As for the particulars, well, I am going to Torino (with quick stops in Milan and the countryside outside of Torino). I've kept the trip largely secret from American friends -- what I call a 'pearl in my pocket,' an idea I trot out for a precious audience of one, savoring the thought that I will soon be there -- largely because any time I am going to Italy, it feels impossible. Impossibly wonderful, impossibly special, impossible that it will really happen. When you want something so much, you fear anyone could pry your little dream from you. Italy will never be a casual tourist destination for me -- like that old boyfriend of yours whom you cannot see without wondering what could have been (in my case, quite literally, the 'boyfriend' in question IS Italy. Hence the analogy).
In any event, I will be going there in May to attend one of Italy's biggest book fairs, il Salone del Libro.
But really I will be going there to eavesdrop on conversations, to saunter through the streets, to wait expectantly at the counter of a caffe in the hopes a man holding a motorcycle helmet comes by to entertain me with a little display of the Italian national character. It's worth the plane fare, alone.