The cuisine and the shopping in Italy have been delightful. I expected the food to be great, but I have been surprised by the shopping. Leather, fabrics, pottery, and specialty food shops have been on every street in every town. I can’t keep up with how many times we passed by a leather store and a purple purse called out to me. The jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence was very hard to pass by. We have downsized A LOT and I am trying to be good and not buy more things, but dang, it was hard to resist all those gorgeous and sparkly items for sale.

The food has also been so much fun to enjoy. We went to the central market in Florence and there were two floors. One for the merchants and the other for restaurants with the freshest produce, prime meats, and fish. Of course, we had to have pizza one day and I was not disappointed. The crust just melted in my mouth and tasted so fresh. The pasta comes in all shapes and sizes and freshly made. We are very pleased with cost of dining out and the slow pace of a meal. We have never been rushed out of a restaurant and the service has been top notch.

If you have any interest in wine then you will also find some of the finest wines here. We have been in Chianti country, and I can tell you I have had the best Chianti I have ever had here. We went into a wine store and the clerk pointed to what he thought was the best Chianti he had and it was only around $25. We bought the next level down and it was so smooth.

I know what you are thinking. With all the food and wine, you must be putting on the pounds. I am proud to say with all the walking we do I have lost weight. I have had to get rid of a pair of pants because I could not keep them up and my other pants are much looser too. So, cheers from Italy.

Ciao for now. Thank you for joining us.