The world is small, we say it often. And it’s true, but physically so only for a privileged few, the rest have virtual access only. After an hour on a plane and a short drive along the French Riviera and through Monaco, noting the elaborate anti-intruder constructions added to windows and balconies, I am in a different world. My trip takes me the opposite route to the refugees coming North, for whom the Mediterranean is a not a simple thing of beauty, but a treacherous body of water, a barrier and Italy only a stop en route to Germany, or other more Northern countries. For them Italy is terra firma, at best a first safe haven, police, tents, registration, uncertainty and waiting. My Italy is palm trees and oleander, sailing dinghies docked in readiness for this weekends regatta, a room with a view of the sea, the morning sun shining right onto the bed and restaurants serving the best of Italian cuisine, the quality of the ingredients, as always is amazing here. Last night we had dinner at a wonderful little cafe right by a harbour, it’s not tourist season of course, so only the locals and us. The octopus on cannellini bean puree was amazing, tender and slightly smoky from the grill, the bean puree smooth, silky perfection. The tiramisu, which is a misunderstood dish, in that people think it’s simple to get right, but which is often misinterpreted, outside Italy and a thus a misery to eat, was pure and simple, made with fresh mascarpone, and without cream, it was a real indulgence. At the table next to us three local men were having a wonderful time together. In Switzerland you might see a group of women having a long dinner and chatting, in England too, but based on my observation groups of middle-aged men in most countries converge at the bar not at the dinner table. For this reason I was curious. As we walk home I am told that they were discussing building contracts in the village, upcoming elections, and how the right man in the right place, would greatly facilitate access to contracts. Names were discussed, sums were mentioned, toasts were made…. One gentleman had an iPhone 6s plus in white and rose gold, which surprised me, it didn’t look like a typical male selection. Mr Polianthus explained that in Italy business-persons might get a phone on the spouses name to circumvent monitoring by the authorities…enter another Italy. There are so many more.