Years ago, we visited Enrico’s cousins in Montecchio Maggiore, a small town near Verona. We went to see the local attractions, the castles of Romeo and Juliet (yes, the original Romeo and Juliet), up on two small hills above the town. Riding in the car with us was Claudia, a very intelligent ten-year-old, who had noticed that lots of Americans come to Italy as tourists.
“Why do they come here?” she asked. “What do they get here that they can’t get at home?”
“Well,” I explained, “America is a very young country. They don’t have the millennia of history, the buildings, art, and so on, that you have in Italy. So they like to come and see it here.”
“Ah,” said Claudia thoughtfully. “You mean they come here because of a lack of culture in their own country?”