Ten observations about the Salone del Gusto.

1.) If the preponderance of attendees from those nations is any indication, the economies of Japan and Australia are doing just fine. 2.) Italian security is omnipresent. Who’s going to mess with this guy?

Feathered security in Torino
Feathered security in Torino

3.) Everything’s better with coffee and chocolate.

Caffe Lungo
Caffe Lungo
Liquid Chocolate
Liquid Chocolate

4.) Bill Cunningham would have a field day here. The women, the men, the kids, almost all sport a bit of style--from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes.

Italian Style at Salone del Gusto
Italian Style at Salone del Gusto

5.) Does anyone here not smoke? I’m pretty sure that everyone gets a carton of Marlboros for their 10th birthday and it’s all downhill from there.

Do all Italians Smoke?
Do all Italians Smoke?

6.) The Salone is an emblem for inclusion. Disabled people are working, playing, learning and just plain stuffing their faces like everyone else.

Diversity at work at Salone del Gusto
Diversity at work at Salone del Gusto

7.) Forget “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” Here, it’s never too early for a glass of wine.

A little red at any time.
A little red at any time.

8.) Italians have a poetic love of eating. They talk about wine and food like it's love and sex.

9.) It’s possible there are not enough pigs in the world to make all of the prosciutto the Italians consume so voraciously.

Never enough Prosciuto
Never enough Prosciuto

10.) If cheese is a religion, this is Vatican City, the Haj, Mecca and the Wailing Wall all rolled into one. And the faithful are devoted in their worship.

A variety of Italian Cheeses
A variety of Italian Cheeses

All in all, a great week. Looking forward to 2014.