So long, Italy.
I’m leaving Italy this morning. I’ve been here for 45 days and it’s been truly fantastic. I had been wanting to come to Italy for a longer trip for several years now. I think the fact that I couldn’t get what I considered a long enough trip in before is why I hadn’t been here. But that all worked out in the long run since I got to explore many different regions over a period of over 6 weeks. A great first trip here and a great place to get my new nomadic traveler lifestyle underway.
I’m behind on my blog, still lots of areas I haven’t posted about yet. I write notes every day so I have the content from when it was fresh, I just need to make it readable and post it. With so much to do and see in Italy it seemed hard to find the time to keep up after a while… But I’ll get the hang of it.
Anyway Italy is great. Really enjoyed getting off the more common tourist track as well, when traveling around the southern coast and in Fruili Venezia Giulia. I think the more of Italy you can see the more you can appreciate all of it and see the ways the areas differ. I didn’t dislike a single place I went and I’m glad that I eschewed the suggestions of people who told me not to bother with Naples and Milan.
Also interesting some of the through lines. It sounds like immigration is a big problem for Italy these days without clear solutions. This was brought up in conversations I had with locals in the Southern, Central, and Northern parts of the country. Italy takes people in who are trying to reach other places with Italy as just an entry point, but other countries won’t take them, so they stay in Italy. That is essentially what I heard several times (though I have not looked into all the specifics myself yet). Issues of bureaucracy and the trouble of government funds getting to the intended places came up a number of times too.
I found a strong regional pride in various areas, as one would expect. And I thoroughly enjoyed trying local cuisine and wine throughout the country. So much good stuff.
I don’t know that I have a good way to summarize my time here. Perhaps because I’ve been up all night and I’m waiting for my morning flight to my next destination… But it does seem like there’s a little bit of everything in Italy. And I can’t imagine only coming for a short time.
For a shorter trip to Italy, say a week or two, I’d recommend getting off the standard tourist path for at least part of it. And spend more time in fewer places. Given some of my timing I only spent 3 nights each in Milan and Venice. And while I’m glad I did they definitely felt a bit rushed, though that just means I have more to do next time. But if everywhere I went felt that rushed I could see it being frustrating.
I liked my time here so much that I considered staying longer. However, I decided that it’s too soon for that and I want to continue traveling other places before staying somewhere for too long a time. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if I decide to spend a decent amount of my time in 2016 in Italy. Revisiting places, longer stays in areas, and going places I didn’t have a chance to go. Plus checking in on some of the friends I’ve made here. Perhaps I’ll speak a little more Italian by then (though at one Frasca I look forward to returning to, they’d rather I work on my Friulian).