I made this list toward the end of my first visit to Italy, specifically the regions of Campania and Toscana (Tuscany). What I like most is Italy is kind to our kids and grandchildren who live there. Besides that, these are additional things I enjoyed. Naturally, at the top of the list is . . .

Food and beverage — In general, better quality and cheaper to buy.
 
The bar — a bar serves alcohol, coffee, and pastries.
 
My favorite is Up and Down Caffé bar in Arco Felice, Campania.
 
Sfogliatelle, the crisp and delicate shell-shaped pastry.
 
 
 
 
Antipasti, a delicious way to include veggies in your diet.
 
 
 
Mozzarella bufala, made with milk from a water buffalo.
 
 
 
 
Pizze in Napoli—the high temperature of a wood-burning oven, olive oil, and fresh organic ingredients combine for a different taste.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fresh mussels — loved them over spaghetti.
 
Olive oil.
 
Any house wine.
 
 
 
 
 
Gardens and environment
 
Residential vegetable gardens abound; fruits and veggies are fresh and tasty.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Italians separate and recycle their trash; they color code the waste receptacles.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cute small cars that go zip, zip, zip — a better way to negotiate narrow roads; think Fiat, Smart Car, Mini C, Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Golf.
 
 
The smell of sulfur coming from the Solfatara in Pozzuoli, center of the Campi Flegrie (Phlegrean Fields).  (Okay, I’m weird.)
 
 
Shopping
Open-air street markets, the Italian version of the sidewalk sale.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Friendly people
(Granted, the people we met were sales people, but they knew their product and genuinely wanted to tell us about it.)
 
Aldo, the Campania tour guide.
 
Sylvia’s daughter who sold her mother’s hand-decorated ceramics in Firenze.
 
Enzo at Ristorante Sipeda.
 
 
 
 
Federica at Villa Minghetti.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Italian language
 
Musical and easy to learn. I recommend Italian for Dummies text and audio CD by Berlitz.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Places
 
 
Firenze  central district.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The scenic Tuscan countryside.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Walking around Pozzuoli.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Style
 
Italian design.
 
Italians’ respect for old things. It’s difficult to obtain a demolition permit, which is why you see ancient ruins and modern buildings side by side. The city of Naples is like a woman wearing many different dresses. Nothing is tossed out. New construction is a new layer over the old. I imagine the interior square footage of a room is reduced in this way.
 
 
 
 
Small dogs on leashes.
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