think of as emotional synesthesia: I fell in love with the place, like some people fall in love with a person. In college, I took Italian for 4 years, studying in Padova and doing a homestay so that I could really immerse myself in the language and culture. After college, I have tried to keep current with my Italian (not easy in America) and return as often as possible.

The purpose of this trip was to penetrate into the less-touristed heart of Italy, to see how real Italians live, to better my language skills and to conduct research into how I could go even further next time, i.e., by working or volunteering here.

Non ho nessuno problema con l'Italia! My problem is with my guidebook.

Vito, you are right. Although I would not call myself brand-loyal, I normally choose Lonely Planet guides. I've used them in Vietnam, Thailand and Nicaragua, and they never disappoint. I went with Let's Go because I couldn't find Lonely Planet, and I will not be making that mistake again.

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