Let's do it in two parts, shall we?
The trouble with Italy is that it's not simply one country but rather a cluster of separate little universes, each with its own distinctive character and culture.
Italians - most unhelpfully - don't even actually speak Italian. They speak Fiorentino, or Romano, or Napoletano, or Siciliano, or Nonès, or Sardo, e cosi via. Some of them even speak German, just to keep us guessing. According to Lepschy and Lepschy, the only word they can all agree on is espresso.
I tend to be easily bored, so perhaps that's why I love visiting Italy so much.
I only had a week to spare so I made a whistle-stop tour of some old haunts in the central and northern regions of the country. We'll start with the centre and then I'll post the other half domani, domani...