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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 26th, 2008, 07:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,378
Italy turned me into a fanatic about Italy. It may not be fair to new places, but they always seem to fail in comparison with Italy, so now it is hard for me to go anyplace new. We have been six times and I could visit just Italy for the rest of my life and die happy. I used to tell my students that the origin of all good things (Art, Music, Architecture, Law, Medicine, etc.) was in Italy, that if they could visit only one country during thier lives, it should be Italy. When I start talking about Italy, my friends just roll their eyes.

I've lost touch with most of them but, this is how seeing Italy changed the lives of three students who went on trips with me. None had been out of the US before.

One was really taken with Pompeii. She came home and majored in archaeology. She has done digs in Ireland, Portugal and Egypt. She is now a law student specializing in law pertaining to artifacts.

Another student changed to Art and International studies and went to Florence to study at the Academia. She has since been to several countries, including Spain and Israel and is soon heading off to teach somplace in Kenya.

A third just graduated last Spring and wrote to tell me that the trip had inspired her to major in Art History.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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I guess the thing that surprised me most about Italy was that I liked it more than Paris! I didn't think that would happen. I had been to Paris a couple of times and loved it but decided I really wanted to go to Italy as well. My first trip to Italy was in Sept 2005, and in 3 weeks I will leave for my 5th trip (plus my 6th one is already booked for July). Do you get the idea that I'm addicted to Italy?

At home, even though I always liked Italian cooking, I definitely cook more Italian (have acquire a LOT of more authentic Italian cookbooks), tend to buy more novels about Italy and spend way too much time daydreaming about Italy and planning my next trip to Italy! Somehow I don't see these as bad things...
SusanP is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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Sassafrass, we were posting at the same time. I think it's great that you inspire your students to seek out new cultures and ideas, and I can perfectly understand why you've been telling them to go to Italy!
SusanP is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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What Italy when I was a child, SeaUrchin ?
But I am still a child, dear SeaUrchin ! At least my eyes are the eyes of a child, still now able to be happy thanks to the little funny things that everyday happen in our life; at least my mind is the mind of a child as I need to learn everyday something otherwise it seems that I wasted time and, my God, time will never return.
And still now I am a child when I get up in the morning (exactly as now, I am stroking this keyboard and it's my 6:57am and not yet the dawn is winning against the dark of o fullmoon night)and my aim is to enjoy this day because it is very important for me, yes: it is the first day of the remaining part of my life so, really, it is a very special day !
And I will go to my usual bar for "caffè e cornetto" and buy newspaper and talk with my friends.
My memories of my life and therefore of my Country begin with the end of the "after war" when finally, the people began to finish to be very poor and began to "see" some money and there was a very big value for money.
I remember when my father bought the first car, a 600 FIAT; it means that I remember when in the family there was no car and it was usual to travel using buses and trains.
I remember when we bought the first television, only one channel and no color, obviously.
I remember that I received as a gift my first watch when I was 12 years old; and in that period it was normal that it had to be the only one and replace it when . . . married !
I remember which were my stuff to wear: two jackets, one for every day and the other one for Sunday.
I remember, also, when the key of the main door was at the out part of the door, to use it as an handle.

And I was lucky enough: I was born in a not poor family and my father had a very good job and also very charming (and dangerous) pilot of military airplane.
And this job of my father enabled me to appreciate my Country very well because it was usual to move every year so that I changed school every year and I lived in many different Italian places: Campania, Sardinia, Puglia, Tuscany, Romagna, Lazio.
I remember that only in Christmas we received toys and only on Sunday dessert, at the end of the lunch.
I remember, overall, that it was very true the well known sentence "Italiani, brava gente"!
I apologize: too long post.
Have a lovely Sunday.


vincenzod is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Vincenzo. please don't apologize for your post being too long! It was a pleasure to read. I'm old enough to remember when you had one coat for everyday and one for Sunday, when there were only a few TV channels, when little children didn't wear watches and we received most toys (although maybe not all) at Christmas. Your idea about learning something every day, enjoying each day and appreciating the funny things that happen every day is something we all need to remember!
SusanP is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 11:20 PM
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Vincenzo, that is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 447
"How has your life changed upon returning from Italy?"

I got married because of my Italian trip in '95.

My wife and I met that Fall. I was so blown away by Italy that the conversation on my part during our first date was blah blah Venice, blah blah Florence, blah blah....you get the picture. She thought I must be oh-so-cultured and well-traveled (she knows better now ) that we got married a year and change later.

Last Spring, we re-did the trip I raved about in '95 and fortunately for our marriage, she fell as in-love with Firenze as I did.
knickerbocker is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 07:47 AM
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Vincenzo, thank you so much for your post. How amazing the way things have changed. I love your life philosophy. May we all keep the child in us.
gomiki is online now  
Jan 27th, 2008, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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From now on Italy will be my only destination. My daughter and I spent one month last April/May. Since then, I think of Italy every day. Really want to go back.

We spent 2 weeks with a tour (no evening meals) and 2 weeks on our own. It took about a year in the planning. We ate ourselves into pasta heaven! Best time of our lives.
MCentanni1 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 08:13 AM
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First went to Italy in 1998, Florence for 4 days. I spent the next four years planning the next trip. Since then I have been about 12 times, with two more trips planned this year (I live in the UK).

I started Language classes once a week and now speak intermediate level Italian.

I am addicted to espresso.

I am a follower of an Italian football team.

I spend far too much time looking for cheap airfares and possible new destinations.
willit is online now  
Jan 27th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 268
My family says I am obsessed. First trip there in October 2007 and I too am planning another. We had "Italian Night" with friends and family with my 2000 pictures and a dinner that included all the cheeses, oils, and wines we brought back as well as recipes of authenitic Italian dishes. I have bought many books about the history and culture and appreciate what I experienced even more. Already had become a wine snob before I left and I have saved my bottles of Brunello and others I brought back (12 all together) displayed with with my "Italy treasures". My great grandmother is from Florence so I would like to start climbing up the family tree and maybe address that when I return. I still keep reading the posts here and learn more all the time.
ljc4creb is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Thank you for your beautiful words Vincenzo, and may you stay forever young.

I too love the little things that happen every day and make us happy to be alive.

As I sit here under that same full moon but on the other side of the ocean, I send you un fortissimo abbraccio for giving us a glimpse of your growing up years in Italy!

And here's a toast to all you others with obsessed souls for Italy who will never look back!

bellastarr is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 05:19 PM
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Well, just today we finished the backsplash above our kitchen counter, completing a 3-month makeover that turned our quaint white kitchen into my Tuscan dream kitchen! At least, it looks sort of Italian to me!!!

Travertine floor, tumbled marble brick backsplash, terracotta walls, gas cooktop, yes that's how far a few trips to Italy changed my life. AND, changed our bank account. I feel like I'm stepping into Italy everytime I walk into my kitchen now, and it's GREAT!!!!
Hagan is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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I think that next year we will make it to Italy for the first time - and I love this thread
J_Correa is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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What a lovely thread. Thank you, adventureseeker, for starting it and for others who veautifully expressed how they feel - especially vincenzo and bellastarr.

I also fell in love with Italy and really long to return. In the meantime, I have become addicted to Fodors and avidly read every trip report about Italy.

LCBoniti is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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I do believe Vincenzo's post was the best I've read in a long time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

I fell in love with Italy and am so looking forward to my 2nd trip there - only 6 more weeks to go.
JJ127 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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I thank you very much for you sweet words about my thoughts.
I am proud to share info about Italy and now I see we can share also emotions about the life.
My aim is to help you about the planning of your trips in Italy so that you can appreciate Italy not only for its very famous towns but also for its charming small hidden treasures and our way to spend the day-by-day life especially if we are lucky enough to live in small towns.

Thanks; now my right hand is on my heart to thank you very much.

vincenzod is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 11:42 PM
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I returned to say thank you gomiki and also LCBoniti for your compliments. After so many travels down so many roads in Italy, you may have inspired me to share some small glimpses of my trips in a trip report soon!
bellastarr is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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bellastarr, will it help if I beg?

Please . . . Pleeease . . . with sugar on top?
LCBoniti is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I am now obsessed with Gelato and will not eat regular ice cream. I will drive miles to eat Gelato, and when I do it reminds me of standing in the street in 114 degree weather in Florence having no appetite for anything else but gelato.
nosocksnoshoes is offline  

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