Hi all - just spending a few weeks in Italy visiting the extended family and decided to do a bit of a tour while we are here - wow! Spent a week in Zocca - typical old village, markets, etc but most of rural Italy is made up of them and even in the cities things are generally the same. If you walk into the tiny supermarkets there is so much locally sourced food it was awesome! No over the top packaging and nothing grown or made on the other side of the world, you can't even ge self raising flour - they have a few different grades for making bread or pasta but you have to add the bicarb and the bread that is availible is baked at the shop. It was all very inspiring especially the lack of junk and 2 dollar shops you have to walk past at most shops in Australia. We are now down in Sorrento which is a holiday town but tonight there was late night shopping - a thousand or more people in the street a, few eating out and shopping but mostly just walking around talking and catching up with eachother. It is kind of amazing to see and sad that it doesnt happen much elsewhere. One of the places we stayed at was a series of stone villas over 500 years old so i've got a few thoughts for people trying to build the "hundred year house" but i will get around to that later... Ciao!