Italy has become an annual event for me.  I fell in love the very first moment that I came up from the metro station and saw the Coliseum in front of me.  Since then, no matter when in the country I am, or what I may be looking at, I still have that sense of wonderment.

Sunflowers, Tuscany 2009

Sunflowers, Tuscany 2009

In no particular order, here are some of the things that I’ve come to love about Italy, and why I’m looking forward to a return trip next year.

  1. Sunflowers
  2. Gelato – at least twice a day
  3. Lake Maggiore
  4. Isola Madre
  5. Isola Bella (and yes, I know it’s gaudy and over-the-top)
  6. Latte de Luna (with wild mushroom soup that’s to-die-for)
  7. Brunello wine
  8. Giuseppe and La Montalla
  9. Florence (so much beautiful art)
  10. Trevi Fountain in Rome (I threw in 3 coins, just to ensure my return)
  11. Vatican (history and art, religion and politics)
  12. Fashion and fashionably dressed men and women
  13. Cafes and cappuccino
  14. Hill towns in Tuscany
  15. Beautiful churches (every town has a dozen)
  16. Pecorino cheese
  17. Stopping the car to let sheep cross the road
  18. The beautiful language (that I must learn)
  19. Limoncello
  20. Fresh tomato and onion salad
  21. Wild boar pasta (actually, any kind of pasta at all!)
  22. Vineyards and olive orchards
  23. Cypress trees
  24. Internet access (yes, in the middle of a vineyard, there’s still wi-fi)
  25. History and a sense of how very young the U.S. is

What do you love about Italy?

Photo credit:  Mary Jo Manzanares