First visit: August 1976
Subsequent visits: September 1978, March 1997, October 2000, March 2001, July 2004, January 2005, May 2007, September 2007, July 2008, every month from January 2009 to March 2010 (multiple times).
Visited: Rome, Milan, Trieste, Verona, Bologna, Rimini, Genova, Udine, Venezia, Ravenna, Bolzano, Bergamo, Como, Gallarate, Domodossola, Ventimiglia, Stresa, Arona, Verbania, San Leo, Luino, Porlezza.
Italy is a mess of a place and the people, especially the men, can be terribly rude. And yet, it has culture and a joie de vivre that any of its neighbours can only dream of. There are places here that are magical, like Lake Maggiore for example, while some of the towns are arguably cradles of history. Still, far too disorganised for my liking, to the extent that sometimes you wonder whether you are in Africa...until you realise that it is the people's love of life that makes them let it all go to the wind...
Highlight: Rome - on a sunny day, perhaps the nicest place in the world.