There’s so much to love. Perhaps too much for just one lifetime!
We all know the allure of Italy. The romance, the art, the landscapes, the food, and then there’s the wine…
There are endless reasons why we fall in love with Italy.
And for every one of us who does so, there is a beautiful story behind the love affair.
Reasons To Fall In Love With Italy
Growing up Italian-American in The US, Italy was just a part of who I was. A given. Yet, it wasn’t until I traveled back as an adult that I came to truly fall in love with Italy.
One summer while visiting with my family I realized that Italy was where I wanted to be. Where I was supposed to be. I felt something tugging at my heart and soul. In a way that I’d never experienced before.
That feeling quickly grew. So, I began to chase the dream. Lucky for me, a few years later it came true! In 2001, I packed up and moved to Italy.
That was the moment that I learned that while life may take you to distant places, love brings you home…
Since I am lucky enough to call Bella Italia home, it seemed poetic that the first post here on Travels & Inspiration celebrate Italy It’s hard to imagine narrowing the list down to a hundred reasons, let alone ten.
Simply put, these are a few of the things that fill my heart with joy and make my days brighter.
These just aren’t simply reasons to fall in love with Italy. More importantly, they are the things that have helped me appreciate the beauty and feel grateful for my many blessings.
So without further ado, here are 10 reasons why Italy stole my heart many years ago. And why I think you’ll fall in love with her too!
Italy is Full of Surprises
Just when you think you have seen it all, Italy still manages to surprise you.
Italy has a way of keeping you in the moment and throwing you the unexpected.
Sometimes throwing away the agenda, and just taking it all in allows for the most candid and unforgettable moments. No matter how big or small.
Really, how often do you sit down on the side of a fountain to be joined by a pigeon working so hard to drink out of a statue? This moment in Siena left me chuckling all afternoon!
Italy is Diverse
From the mountains to the oceans, from the north to south, and from one town to the next, Italy is surprisingly diverse. It’s a cultural superpower and that makes traveling all the more awesome!
Italy is a true infusion of traditions, architecture, foods, languages, dialects, subdialects (yes, there is such a thing!) and customs technically all rolled up into one country.
Yet in reality, each little corner of Italy feels like its own little world.
Italy Fills The Senses
Italy is a treat for the senses. It’s mindful travel at its best!
From gazing across the romantic landscapes to soaking up the warm seaside sun, one can’t help but become immersed in la dolce vita.
Life in Italy comes to life with the sweet smell of the local pastry shop, the first mouthwatering taste of pizza or listening to the local cafe chatter.
Those are the little things I miss when I’m in America!
The Way of Life
Italians have the work-life balance down to an art.
Their appreciation of beauty in all forms seeps into their desire to enjoy life, live passionately, and be with one another.
This constantly reminds me and my rather type A personality to stop and smell the roses!
Art & Architecture
Florence. Rome. Venice. And everywhere in between.
Art and Architecture are the building blocks of Italy and give you visual pleasure at every turn.
Whether you are indoors or outdoor there is beauty everywhere. And let’s face it, even the old derelict stuff here can be charming!
The Church Bells
Hands down, this is one of my favorite things about living in Italy! It just makes me smile.
Church bells mark the day in the background noise of life. They create an auditory rhythm that seems every bit as normal to me as the morning coffee ritual.
Now I can’t imagine life without the bells. Yet another thing I miss when I am in America.
The Coffee Ritual
Life in Italy without coffee is, well…simply unimaginable!
I only grew to appreciate coffee after I moved to Italy.
The coffee here is more than the first glorious sip or the wafting aroma as you enter the cafe.
It’s about taking time out of your day to pause and connect, with yourself and others. It’s a tiny piece of daily self-care.
It’s not just the coffee that keeps me coming back to my favorite haunts, it’s the people. It’s about how I feel when I am there. At home. Happy. Like a worn glove.
Along with a morning coffee, I would add an afternoon (or evening as I am not picky) Prosecco to the list of things that make the day sweeter.
Some of my fondest memories with friends have been over a glass, or even bottle 🙂 of Prosecco.
And let me tell you. A trip into the heart of The Veneto region’s Prosecco country is an even better delight!
Go soon, my friends. Having just been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, things might just start to get busy!
Every good Italian should have a healthy relationship with pizza, me included!
With simple and fresh ingredients, there is nothing like a bubbling pizza straight out of the wood fire oven.
And watching a pizzaiolo spin & twirl dough is magical.
And undoubtedly the reason why UNESCO declared the culinary practice of intangible culture in 2017.
Villages, villages everywhere!
I love them all because they offer an intimate glimpse into Italian life. It’s as if time has stood still in some corners of Italy. And villages are great spots to explore like a local.
I find it easy to get swept up into another place and time, and just enjoy the moment. Especially when many of these hamlets & villages are so are quiet and unpopulated.
If you want off the beaten path in Italy, this is where you will find it!
The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. They are stunning, and every so often they even take your breath away.
Beyond the raw beauty, the mountain culture in Italy is unique. It’s a mix of Alpine, Italy and Germanic culture all rolled into one.
The Dolomites are sometimes overlooked by visitors, but high on my list of places to spend my free time.
Cortina is one of my favorite day trips & places to hike and the region of South Tyrol is a wellness playground. I never come back from time in the mountains feeling anything less than happy and inspired.
Italy is Inspiring
In small and big ways, Italy inspires me just about every day.
Some days it is the grand architecture.
Other days it is the beauty of the landscape. And often it is something simple like shared moments with family and friends.
I find myself often moved. Italy awakens you to the possibilities of life. Living here reminds me to be grateful while at the same time compelling me to embrace life. A wonderful gift indeed.
Once you visit Italy, life is never the same.
Bella Italia sneaks into your heart and soul. And casts a spell you can’t seem to shake. But then again, I doubt anybody would want to…
until the next time...
...live well – travel well – be well
More Wellness Inspiration…
Healthy Mind & Body Travel Tips To Boost Well-Being
Wellness Travel (Why It’s For Everyone)
Share, Connect, & Inspire!