Old and New in Italy


When I began my career in travel, years ago now, I hoped I would one day get to Italy either for work or pleasure. Perhaps between assignments I might rent a car and drive between the major cities like Rome, Venice and Florence. The latter is where I was supposed to spend a semester of university. Instead, bad things happened and I didn’t travel much at all in my college years or early twenties.

So when I eventually found myself in Italy for the first time for work, I soaked up every single minute and savored every drop of wine as if it would be my last. That assignment took me to Rome and the hill towns of Umbria. It was a trip that could hardly have thrilled me more. And though I wanted to see more of the country, I had to move on. Unsure if I would ever return. I did. Twice more.

No trip ever deposited me in Florence. And while each journey has been incredible — most particularly the most recent, Bologna with my love — every time I departed Italy without seeing the rooftops, the art, the churches of Florence…was a time my heart felt just a little bit, well, sad.

I didn’t think initially that I wanted a career which would involve returning over and over to countries I’d checked off a list. I believed I’d want to get to every single new country, before I revisited the old. Yet as wise Andrew Evans also realized in a post on National Geographic, sometimes returning to a place we’ve already been is every bit as fulfilling as exploring somewhere new.

Thank goodness I saw the light and have opened myself up to returning to Italy over and over because it is just that openness which has led me to the plane I board tonight…….

Which will *finally* take me to Florence! Well, its airport. And from there, Tuscany. BUT — after two nights in Tuscany with Acqua Panna, THEN I will actually get to the city I’ve dreamt of so much: Florence.

Will it live up to the hype? I don’t know. But I do know that I never expected Italy itself to live up to all the hype. And yet every time I return, I fall in love with it more and more.

Bring on the old AND the new. That’s my motto now!

  • August 01, 2013

    It can be overwhelming to know there are so many beautiful places in the world and we have so little time and resource to cover them all. My way of enjoying this constraint is to enjoy where ever I am in whatever I do. The beauty of Italy does make my heart throbbing whenever I retrieved my memory there, a consuming sensation I tend not to indulge. No single photo or media can reproduce my adoration for this country. Love to see the content of your love affair with Italy.

    • August 02, 2013

      I completely agree! Well said. And I am so glad you like seeing the content from Italy. More coming for sure 🙂

  • August 03, 2013

    I can’t wait to hear about your trip and if Florence lives up to your expectations. Enjoy it!

    • August 21, 2013

      Thanks Noelle! Florence was wonderful in parts but it didn’t fully live up to my lofty expectations. Other parts of Italy definitely surpass it for me 😉

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  • August 17, 2013

    after being so inspired by your blog and lifestyle, and many others, we packed up our lives to travel – we’ve been travelling through Europe lately and a few weeks ago we visited Florence, me for the second time, and it really lives up to the hype. It’s ancient and beautiful and gives off the most amazing vibe – like the city is hiding secrets. We stayed a little out of the city, which was nice because it was a bit hot, but I really enjoyed our time there, and we did a post about it if you are interested. I don’t think my photos do it justice. Looking forward to hearing all about your trip though – will check back soon http://www.somuchtosee.com.au/blog/florence/

    • August 21, 2013

      Wow!!!!! That’s great to hear Josh & Kirsty. If you’re still in Italy and looking for other places to visit, I strongly recommend Liguria, Emilia Romagna and Umbria. All those regions are far superior to Tuscany for me. I also adore Rome. It’s so much larger than Florence I guess but it’s truly a gem. I stayed in Trastevere and just could not have been more thrilled. Good luck with the rest of your travels. What a wonderful life it sounds like you’re building!!

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