So if you’re in Italy any time soon and you find yourself feeling a little high, it’s not just the wine and the proximity to great art. It’s because there are drugs in the air. Yes, like the kind of exciting drugs people do to get loaded — cocaine, marijuana — and also slightly more everyday stuff like caffeine and nicotine.
The levels of these substances found in the air are not actually going to get you wasted. They are trace amounts.
Still, it’s interesting to see where has more of what. Bologna and Florence, both big student towns, had lots of cannabinoids in the air, and Turin had the most cocaine. Maybe there’s something about being close to where they found the shroud of Turin that makes people just want to bury their face in a mound of white powder, inhale, and then scream “George was the best Beatle, George was the best Beatle” until the vodka runs out.
But again, just so we’re clear: If you want to get high on drugs in Italy you have to buy them, not just depend on the exhalations of random Italian substance abusers to get you high.