9. A Guided Tour

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Do you plan to visit Italy someday? If so, it’s a good idea to know about the country and its people. Italy has two very different areas. The business centers and large cities of the North hum with noise. The South, on the other hand, enjoys the sleepy charm of the country. People of the North like the bustle of city life. They enjoy all the things a city has to offer. Those from the South like a slower pace. They like their rural surroundings. One thing all Italians have in common is their zest for life.

The climate of Italy is like that of California. It is sunny and warm all year in the South. Except in the mountains, summers are warm all over the country. Winter brings snow, sleet, cold rain and fog to the North. Central Italy is mild in winter.

Many Italians are happiest when in groups. Wherever they gather, you are likely to hear fine singing and happy laughter.

A building boom is going on in the cities of Italy. Steel and glass skyscrapers tower over ancient ruins.Italy throbs with life and color. Talk on the street corners is lively. The background music coming from open windows could be classical or the latest hit tune. Donkeys and street peddlers sometimes add to the color and noise.

The city streets are busy. Here you will see well-dressed people. These people are going to work in new office buildings. The street traffic includes different kinds of cars. You can even spot some moter scooters and bicycles.

Italians also like food. They are good cooks. Each city and region has its own specialties. Bologna, for instance, is known for its sausages. Live oil, garlic and tomatoes are used more freely in cooking in the South than in the North. Some Northerners use butter instead of olive oil. You will see rice on their plates instead of pasta.

An Italian dinner begins with appetizers and ends many courses later with a fine dessert. In the course of a dinner, you can sample some of Italy’s fine cheeses. There are many to choose from. There are also many fine wines, and they reasonably priced.

You may never visit Italy. Still, it’s nice to read about its lively and colorful personality. Maybe someday you will be lucky enough to see part of this wonderful land.

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