These Italy Travel Resolutions are suggestions on destinations, mentalities and experiences to try.
Each year there is something else for us to check out, explore, aspire to. Why not learn a bit of Italian? Why not try a new region? A new food? A new form of transportation? Few people are strangers to Italy, so it’s time to branch out. There’s always something new to do!
In 2015 it was about hiking and Central Italy. In 2016 I skipped the Italy Travel Resolutions for a whole-lot-of reading. In 2017 I was all about renting a car and getting out into Italy’s countryside, farmhouses and secondary cities. Finally, in 2018 it was time to change our mentality; make a smaller footprint, eat right, buy local and fully embrace the culture rather than expecting the culture to adapt to us.
So whether you make New Year’s Resolutions or not, here are some things you should try on your next trip to Italy:
I will go south
This is the year for Italy’s mezzogiorno. Travelers are searching for something beyond Rome and Tuscany and the country’s once overlooked South is top of the list. The peninsula’s southern gems are being featured more and more in magazines and travel programs and with good reason; Palermo, Sicily was the 2018 European Capital of Culture and Matera in Basilicata is the 2019 Capital of Culture. Puglia has some of the best beaches in Italy and overall the south has world-class islands.
As an Italy travel blogger who’s still never been farther south than Rome, this is my top priority. And finally I can say in 2019 I’m making it happen with a long weekend to Palermo. And it’s just the start!
I will actually learn the place names
Ok so you’re not planning on studying a language for a ten-day trip. I understand. But at least try to get the names of the destinations correct. Siena is spelled with one n, not two. It’s Cinque TERRE, not terra. That’s tair-eh, not tair-ah. I can understand a less-than-stellar pronunciation, but not if the name is just straight wrong. Monterosso al Mare is different from Monterosa. One will send you to a beautiful tiny seaside town, the other to the mountains!
I will study, seek out and soak in the history
Italy’s beautiful. It’s glamorous. It’s inspiring. Any visitor can enjoy the food and admire the backdrops, but the real marvel is pairing all that you see with the country’s long, strong history.
The mosaics in Ravenna meant so much more once I knew about the characters featured on the walls of the churches. The magnificent Duomo of Milan is jaw-dropping in its own right. Now, remind yourself that it took six centuries to build.
I truly believe that no trip to Italy is complete without some background. And yet it seems most travelers skip ahead in the guidebooks to the biggest site and ignore the nuance. This year, let’s give ourselves that extra inspiration.
I will take a tour
There’s no way around it, most travelers want to see one hundred places when they come to Italy. Though I stress time and again to see less, travel slower, dive deep, I get that with one trip abroad, you want to see all you can. So, take a tour. Whether it’s for the entire trip or just a couple of hours, a tour will take away all the stress of planning and navigation and give you the details, information and history you need to truly see into a destination.
I will make a return visit
I’ve been to Siena three different times, and I’m sure I’ll go again. Maybe even this year when family comes to visit. Typically, I prefer to always see something new, but let’s be honest, sometimes you just need more time in a place. Sometimes, you don’t even realize how much more there is to see until you go back. The first time I went to Siena I simply walked around with no idea of the geography or history. The second time I ate the local food and hung out in the piazza at night with teenagers, musicians and night owl Italians. The third time, I toured from top to bottom the Duomo complex including the baptistery, crypt, museum and even climbed up to tour the Duomo from above.
Check out: Siena, Third Time’s A Charm
There are hundreds of places to visit in Italy, but on your next trip give yourself some time in a place you’ve already seen. I’m sure there’s more to discover.
I will have an Italian aperitivo
In the name of fun and experiencing the local culture, resolve to partake in Italy’s excellent happy hour culture. Especially in the north, the aperitivo is a classic pastime, as Italian as spaghetti. You’ll never want for options, so take your pick, order a spritz (they also have non-alcoholic options) eat all the snacks you want and relax, you’re in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!
I will take my kid(s)
Despite how easy travel mom bloggers make it look, traveling with kids – especially toddlers – is hard. Even this travel-obsessed sagittarius is more hesitant now that traveling means twice the work. But what those travel mom bloggers are trying to show us isn’t how easy it is, but how worth it. Our one day in Ravenna nearly killed us, but no one can take the sights and experience away from us!
I will accept the bad travel days
First time travelers or veterans, solo travelers, single travelers or those of us hauling kids around, bad travel days happen to all of us. From a missed train, a wrong turn, a bad restaurant, misplaced trust, it’s a part of the travel game. This year, let’s resolve to not let these things ruin our trip, but rather to go with whatever life throws at us during our travels. After all, a part of travel is accepting and experiencing the unknown, right?
I will travel ethically
Gone are the days of colonizing, culture-blind travel. Now, if you’re going to travel, either do it ethically or stay at home. Ethical travel means following the rules, leaving a light footprint and being respectful. In 2019 and beyond, it’s time that we all agree to travel ethically.
What are your upcoming Italy travel plans?