Looking back, I'm not sure what I expected... Charles Dickens, a turn of the century country maybe.
It's not stereotypical. The germans work hard, like their beer and like things just so. So do many of the bikers I know. The French are no more rude than 99% of NYC residents. They have places to be. The Italians love what they do but again, no more than many of the people I know. Everyone complains about traffic, taxes and road conditions. Most everyone is kind and curious. They would like to talk to you, tell you with pride about their area and listen to you talk about America. Them be amazed at how not stereotypical you are.
The food.... was different. It was good but I think I actually lost some weight. Pork, not unlike an American BBQ except none of it was chopped up. Everything was served on the bone, you had to work and dig for the good bits.
I had fun. Hope to go back. Only time will tell.
In the end, we all are human. We're born, we learn, we make friends, we grow old, we die.
I've made some new friends, seen some new things. Life is good.