I have been to Italy about 100 times, mostly business. I have seen the major cities which are a must to see. I now enjoy going to small towns in the mountains. These towns are unique and preserved in time. Many have not seen many tourists. I travel into a major city like Rome or Milan non stop. I don’t want to have layovers that can be 5 to 10 hours onto of a 8 hour flight. I rent a car so I am independent and travel sometimes on Autostrada’s to get to an area but then on off major roads. I stop in any town that looks interesting. A short walk around, a stop at the local bar for a coffee. When it’s time to eat I usually will go to a trattoria. They are usually family run, the cooking is fantastic using local ingredients and the prices are reasonable. Communicating with the locals will help you find important nearby towns, caves, and sites.
Always stop for an ice cream or a glass of wine and observe the locals. I love telling a story once when I visited a very small town in central Italy. No one spoke English. I smelled something being baked. It was biscotti. Not 10 types just one very good cookie. I bought two and the man tried to communicate with me to take my cookies to the bar across the street and oder the local red wine. Dunk the biscotti in the wine and enjoy. I thought Oh well everyone will see me, laugh and say “another tourist”. When I got into the bar, there were several people. All had their own biscotti and were dunking them in their wine. It was delicious and a memory I will never forget.
Make your own memories with someone you love. There is no more romantic place than Italy!
George & Jo Anne