I am such a Francophile, yet my first European love was Italy, and I'm still smitten. The craftsmanship and artistic traditions are so rich - like the pewter above, or the architecture and sculpture pictured here at the Campidoglioin Rome. Then there are the textile traditions, the food, the operas - the artistic permutations go on and on. Many years ago, as an art history major in college, I spent a semester abroad in Rome. I was awed by this ancient city and it's proud citizens, the clash and fusion of eons and a myriad of traditions. There is nothing I love more than discovering people plying their trades and bringing it home to share. I make a point of staying in a different hotel and area each visit, as it's only in wandering do I discover new things. It's a bit like having to get lost to be found and that works perfectly for me!