Welcome to “Conversations of Italy” a working title for this blog and also for the film we are working on about our Italian experiences filming in Italy. It’s Monday afternoon and all the students have finally arrived. We are about to begin a creative four weeks working on a what I like to call a cultural travel, documentary. It can best be explained by understanding the difference between a guide book and a book of travel essays. Like a guide book or travelogues, a cultural travel documentary will show you places to see, but may not tell you how to get there. It may introduce you to cultural experiences, but may not tell you how much it’s going to cost or where you can find the cheapest pizza. It will definitely introduce you to real people and take you deeper into the soul of a place than an ordinary guide book might. And it certainly is not as superficial as most travelogues. Of course a cultural travel documentary might include elements of all of the above it just won’t present them in the way a typical guide book would. Like a book of travel essays it is often, although not always, told as a first person account. Our films are our stories; personal, often emotional, hopefully entertaining accounts of interacting with and experiencing the people, places and cultures of the places we visit. Benvenuti !!!