Italy has its problems – a monster in charge of it, a highly bureaucratic system which sees jobs allocated in a round robin tournament once a year …
and the constant problem of the boat people:
The houses might be rundown and ramshackle in many places …
… and in need of repair:
… but still magnificent and the people are warm and friendly, more so in Sicily:
… than in the north:
Naturally the car plays a large part in Italian life:
as does the Lambretta or today’s equivalent:
… not forgetting the bicycle:
Italian espresso cafe culture is known all over the world and is at it’s nicest al fresco, where the smoking doesn’t choke you:
Sitting in a basket chair, under the olive tree:
Meals are often taken outdoors:
… where the view can be superb and the colours so different to Northern Europe:
… but a nice home cooked meal can’t be beaten in the hands of a masterchef:
You shop at the market:
or on the main corsa:
In all this, I’d neglected the girls so here are some for your delectation:
Imagine a very hot day of 40 degrees, now beginning to cool down mid-evening. Imagine this Hotel, Hotel Failla:
Imagine the space from this photo [taken during the day from my computer – sorry about the quality but you get the idea], with all the furniture cleared away and an open air opera set up:
Imagine the girl in the picture right at the top there with you and imagine the view from the hill out over the fairy-lit town down below. Imagine snacks and drinks throughout the performance. That’s what I call living.
Finally, to the main girl herself, the one responsible for most of these photos and for the culinary masterpieces – to her, great thanks and to her best friend Simi.
As we fly away, one last look down at Italy:
Tomorrow, away from Europe [I’ll return in few days] and it will be Canada.