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The title of this entry is the name of a place down in Tuscany. In fact there are two Montecatinis – a spa version and a hilltop version. The hilltop version looks fantastic and shall be added to my endless list of fabulous places in Italy (Maybe I should make a list of horrible places in this country – it should be much much shorter).

Anyway, the second of my 'real' Italian readers hails from this heady location. This reader has a blog and blogs about the goings on in Montecatini – and gives the impression that the outward beauty hides some examples of inner ugliness. The writer of this blog – one TinoDiBacco – came from my neck of the woods here in Italy – Milan, but does not seem to be finding small town life very much fun. So, if you fancy getting to know what life is really like in an idyllic Italian town and you can read Italian, go on over to Montecatini Bloggers' Corner and maybe your eyes will be opened or maybe you will come to the conclusion that small towns are the same all over this world.

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Stop reading, start speaking

Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.

TinoDiBacco is also one of those wise people who appreciates that foreigners living here in Italy may well be able to make some interesting observations about what is what and how things are here, although any foreigner living in any other country and who does not take too much of an ex-pat attitude should be qualified to see things as they really are, especially if they have lived there for some time, as seeing things as they really are can be something which is difficult for that country's residents at times. Being external helps people to give objective opinions, not subjective ones.

A fresh pair of eyes can often be a useful pair of eyes.

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