Italophile or just an addict?

I'm in Bologna and still have 7.5 days left on this trip to Italy, yet today I found myself already making a mental list of where I want to go on my next trip here. . . Verona for an opera, Venice again, Lake Como, Siena, Amalfi Coast . . . oh dear, what about the rest of the world?

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
4769 posts

Addicted.
I suggest Italyholics Anonymous. They have a support group for Boot-leggers.

Posted by Michael
Milwaukie, Oregon, USA
29 posts

I'm in. Almost every year since 1999. Some years we are adventurous and spend a week in Switzerland. We took a big bus tour of Europe in 1994 and our plan was to go back to all the countries as independent travelers but we can't seem to get out of Italy. I'm afraid that there is no hope but I can live with it.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
4424 posts

I spent less time than usual in Italy last year (had to go to Poland, Austria, Croatia and France), but I felt like I was cheating on her.

When does the suppoert group meet? And where?

Posted by Robert
Bordentown, NJ, USA
135 posts

Addict? How about happy!?! Opera in Verona - that's happy! Venice again? How about Venice always! Now that's happy. Siena? Amalfi Coast, the lakes? yep, they're happy places too! And then there is Rome where if you are unhappy with one century you can simply turn the corner and all of a sudden you're in a different century, different culture . . . and happy once again! I'm happy with a glass of local wine at a cafe on any piazza. I'm happy with a 3 scoop gelato sitting by the Bernini fountain on the Piazza Navona in Rome. I'm happy watching sunset - Apollo's firey chariot going into the boiling seas - from the wall in Sorrento. I'm happy when I get a seat up front late at night on the vaporetto going down (or up) the Grand Canal in Venice. I'm not happy when they put me kicking and screaming on the plane when it's time to go home?
How about the rest of you? Wouldn't sharing some happy Italian memories be a happy thing to do for all of us!?! :)

Posted by Jeanine
Pacific NW, USA
80 posts

We don't leave until June and I'm already mentally planning for another trip! Rome is not on our itinerary for the trip in June and I kinda feel like I'm cheating on him. Rome is a him...right?

Posted by Robert
Bordentown, NJ, USA
135 posts

Rome is a beloved - gender doesn't matter. And yes, you are right to feel unfaithful. The best cure? Get back there as soon as you can! Making up is also a happy time in Rome!!!!! Have a wonderful trip and an even greater Italian experience!

Posted by beth
Auburn, California
20 posts

Addicted!.....tell me about it!!! I set the date for a family vacation to Italy 3 years ago for June of 2016....have never been. In the meantime, I have completely fallen in love with Italy! (I tell people that I have converted to "Italianism")......I have a book shelf full of travel books and videos and absolutely love doing all the research for the trip (I'm on this travel forum daily). I even bought Rosetta Stone to learn some Italian before we go. My family may beg to differ.....but quite frankly, I'm not looking for a cure......

Posted by Kristen
Chicago
492 posts

I am also addicted!! I have been going to Italy every 1-2 years since I studied there in college. I took a several year break and made myself branch out and see some other countries. I enjoyed every single trip but being close to Italy and not going to Italy actually felt painful. Like that little twinge you get in your chest when you are getting over a break up. I am headed back to Rome and Sorrento in June. And planning a trip to Sicily for my next trip!!

Can the group meet in Italy?

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
4424 posts

Roma = feminine

By all means, let's meet in Italy!

Do you ever wonder if some of us have passed each other on the street in some great city without knowing?

Posted by Mary
Canoga Park, CA, USA
44 posts

Well, I thought I was the only one with this addiction. People always ask, "Why are you going to Italy again? Why not some other countries?" I try to think of visiting other countries but my heart strings pull me to Italy all the time. I feel so comfortable there maybe because I am of Italian descent (Sicilian and Napolitano). Have been there a few times and a friend and I are planning to visit our ancestral homes and then onto Basilicata and Puglia next spring. I have a couple of bookshelves designated for Italian books, Italian cookbooks, novels, tour books...yes, RS is there!....I would attend a therapy group only to find out what cute villages to see, how to get there, what are your thoughts on them, good restaurants, good hotels. I'm hopeless!

Posted by Ray
Saint Helens, OR, USA
212 posts

Little did I know when my wife and I were watching Rick's show on a rainy November in 2005 that that would be catalyst for a rich life of travel. Prior to that it was always a tropical vacation that was dreamed about. You know, laying on a white sand beach doing nothing. Not that that's bad (boring!), but Europe, and Italy in particular, has been an adventure. Something that we needed. Getting out of your comfort zone, traveling by your wits, dealing with the challenges and rewards of making your way through the country on your own. We are hooked.

By the way, as I'm sure your finding out, Bologna e fantastico! The food alone....
Buon viaggo!

Posted by Kristen
Chicago
492 posts

@ Zoe- I am sure some people have. It is a big community and a lot of people have similar tastes- especially in Italy. Maybe everyone should start wearing their Forum badges...except I don't have one yet.

Posted by Susan
Fort Myers, Florida, USA
21 posts

We are in Lucca now....3rd time! Going exploring Bani di Lucca today. Bellisimo! Montecatini Terme and apartment on Alto next. Caio

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
4446 posts

Oh, I'm so glad to know I'm not alone . . . or completely nuts.

I like Robert's idea of sharing our best memories. Here a some of mine

Piazza San Marco at dawn
Cinque Terre views from the ferry in the afternoon
David
Medici chapels
Sicilian cannoli in Trastevere (yep, better than any I had in Sicily)

Remembering is so much fun, but I have to go now - still want to have a long walk in Bologna before boarding the train to Florence. Oh, it's a hard life . . .

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1314 posts

Great idea Kristen. When?
We are currently in Tuscany, our 15th trip to Italy. The Tuscan countryside in May is ravishingly beautiful. Some special memories: hiking up to a ruined castle in the Altoadige, where we had a light lunch in a pub run by a young couple. Dessert was apple strudel, still warm from the oven. We were taken into the tiny chapel by a guide who spoke only Italian and German. We can manage French and Spanish. Nevertheless, we understood pretty much everything she was telling us about the 12th century frescoes (the subject matter IS familiar), including that the gnocchi being prepared for Mary by one of her attendants would have been made of wheat , not potatoes or corn, those plants being unknown in Europe until after Columbus's voyages.
Others: the mosaics at Ravenna and Monreale, Ravello, opera in Verona, boat trip on the Brenta canal with visits to Palladian villas, Scrovengi chapel, I could go on and on.

I have no desire for a cure. I'm already planning trip #16 - - possibly to the south, where we really haven't gone.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
4446 posts

Hi Rosalyn,

I just got to Florence for a brief visit, until Sunday morning. If you want to "come into town" for dinner tomorrow night, I'm available. That goes for anyone else who happens to be here now.

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1314 posts

After today's experiences, I just had to add this. It was the essence of why we're so in love with Italy. The friendliness and generosity of the people are incredible. We're in Massa Maritimma, which has an upper and lower sections. We asked the hotel owner if it was feasible for us to walk to the upper after a strenuous morning, or should we drive. He started explaining how to drive and where to park; then said that he could just take us up in his car if we wanted to walk down. He dropped us in front of the art museum we wanted to visit, and emphasized that we should also visit the museum of antique organs next door. That museum is a one-man show. The director gave us a guided tour, playing many of the instruments, demonstrating their works, and showing us some of the restoration projects in progress. He also gave us historical background on the town and the ex-church which houses the museum. All this with minimal Italian on our part and minimal English on his.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2884 posts

@Zoe... okay, forget Toledo or Ann Arbor for our next get together... for sure Italia!

So what do you call yourself when you have two loves that are pretty close to equal???? France and Italy for me...and lots of others that are close seconds, but those two have my heart:)))

Posted by James
San Anselmo, California
297 posts

I feel I am neither - I love Italy and Greece. My ancestors are from San Casciano (the one just south of Florence) and my first trip to Italy I went there, sat on the steps of the church in the center of town and was filled with life, eternity, connection, and I wasn't drunk or on LSD...lol...I've been to Italy 4 more times since, North, South and West, and will go back for my 6th trip in September. Meanwhile I've been to Greece (various islands) 3 times for long trips (17 days each trip).

I also seem to have an affinity for South America and I have many scuba destinations as well under my belt (no pun intended).

But Italy I have a special connection - probably because of my ancestry - my mother's maiden name IS Casciano, and the family name came down from many generations living in the small farming town, and my great-grandfather came to this country with an early wave of Italian immigrants in the late 1800s.

Good point is there IS a rest of the world, and it's fun to explore it - I think you go where your heart leads you...the wanderer is always rewarded, in Italy especially...

My memories: first time in San Casciano as stated above, Cinque Terre hiking (all of them) and the ferry coming into Vernazza at just the right time in the early evening, Venice everywhere, hiking in the Dolomites, ferry to Portofino...all the beautiful and delicious meals - I don't know that I've ever had a bad meal in Italy...just too many as I sit here thinking about them...

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3613 posts

Paris and France are my first love (I can hear the boos and hisses) but I also LOVE love love Italy.... all of Italy that I've been to and in particular, Sorrento and the AC. The people have been SO incredibly warm and friendly everywhere we've been in Italy, the opera singing bus drivers, the shop owner in Sorrento who invited me to come back and have coffee with her, the man who works at Hotel La Tonnarella in Sorrento who bought us a gift to say goodbye (a music box) and who greeted us warmly when we passed him on the street in town one day, the private driver we hired for all three visits who lent us over a hundred euros after picking us up at the airport on our 3rd visit because our Debit card would not work in the ATM machine and it was a Sunday, the incredibly delicious food, the history, the beauty, the Mediterranean, and... the gelato!!

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1412 posts

You're right, Susan: Boo Hiss! LOL!

I'm so happy to read these posts. I'm a retired airline employee, but I will jump through any hoop, connect through any airport, (in any fascinating European country) just for a CHANCE to get back to Italy.

I get this question all the time: Italy again?! I did cheat on her last year with a quick trip to Paris, but I will go back again and again until I can no longer travel, and if I DO happen to die there, well, I'll just die happy!

Favorite memories: The sunset overlooking Florence from Piazza Michelangelo. Walking through Piazza dela Signoria after dark, and hearing an acapela opera singer, and the seeing the fountains lit.

Drinking wine at Piazza Navona in Rome. Taking my friends to St. Peter's Square on their first night in Rome, and seeing the child like awe on my friend's husband's face (Growing up Catholic in Chicago and watching Midnight Christmas Eve Mass on TV his entire life) Doing the Roman Catholic Pilgrimage to the four Cathedrals in Rome.

Eating Gnocci on Thursday at Piacere Molise Ristorante in Rome. Eating Pizza everywhere in Rome, Florence, -- actually everywhere in Italy. Gelato -- anywhere, Florentine Bisteca. Now that I mention it, I just love eating everything everywhere in Italy!

Standing in the rain at Piaza San Marco. Yes, it's beautiful in the rain!

Attending my Favorite Nephew's wedding in Riccione! Attending my Favorite Nephew's Brother-in-law's wedding also in Riccione!
Meeting the beautiful DiMarchi Family in Riccione. Eating dinner at Anna's house in Italy. I've NEVER had grapes that tasted like that. Watching a 100 lb woman eat more food than I ever thought possible, and wondering why she's thin -- and I'm NOT! LOSING 8 lbs in Italy after eating everything I wanted. Has to be the walking! Possible explanation for the last two sentences :-)

The absolutely jaw-dropping views of The Med Sea from Taormina, Sicily -- and then Cefalu! Making friends with people I got to know quite well in Sicily! Attending a festival for locals only in Taormina Sicily -- Festival of Santa Maria della Roca in September!
Thank you so much Claudio Puglisi for taking us!

Too many to write here, but I am SO glad to have all of you for company in this love affair! First with the North, then with Roma, and now with Sicily. I wish I were on the plane right now -- to take me anywhere in Europe that has a connection to Rome or Palermo!

I'd like to thank Zoe, Chloe and Roberto for helping me and giving wonderful advice every time I explore a new area in Italy! Hugs, my fellow addicts!

Posted by James
San Anselmo, California
297 posts

One of my best trips in 1988 started in Italy, and we won $10,000 in the casino in Monaco playing blackjack (I was up over $15,000 when the hot streak ended) and then went to Nice and then Paris (we had plane to train, but ended up just renting a car), extended our plane ticket 2 more weeks, drove the French countryside, finally got to Paris and stayed in a gorgeous hotel, ate in Pre Catalan Restaurant, and had a glorious time - still took home $5K of the $10K. I'll never forget that.

I love France as well, but Italy and Greece more. I go to Paris and London on business, so now I relate more to work in those cities...ah travel...if I could make a living travelling, I certainly would do it!

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
1596 posts

@Terry Kathryn - "So what do you call yourself when you have two loves that are pretty close to equal????"

A two-timin' hussy! But don't worry, I'm right there with you - love them both but might give a very slight edge to France.

Posted by Alexandra
Houston, TX
55 posts

I'm swooning! I'm living life in eager anticipation of our upcoming trip to Italy in June. I've been before - many years ago, in a different life. I'm ready to embrace Italia again, and to introduce my family to her. This forum is stoking the flames of passion!

Posted by Robert
Bordentown, NJ, USA
135 posts

So, let's see which of you Italophiles/addicts are going to be in Sorrento in June! Villa Communale (by the Franciscan church) for sunset on June 25 and/or 29th? Carry your Rick Steves book - but somehow I think we would all recognize each other! Maybe head out for a glass of wine and a pizza afterwards? OK, twist my arm . . . and gelato! How about Assisi the first half of July? Venice the second half of July? Siena the end of July? Or our beloved Rome the first week of August? Do you think Rick might join us!?!