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
  11. (I threw in 3 coins, just to ensure my return)

  12. Vatican (history and art, religion and politics)
  13. Fashion and fashionably dressed men and women
  14. Cafes and cappuccino
  15. Hill towns in Tuscany
  16. Beautiful churches (every town has a dozen)
  17. Pecorino cheese
  18. Stopping the car to let sheep cross the road
  19. The beautiful language (that I must learn)
  20. Limoncello
  21. Fresh tomato and onion salad
  22. Wild boar pasta (actually, any kind of pasta at all!) – Why not consider taking a cooking class in Italy?
  23. Vineyards and olive orchards
  24. Cypress trees
  25. Internet access (yes, in the middle of a vineyard, there’s still wi-fi)
  26. History and a sense of how very young the U.S. is

What do you love about Italy?

Photo credit:  Mary Jo Manzanares