One of the first lessons we had in this country was on the vast diversity contained within the various regions of Italy. Even within Umbria, the heart of the country, you can travel a city or two over, and you’ll find a new dialect, history, and culture than the one you came from.
Although it’s been a pleasure visiting the famous cities of Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, etc.) a deeper connection is formed between me and the country when I visit the out-of-the-way cities that contain the normal people of Italy, the salt of the earth, if you will.
It’s always a pleasure coming to a “paese,” or town, and learning what differentiates them, what they are famous for, and also in what ways the other cities poke fun at rivals. Gubbio is one city that has gotten this roughest: called “The City of Crazies,” they are famous for being full of crazy people. Story has it that if you walk three times around a particular fountain three times, you become a “Gubbian,” and therefore crazy.