Last week Luke had a training session in Italy and I was able to go with him. The training was in a rural part of Italy, near Bologna, about a 6 hour drive from Marktoberdorf. The drive was almost the best part. We drove through southern Germany and the Alps in Austria. The Alps were gorgeous! Very green this time of year with several villages nestled into the many valleys. Northern Italy had mountains with vineyards taking up literally every piece of ground that didn't have a house, building, castle (we saw several throughout northern Italy) or road on it. There were even grapes growing in the "ditch" between the highway and the railroad tracks. The part of Italy where the training was held was very flat and mostly farmland. It was also out in the country and I didn't have a car, so I spent most of my time sitting in the meetings reading a book. Not exactly a dream vacation to Italy! ;-) But on the last day the weather was nice enough that I was able to walk into the nearest town. They were having an outdoor market and I really enjoyed just walking around and watching the Italians interact with each other and shop...and just listen to them talk. The Italian language is a little more beautiful than German! We also had some really good Italian food and wine while we were in Italy. They definitely pride themselves on aged food! The first night we had some parmesan cheese that was 2 years old and aged salamis. At the end of the evening they brought out some Balsamico (balsamic vinegar) to eat with the parmesan that was 12 years old. We were all impressed and it actually tasted really good. By the last night they were bringing out cheese that was 3 years old and Balsamico that was 40 years old! Only a few people were able to try the 40 year old Balsamico...but I did have some 30 year old Balsamico and it was tasty! Here are a few pictures from our trip!The tractors Luke tested while in Italy. I was hoping to get a ride, but it didn't work out.