So that leads me to my question, Do you find yourself being intrigued in other Italian categories? Such as food, style or language?
Yes, we are off to Tuscany at the end of the week, for the fifth year running: the highlight of our annual holiday is an open air concert organised for one night only every July by Andrea Bocelli in his home town of Lajatico, where we have now made a number of good friends with whom we keep in close touch between visits. This year's star guests include Placido Domingo and Ennio Morricone; previous years' concerts have included Jose Carreras, Lang Lang, Andrea Griminelli, Sarah Brightman, Zucchero, Renato Zero, Katherine Jenkins and many others, classical and modern.
It's a fabulous event, sitting with 10,000 other cheerful concert goers on a Tuscan hillside under the stars, on a balmy summer evening, after a good dinner, listening to some truly great music. Our daughter now helps out at the concert: she is in great demand to deal with international guests, as she speaks Italian, French, German and English.
The rest of our holiday is spent enjoying the excellent food and wine in numerous good but cheap local restaurants, as well as relaxing in the Tuscan sunshine and exploring the area's rich architectural and artistic heritage in such cities as Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Volterra, San Gimignano, and Siena. And the ice cream . . . !!
If you are visiting Italy for the first time, learn a bit of the language before you come: outside the big cities, many Italians do not understand a word of English and those who do will appreciate your making the effort to learn their language and will be very friendly, extending a very warm and genuine welcome to their wonderful country.