2017 was the first time I visited Italy since I was 18 (back in 2004!) and I went not only once, but twice.
If you follow this blog closely, you may remember, last May I went with Zab and my friend Nicole for a long weekend to Turin to eat all the vegan food, and in July went with Zab again to Tuscany for a family reunion. Now I’ve had a taste, I’m definitely up for more, so here’s my Italy wish list.
The Italian capital was my first experience in the country, when I was 18 and went with some school friends after finishing our A-levels. Even though we went for a whole week, I don’t remember much more than waiting for a long time to get into the Vatican museum, some parks and plenty of pizza. Next time, I would definitely consider getting tickets to skip the line to some of the more popular museums. I was talking to a friend recently who is really into Roman history, and hearing his enthusiasm and knowledge on the subject made me realise it could be cool to revisit this city as an adult.
Again, the history surrounding Naples and its region is something that has stirred this desire to visit the City of the Sun. The story of what happened in Pompeii, just 25km away from Naples when Mount Vesuvius erupted and largely destroyed the city almost 2000 years ago is certainly something that I derive some nihilistic pleasure from! Plus of course Naples is the home of pizza, so obviously that factors into it too!
The so-called ‘heel of the boot’, this historically rather poor region of southern Italy is apparently a great part of the country to find a lot of traditional accidentally vegan food. Due to its climate, a great variety of fruits and vegetables grow in this region of Italy, including artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms and aubergines (eggplant) making for many traditional dishes that do not contain animal products. It’s also full of gorgeous medieval towns, cave dwellings and the super cute trulli, stone huts with thatched roofs.
This is probably the part of Italy I’ve been most interested in visiting for the longest. Palermo, the capital looks like a lovely city with some cool architecture and nice places to hang out, there are gorgeous beaches (it’s the largest island in the Mediterranean after all!), tons of archaeological ruins from many different time periods to explore and loads of nature to hike around in. Plus, Palermo has trams: I love trams!
I didn’t think I had all that much interest in Italy before, but after the two short trips I made there last year, I realise that there’s still a lot of this southern European country that I’d like to see. I also realised that I can speak more Italian than I gave myself credit for (or at least I can speak Spanish with an Italian-enough accent that people more or less understand me), which is encouraging. Some of these places in this list are ones I’d visit for the history, some for the landscapes, but mostly they’re all for the food, if we’re being honest!
Where would you most like to visit in Italy?