I'm back from a two week vacation in Italy and thought I'd share with you some highlights and observations in today's blog post.

The food in Italy is truly delicious.  Every meal was something special.  Fresh ingredients were lovingly prepared at every place we went.

Italians take great pride in their food preparation.  This was evident during the 2 1/2 hour cooking lesson I took.  Our instructor, a native Italian named Sara, cut and sliced and chopped and whipped, smiling the whole time.  She loves to cook and is proud of what she serves.

I spent most of the time in some of the hill towns of Umbria.  And what I noticed was a lack of earbuds.  What I mean is that people are not as tethered to their devices like we are here.  They seemed more relaxed and more interactive with each other, preferring to interact with each other, or just walk with their own thoughts rather than listen to music or talk on their cell phones.

This interacting and socializing with each other in person is one of my favorite things about Italy, and it relates back to food:  Dinners last at least 2 hours and nobody is in a rush.  People there savor every bite and sip and really seem to prioritize friends, family and food.

A final highlight:  gelato.  I'm not a huge ice cream lover but I think I had a cone 13 out of my 14 days in Italy.  It was a great way to cool off from the 100+ degree temperatures we suffered through.

Have you ever been to Italy?  What do you like most about it?