Once again, we tried. At least -I- tried. Real hard. ‘Where should we go next?’ was the matter at hand. I surfed the web for deals that would fit the budget and give us the biggest bang for our precious bucks. ‘Maybe we could go to Vietnam, we keep talking about Peru and never seem to get to it, Argentina would be fun …’ followed closely by ‘We should really try to go somewhere different, a place we have not been before, you know…do something somewhat adventurous…’ All said while daydreaming of the Inca Trail, climbing Kilimanjaro, kayaking in Galápagos, and walking through Angkor Wat.
But then Mr. Let’s-Go-Wherever-You-Want announced (in no uncertain terms) that he wanted to go to Italy. ‘We have not been to Italy for a while’. True. 8 years to be exact. Sigh, there goes the high adventure factor. ‘We always like Italy’ he said. Oh. A loaded statement.
A bit of background: During the spring of 2016 we spent 3 months in Portugal. We liked it, mostly. Or at least I can honestly say that we did like some regions and cities. But several reasons contributed to our not falling in love with Portugal: horrible weather for almost a solid month in Lisbon, food poisoning, a less than stellar AirB&B experience, moving around way too much for 2 months, and a underestimation of the economic crisis impact to the rural and less touristic towns.
Half way through the trip we escaped to Spain for a few weeks in Galicia and Extremadura. It was glorious.
Then came the winter of 2016/2017, and it was hard for our family. My beloved brother in law passed away after a short but brutal battle with pancreatic cancer. I have written about this in the past, so I will not elaborate but to say that I had never spent that much time away from C. Though he did not begrudge even for a second my being away from home to be with my sister, he has been ready to have me all to himself 24/7 for a while (he is weird like that, but it’s ok with me).
So yeah, we were ready to go to place that we knew for sure we liked. Enter Italy.
In 1999, before we actually moved in together fulltime, C and I took our very first ‘real’ vacation together. He and I, 3 weeks in Italy, a car, and no reservations. Yup, we winged it for 3 weeks straight without any major glitch (and I’m not counting my navigational meltdown while driving into Rome with a guidebook-map or the side mirror we lost in hairpin turn in the Amalfi coast road).
We road tripped for 21 days and had an absolute blast. So much that right after we came back he decided to throw caution in the wind, moved to my hometown, and we got a house together. Italy holds a special place in our hearts.
Fast-forward to 2009, when we went on our second Italian trip for another 3 weeks, but this time as a threesome to celebrate the 16th birthday of our daughter. By then I had already become an avid travel planner: I was armed with The Plan and I had reservations for everything. Though the schedule had been laid out and was executed with military precision, it still was a heavenly balsam during the onset of –ahem- adolescence difficulties. Italy grew even deeper into our hearts.
Tomorrow we fly to Rome, this time to spend 6 weeks meandering through Central and Southern Italy. I am equipped with A Plan (note that it is not The Plan anymore; I’m older now and a bit wiser). I have booked an apartment for our 2 weeks in Rome and also a few hotels here and there, but there will be a some nights where we will wing and sleep wherever the road trip takes us.
But first we will start by cashing in on that coin that we threw into the Trevi Fountain….and throw in another one of course!