As an American, I recently began extending visits to friends in Italy by meeting families providing agriturismo . My Italian speaking wife Evi (Eveline Faure,MD, FCCP,a graduate of the Universita Italiana per Stranieri,Perugia) made this p- sible. During one visit in 1994,we were sitting around the table in Pisa with friends who were fellow critical care physicians. They were remarking how specialists needed more patients. We told them that we were going south beyond Naples, a concept which they could t understand,considering the beauty of Tuscany. We had a marvelous time in southern Italy, meeting warm and welcoming people, surely one of the greatest resources of all Italy. While in Calabria, I ted there were so many people on the streets joyfully communicating on their cell phones. (This was before cellular techlogy became so popular in the USA). Evi commented how tele-communication had advanced in Italy; she remembered how it took three hours to make a phone call with a jetton only a few years before. Later,in a small town (Revello,Basilicata),we met a w- derful young family who told us how difficult it was to get medical care. Yes,they had good general physicians,but it was hard to reach specialists many kilometers away. At the time,we were staying on a farm with an elderly couple,who invited us to join them to share meals. During conversation, I learned that the farmer had chronic lung disease and required long-term oxygen. He,too,found it difficult to get the care he needed in rural Italy.