People always ask me how and why I chose to live in Italy for 15 years. The answer is of course complicated but one simple truth is that I went to Florence on the last day of Carnevale, Fat Tuesday, over 20 years ago today and fell madly in love. I was studying French in Dijon, a sober but beautiful city in North Eastern France and took the train with my mom to Florence for the first time. That was it. Between waking up in the middle of the night to see the Borromean Islands rising out of Lago Maggiore in the early morning hours to seeing children dressed in bright costumes throwing confetti and the stripped Romanesque churches of Florence, I was totally stregata (bewitched). It’s been a long love affair and one that I suspect will never lose its luster. Each year on Carnevale, I think of that day and smile at how strange life is and how much I would love to eat a piece of Schiacciata alla Fiorentina and drink a glass of Vin Santo. Vin Santo, as I wrote in my piece on Susanna Crociani is made from dried grapes, which are aged in Caratelli – small barrels and are aged in a Vinsantaia, generally Trebbiano and Malvasia.