Are you part of the confraternity of Italian travelers who have truly seen and savored Italy? Off the tourist flow to see Italy’s iconic sights a little differently. Traveling le stradi dei vini e sapori to taste regional Italy food at the gastronomic epicenter of the world. Ready to return home boasting about the most wonderful food you ate, wine you drank and what you saw.
Traveling to Italy on more than a “show and tell” tour will take you down Roman roads, past castles with Celtic altars and Etruscan ruins, through medieval walled cities and alpine lakes, visiting Renaissance chapels and Gothic cathedrals, into kitchens, vineyards and orchards to experience the food of princes, popes, pilgrims and everyday Italians, developing a taste for Italy and wanting more.
Here are 21 undeniably signs you’ve seen and savored Italy.
1. You can’t drive by the Olive Garden without thinking or saying “THEY JUST DON”T GET IT”.
2. You’re on a universal quest to find the right olive oil like the one you had in Italy.
3. You find yourself wanting to take a mid-day break without regret just to rest and recharge.
4. You would never think of having a cappuccino after 12 noon.
5. You’re favorite pizza is Pizza Margherita with Bufala Mozzarella.
6. Each night after dinner you take a passeggiata.
7. You’ve seen the Palladian villas.
8. You’re favorite Italian cheese is something other than parmesan.
9. You’ve driven through the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany.
10. You’ve been to an Italian terme.
11. You’ve stared at the starry blue mosaic ceiling of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna.
12. You’ve stopped at a cicchetti bar in Venice for a nibble and nip.
13. You’ve eaten papparadelle con lepre or a ragu’ of wild boar.
14. You’ve visited the Museo di Tartufo in San Giovanni d’Asso for an addictive truffle experience.
15. On more than one occasion, you have cornered a totally uninterested stranger at a house party to rant about how America needs to learn how to make a proper pizza.
16. Supermarket cheese aisles depress you.
17. Chianti is not your favorite Italian wine.
18. You’ve window shopped Via Monte Napoleone in Milan.
19. Visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy.
20. You’ve breathed the air of the Renaissance at Santa Maria Novella Farmacia in Florence.
21. You find that you sometimes avoid talking about Italy or your time there, because you know how pretentious it sounds (but come on!! it’s a huge part of your life!!).