We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Even adventurous tourists like us prefer to stay in old towns, or the old town centers of cities. Sometimes country villas, but that is different. I've stayed in the real, ordinary Italy, and it's not so great for me. I like the Disney Italy.
Thing about the Italian life style is that most people do not work long hours. Whether in small towns or in cities, the passagiatta at around 5 or 6 pm is a ritual with kids, old folks and, of course, dogs on leashes. Delightful. After that, some wine or aperatifs in a cafe. Dinner begins, mostly, 8-9 pm. That's when restaurants fill up. Many do not open for dinner until 7:30 or 8. After dinnertime, lovers are all out in the piazzas while kids kick soccer balls around in the dark. Cool.
Night is the time to get out and about. No danger except from growling dogs. Everything stays open at night.
Being American, dinner at 8 seems late but I am a guy who likes to get to the gym at 5 AM so I like to get to my books at 9 pm. (Readers know I do not do TV or movies.)
Sunset over the lagoon in Orbetello, which is not really a foreign tourist place but some Brits seem to like it (more night pics below the fold):
More evening and nighttime photos below -
A piazza in Orbetello:
Street scene at dinnertime - cafes along the streets
Street scene in Volterra. Driving up to that hill town is a kick. Mrs. BD did that driving. I do not enoy heights much.
Sunset over Siena's Duomo, from our hotel room. It looks (and is) close, but man can you get lost in the maze.
I love Italy, and I have been to Siena and to those very places. In your "Sunset over Siena's Duomo" picture, I shot a photo from that overlook over on the far left. It has become one of my desktop wallpapers. Siena is indeed a maze.
Yes, one of the biggest surprises about Italy is how late in the day they eat dinner.
We were there in November and the weather was fine.