Okay, it'll take a while to get some pics up, the film ones will be done saturday. In the mean time I wanted to put some thoughts about Italy into the ether. These follow no coherent structure:
Food: Unless you want to spend a lot of money, the food in Italy is so-so. You can actually spend a lot of money and still get so-so food, its a crap shoot. If you don't want to spend a lot your choices are limited. Pizza are and Sandwiches. Thats it. There are NO Taco Bells in Italy. In fact, any ethnic food you find has a strong Italian slant to it. Pizzas are thin crust and wanting for toppings but are of good size and are cheap. Sandwiches are ham and cheese, no matter what its say it is. It is ALWAYS ham and cheese. It seems that the only meat in the country is ham.
Driving: Italians know how to drive. Really. They drive like maniacs, but they know what they are doing. I can only guess that the bad drivers are simply killed by their own ineptitude early on. A Darwinian solution to a problem that has plauged our contry. They have a car there called Smart, check it out at www.smart.com. I wish we had these here, they are well suited to Italy, where driving space is limited and gas is real expensive.
Train System: Even the Italians don't understand it, but once you are on a train, things are pretty good.
Catholicism: Every few blocks it cities, there a small shrines. They are unassuming and humble. Old, but never forgotten. There are coins and candles in front of the faded images of the Madonna or Jesus. The churches are nice. They feel secure and reverent, not like the glittering, tacky "Crystal Cathedrals" here. Some of these churches were around when this whole "Jesus Cult" thing started. Saw a lot of priests, nuns and monks in Rome, they seemed to be having a fun time as tourists in their very own Christian Theme Park.
Mass Transportation: In Rome, it transports masses of masses. Packed full, unable to breathe, stifling. The system is good, is based on the honesty system, its just overburdened.