Anne and I watched Top Chef the other day. The chefs cooked Italian food for a restaurant in New York.
I got soooooooo angry, as I always do when blowhard Americans roll out their ethnic heritage. At least on Top Chef there is an Italian contestant (Fabio), but of course we get 4th generation Americans who think because their name ends in a vowel they are still listed in the Naples phonebook.
I've had an assful of "Oh, I'm Irish/German/Italian/French Canadian/Quarter Cherokee etc etc, but when you ask have you been to these countries or can you speak the language, you get vacant stares. You're American. Deal with it, and shut the fuck up.
Meanwhile, my co-worker Kim is going to Italy later this year and I just spent the afternoon writing down some recommendations based on the trips that Anne and I have taken over the years.
I'm not a fan of Italians. There I said it. But man do I love Italy. Coffee by Lake Como, the sunset at Cinqueterre, the rattle of the punctual trains, the heat of Rome, the dress shirt/v-neck sweater/blue jeans and tailored jacket combo, the gelato of Florence, the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast, old ladies in black walking the grandkids in the late afternoon.