Everybody loves Italy. Have you ever noticed how Italy is often a cover story on travel and food magazines? That’s because Italy sells magazines. It is a country that inspires such passion: people simply love reading about, talking about, dreaming about Italy. We see that passion for Italy here in our community every day. Of course, that passion is what inspires our clients and millions of others to take an Italy tour.
There are so many reasons why people appreciate Italy the way they do… For its cuisine and fashion, for its music and architecture, for its art and history. Of course we all know that the Roman Empire was a turning point in world history, introducing advances in architecture, engineering and lifestyle that spread to other areas of the empire: Spain to the west; England to the north; north Africa to the south; until they eventually made their way to the Americas!
Modern day Italians have lots to offer us as well, and an Italy tour is a wonderful way to experience this firsthand. Before you get started on your trip to Italy, there are a few things you can do to make your Italian trip the best ever!
SLOW DOWN! When you start out on your Italy tour, take note of the locals. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that most Italians take things slow. In many cases, you’ll find the pace of living much slower than you might be used to in the States. In many cultures, including ours, life is lived in a “stress response” state. We are like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. The Italians take their time, lean back and enjoy! (Except perhaps when they get behind the wheel!) So observe this on your trip. Notice that the only people in a rush are the tourists. So take your lead from the locals – slow down, lean back and enjoy!
EAT RIGHT! As you can imagine, Italians are very particular about their diet. The know what makes them feel good, and what makes them feel bad. Italians are extremely disciplined with food. They do not overindulge. They know what to eat (and how to eat it) and they stick to their guns. Eating is an art and the people of Italy know that. As a gluten-free guy I was blown-away by the food options in Italy. People in other countries simply go without if they have food allergies or intolerances. Not the Italians! They find great alternatives and they make them available to everyone! This is a testament to the modern creativity in their cuisine. If you would like to know more about what it’s like to travel Italy gluten-free, take a look at my recent Huffington Post Travel article on Gluten Free Cuisine in Italy.
HAVE FUN! Italians LOVE to have a great time. They are experts at having fun and always take time out of their week to simply enjoy life. Frankly, there are not many cultures that really create time for fun. We think we do, but in the end our commitment to fun should be much more. So take a few notes on fun during your Italy tour, whether you are sightseeing, attending a festival or a concert! Get out of your comfort zone and enjoy! Or maybe that’s get into your comfort zone!
Last of all, BE CURIOUS! The book “Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World” by Peter d’Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish is an accessible survey of some of Italy’s greatest contributions, from the Roman calendar to the radio! Watch out for all those fascinating Italian firsts. From the tiniest inventions to the most famous individual achievements, you’ll find stories of Italian ingenuity everywhere. Let your curiosity loose, ask questions and remember all those discover a myriad of amazing facts to share with family and friends when you get back home! (Sprezzatura is an interesting, if abstract, Italian word. It means “studied carelessness.” It’s as if Italy’s cultural contributions sprang forth seamlessly.)