When I went to Italy in June I had just about had enough of England. It had rained constantly and it seemed as if summer would never arrive. (It never really did.) Durham felt small and boring, I wanted ice cream and swimming. It's hard to describe what it felt like to step out of the airport in Bologna. It was warm, sure, but it felt oddly familiar too, even though I hadn't been to Italy for almost a decade. Maybe the things that you get to know when you're very little stick with you, or maybe mainland Europe does have something about it that can't be found in the UK (I'm confirming some horrible stereotypes here, sorry...). Well, those four days in Bologna and Florence were pretty dreamlike. Yet at the same time they also felt like waking up from a long sleep. I kept swinging my arms, blissfully uncovered as they were.