Italy was nothing like I imagined. It was so much more, even after 12 years I was still discovering new tastes, traditions and alleyways right in my own backyard. Not that I had a backyard, I was in a city so 95% of the population lived in apartments with a balcone or terrazzo. I was fortunate as I had an amazing view from the top floor of my mid 16th century building. Overlooking the seaport basin of Genoa I could watch all the comings and goings of what was once the most influential and wealthiest port of the Mediterranean. In fact the building in front of mine was the first bank in Europe and the basement of my building once housed the prisons where Marco Polo was kept. History abounds and sometimes it was so overwhelming it was hard to believe. From the Renaissance to the Roman Empire, Italy is famous for its cuisine, architecture, culture and romance. It’s in the air, it’s in the food. It is even said that Italy has more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world!