There are days when I feel the Italians are close to being the earth’s most civilized people. I’m sure my feelings have something to do with my never having been to Italy — we only idealize those places and peoples we do not really know.
Nevertheless, something must be said for a country that (1) was responsible for the Renaissance, (2) has some of the finest cuisines in the world, (3) has produced great art and music, and (4) cannot field a military worth a damn. If those things do not indicate an advanced civilization, I don’t know what things do.
Now, if they could only rid themselves of the Mafia.