Here are, in no particular order, ten reasons to choose Italy for your next vacation. Already agree? Let me help you plan that vacation!
When I start working with new clients to plan an Italy itinerary, I ask them to tell me which of the following they are interested in, because Italy has them all: beaches, hiking, biking, diving, outdoor markets, boutiques, outlet malls, festivals, concerts, opera, museums, churches, history, architecture, cooking classes, ceramics or art classes, farms, horseback riding, wine, vineyards, olive oil farms, cheese production, castles, family activities, big cities, tiny towns, walled towns, quintessential countryside, mountains, hot springs, islands, vistas.
Italians are lively, passionate, and very social therefore easy to get to know. Time spent with them will add a depth to your visit that will leave you with a more lasting impression than any monument or tourist attraction. Especially if you love their country, Italians love to hear it and even the baker, the shop owner, or your taxi driver will make the time to chat with you. If you make an effort here, chances are you’ll leave with new friends.
Wander through gorgeous small streets in walled towns. Walk along a rocky beach with coastal views. Sit in a piazza with a cup of coffee and watch Italians talk to each other using hand gestures. Explore outdoor markets and hit bakeries to try local sweets. Admire architecture, sculpture, and fountains in the streets, and pop into churches to see masterpieces. Get a late afternoon gelato and then partake in the evening passeggiata, when locals everywhere in Italy go for a pre-dinner walk on the main drag.
Even without setting foot in one actual brick and mortar museum, you’ll learn a lot of about history and art and architecture, just by looking around at the city squares, walled hill towns, towers, bridges, churches and details on the streets.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll come home with amazing photos, whether they be a coastal scene, a backdrop of a historic monument, or a field of flowers with a walled hill town or castle in the background. Food photos also count as a “vista”!
Italians love kids. If you’re traveling with kids, they will get a ton of attention and be welcomed practically everywhere.
Italy is not a huge country, and transfers between most cities are usually a manageable few hours by car or train (though many people think driving in Italy is a crazy thing to do). On the other hand, the country looks deceptively small on a map because there is a lot packed in to every square kilometer. So even though you can see a lot in a relatively short trip, you can not see the whole country in a week.
Even foreigners who speak no Italian agree the language is music to the ears. You’ll likely recognize words like “buongiorno, arrivederci, mamma mia, pizzeria, cappuccino, ciao, via!” If you speak French or Spanish, you’ll understand some Italian, and if you decide to try to learn some, you can probably make headway during even a short vacation.
Italy is the #1 tourist destination in the world, packed with travelers in high season — and yet there is still a lot to explore. There is so much to see and discover that you can easily decide to avoid tourist throngs and hang out with the locals.
You will eat well, sleep comfortably, see beautiful things, still be able to use your smart phone and access your email, and yet be in a completely foreign country.
All of the above are true. But Italy can kick your butt, too, if you don’t do your homework or aren’t organized. That friendly cab driver can overcharge you; that guy who pulls you into his restaurant can serve you awful food; that train ticket you booked in advance might be useless when there’s a train strike. So just plan your trip a little before you go. Or let me help you.
All photos belong to Madeline Jhawar and may not be used without permission
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