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How has a trip to Italy changed your life when you're back home?

How has a trip to Italy changed your life when you're back home?

Jan 25th, 2008, 08:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
How has a trip to Italy changed your life when you're back home?

Curious....How has your life changed upon returning from Italy?

We just completed our very first trip to Italy (that was at least a year in the planning...and we did it all on our own, thanks to Fodorites). Naturally, we fell in love with Italy.

Since we've been home....

1) I'm taking an Italian language course at the local college

2) Culinary: we've eaten like the Italians do: "rocket" arugula salads, olive oil and vinegar only on salads, making our own limoncello, making pesto the Ligurian way, with a mortar and pestle (and it tastes way more fabulous than in a Cuisinart!), and we've become more aware about the olive oils we use, etc.

3) Vino: we're educating ourselves and drinking more Italian wines than California (where we reside).

4) We're interested and learning more about Renaissance Art and History than ever before.

5) I'm still on Fodor's talk site regularly to share, read and enjoy other's experiences. It's a great place to reflect on our fab time in Italy.

5) most importantly.....We're already planning our next trip!

How about you?

adventureseeker is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Oh, I am Italian and I live in Italy.
I appreciated very much your kind and sweet words.
As you're learning Italian, about your plan of your next trip, I tell you "che tu sia il benvenuto in Italia !"


vincenzod is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 01:44 AM
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Well, I'm not sure that it has changed my life...but my wife and I have been to Italy 3 times now and we would not mind going again I have always had a taste for Italian food and it is always great to get the real thing in Italy...we do make it at home as well and Italian red wine is my favourite. Luckily it is easy to get a hold of that here in Norway Well, check my trip reports with pictures and links on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com . Maybe you can find some useful info there for your next trip.

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 03:18 AM
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Our trip to Italy in 2003 certainly reinforced our desire to live in Europe. It also gave us a stronger appreciation of the italian (and to a large extent, european) attitude to life - good food, importance of family etc.

Home is now Spain - Italy was too difficult visa wise for us as Australians but we are certainly a lot lot closer to all of europe.

And we love Spain - and to actually live in, I think I prefer Spain -obviously never having lived in Italy.

Oh yes -we drink a lot more Limoncello and my husband can make it.
eliza3 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 03:48 AM
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Hmm, I spent a year in Italy when I was younger, but I can't really say it affected my life in any way.

Some good, some bad memories. I remember being really glad to be home as I had a lot of romanticism about Europe which ends when you live there and I was quite homesick as there was no skype and webcam in those days. Like all places, it has its good and bad points.

I love the sound of Italian ( and French & Spanish). They sound so much prettier and I remember the music and people, everything closing mid day ( & slow old fashion elevators.) Italian is so expressive and dramatic. I love the creativity and when the food is good.

Sounds like you have the Italy/Europe bug! It is great that you have such enthusiasm and are planning your next trip!

I like Italy ( especially Tuscany and Umbria) but I have not been back until this year. It was great experiencing it with my child and husband. We were there in spring and late fall.

No change though.
WTnow is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 03:59 AM
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What a good post adventureseeker, Italy was part of our trip in 2006 and I think the biggest change for us is to be much more appreciative of the age of things. Obvious I know, but we are from Australia which was only "discovered" about 200 years ago. So, as you say, to see Renaissance Art and to walk ancient streets is a memory that has stayed with us. In Olympia in Greece we were tired and sat down for a rest (with our guide's permission) on a piece of a broken column that was 2,000 years old!! We are heading back to Italy this year, and can hardly wait!
cathies is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:27 AM
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I loved it the first time in 83" and I loved it this month. I took my 37 year old niece and my 46 year old daughter. They have done nothing but talk about it since we came home (we all work together in a family business). Both are trying to figure out how to get back and see and do more.
Nlingenfel is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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You are so right! We would stand in a place or look at a building and only imagine what happened there centuries past. Who walked here, who built this, etc. So much to appreciate and ponder upon.

Have a great trip and tell our beloved Italy we'll see her soon!
adventureseeker is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:35 AM
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I can't help but seeing a lot of similarities between the Italian government and the US government. There's a good chance Berlusconi will be Prime Minister again. Seems most politicians in the last decade or so have done more to fill their own pockets than that of Italian citizens.

Anyway, I'm amazed that the country still runs more or less after reading about the chaos in their government.
kleeblatt is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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Memories fill my mind when I think of Italy. The contrasts between what life was like there 60-plus years ago and what life is like today make comparisons laughable.

Every kid then carried a tin can, following adults (and particularly American servicemen) to retrieve cigarette butts for stripping, sifting out the tobacco from the ashes, and re-rolling the tobacco, using newspapers as the paper. Now, cigarette butts litter the sidewalks and streets.

Food back then was basic -- mostly pasta, almost no meat, few vegetables worth having other than tomatoes. Fish, now and then.

Women in black everywhere. Men standing on street corners, no jobs.
Kids in what looked like hand-me-downs and rags. Skinny people. Beggars and whores at every bus stop in Naples.

Some cities still choked in rubble. South of Naples miles and miles of bombed-out warehouses and railway yards. Naples harbor still crammed with half-sunken ships. Parts of Palermo half-buried under broken concrete and stone. Piles and piles of bricks, stacked 10 ft. high. Some streets still blocked with garbage, trash, and rubble.

No comparison with today's glitz, noise, traffic, stores, or prices.

USNR is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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Vincenzo, how do you remember Italy when you were a child?
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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We definitely eat mostly Italian food at home now. I bought two cookbooks as soon as we got home from our first trip (1982).

And I am an addict. An Italy Addict. I don't want to go anywhere else if I can help it and I would rather spend my money on Italy than a lot of other things -- new car? what new car? And everytime I get a taste of italy I want MORE!

I am much more interested in art and architecture of the Renaissance and ancient Rome. And of the lives of people like Leonardo da Vinci (just bought ANOTHER book about his scientific mind today.)
When we went to France, to one of the chateaux in the Loire valley, I almost cried when I saw a commemorative stone marking that castle as his place of death. (Sr. Moment -- can't remember which castle!!)

And walking in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence and thinking of Savonarola and the Bonfire of the Vanities and then his being burned at the stake in the same place. And walking in the Forum in Rome where Julius Caesar and Cicero walked (well, a few feet of dirt above the ground the walked on, maybe)

Well, enough. I could go on and on!
charnees is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Charnees I am in the same predicament. I really should allocate funds to a new kitchen and the carpet is definitely looking shabby, but........ that will wipe out travel funds for quite a while, and the memories of a few weeks travelling will give me infinitely more pleasure than the new kitchen & carpet.
cathies is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Ciao adventureseeker and all others who have been bitten by the Italy bug,
Yes, my life has completely been changed by my trips to Italy these past years.
Like you, I began to study the language and am now at a more advanced stage of speaking, reading and writing.
Traveling and using only Italian to get through each day is one of the greatest joys I have known in life. I will keep returning until my last dime is exhausted, and may then begin robbing banks to buy my tickets!

I have learned more about how to express my feelings and opinions, how to live and love well, whether or not I have money, how to eat well, making delicious and elegant meals from a few simple ingredients, and how to show hospitality to others. How to laugh and how to cry!
And the art of complaining with humor. So many different things!

I wish you well in your study of the Italian language, adventureseeker, and maybe I will see you passing by in Italy one day!

bellastarr is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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Not really adventureseeker as I have had Italians (most of them born and raised in Italy) around me all of my life. But being in Italy is wonderful and I wish I could visit there more often not only as I want to be in Italy but I miss so many people in Italy. I hope you are able to make a return trip as soon as possible!
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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I have enough trouble w/English & wine has never been a favorite but I am reading more than ever about Italian culture & art & have dreams of going back ASAP-I had wanted to go to Italy since reading Dante in high school but the wait until 2006 was for the better as it enhanced my appreciation for the trip. Thank you for this posting-it made me stop & consider how my trip had stayed w/me, how much I miss it & I long to go back.
The_Judge is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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My trips to Italy have totally changed my way of life, my outlook on life and my reactions to life.

From the first minute I stepped off of the train in Venice many years ago until my latest trip a few months ago, I hold Italy dear.

I, too, have had Italian friends all of my life here in the US and now I have friends who live in Italy too, it is a blessing.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 04:41 PM
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What an interesting post. USNR, what amazing memories for you! And bellastar, your second paragraph gave me chills! How beautifully put.

I have only been to Venice and loved it. That to me was surreal. I want to return. Isn't it wonderful how the passion one feels for a place can inspire another to experience it too.
gomiki is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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I have been to Italy quite a few times and we travel to Europe several times a year. I think I bring a newfound appreciation for each country or region we visit every time we return.

After our trips to Italy, I too am more mindful about olive oils, balsamic vinegars and the such. I also developed an appreciation for fresh pasta as opposed to the dried stuff.

After our trip to Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Slovenia I came home and did a lot more research on the area and the recent war. I am also always on a quest to find oranges as good as I found at that tiny roadside stand on our way to Split....

After our trip to Paris I determined that I no longer like "American" hot chocolate and instead long for the thick as pudding but not too sugary hot chocolate that we had there.

We loved the food in Germany and Austria and always search for good German restaurants when we travel around the US. Also love reisling wines!

I think that traveling always changes you in little ways, and that's part of the fun of traveling.

tcreath is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:55 PM
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Grazie for all your inspiring posts. I guess that's why I'm so addicted to Fodor's Talk board...we all share a passion for travel and a quest for knowledge.

I, too, have put off "material" things like a bigger home, remodeling and spanking brand new cars for the things that really move me....travel.

Thank goodness I've got a spouse who is on the same page!
adventureseeker is offline  

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