Do you think it is possible to fall in love with a place?

Or, to be more specific, to fall in love with Italy? Italy is a living, breathing museum of not only history but natural beauty as well, with sensory overload at every cobblestone corner, medieval wall or magnificent fresco you encounter. 

First-time visitors to Italy shouldn’t miss the iconic cities and sites of Rome, Florence and Venice. Without seeing these incredible places firsthand, a true love affair cannot begin. Lazy afternoons spent walking the cobblestone streets of Trastevere in Rome, sipping an Aperol Spritz in St. Mark’s Square while watching thousands of pigeons engage with tourists, or realizing just how beautiful Michelangelo’s masterpiece David truly is may serve as the first kiss in this budding love affair. 

Your second planned visit may be to the less-traveled areas and backroads you’ve heard so much about. Plan to try the Italian way of life or “la dolce vita,” which is defined as a life of physical pleasure and self-indulgence. Slow down and truly savor the sights, smells and sounds of each day … the melodious chime of church bells, the morning aroma from the local bakery, the buzzing of tourists in the piazzas and squares, or the taste of a refreshing sorbetto after a delicious meal of homemade pasta or Italian risotto. 

Travel Leaders’ Italy specialist and seven-time Italy visitor, Gwynne Chafer, fondly remembers her own day of “la dolce vita” while visiting an agriturismo in the very undiscovered Le Marche area of Italy. She sat with a local farmer and sampled various fresh foods from his farm, including fresh honey, cheese, sautéed vegetables, freshly roasted boar and fresh ricotta cheese, which was as light and fluffy as whipped cream. 

Unique accommodations abound throughout the country. Envision a night in a suite at the Palazzo Gentili in San Severino with original frescoed ceilings and a ninth century chapel. Or, imagine spending the night in a Rome hotel converted from a 16th century monastery, or perhaps even a night at a hotel built into the “sassi” or caves in Matera. 

Who wouldn’t enjoy a meal at Da Paolino in Capri under a blanket of lemon trees, or at the very romantic Grotta Palazzese, which is carved out of the side of a cliff, overlooking the sea?  

The lure of Italy will continue to draw you in deeper and deeper with every visit, similar to the lure of a beautiful woman.

You’ll want to keep visiting and getting to know her better, mesmerized by her beauty and sophistication. Imagine Sophia Loren, the epitome of beauty and glamour … oh, and by the way, she happens to be Italian!

Ready to fall in love with Italy? Call or email Travel Leaders/Goli’s Avenues of Travel at (608) 784-9820 or to get started.

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2404 State Road, La Crosse
Ph: (608) 784-9820