A few years ago I planned the ultimate summer Italy trip. I was there for 21 days, I went to every major city and I truly thought I'd probably never go back after that. In some regards I felt that way out of fear. How could anyone be so lucky to go to Italy twice?! I'd better make it count!
On the other hand I just thought I'd have my fill of Italy by the time the trip was over.
I was wrong.
There is truly nothing like Italian hospitality. The slogan for The Olive Garden chain is, when you're here, you're family. But in Italy it's really true!
During my last trip I was fortunate to visit Sardinia and also Montepertuso on the Amalfi Coast and that was where I had my first taste of Agriturismo! Agritourism or agrotourism is defined as any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. And in Italy this means a lot of spectacular farm-to-table meals. When you visit these farms or ranches you are truly welcomed in to the family, even if just for a meal and there's nothing like it that I've experienced anywhere else in the world. If you're looking for places in Italy where you can have these experiences visit Agriturismo.it
And this brings me to my next point...
Tell someone you're going to Italy and they'll crack a joke about how you'll come back 10 lbs heavier. I'm not sure if this is true or not. I think I came home the same weight last time, but my GOODNESS, the FOOD!
It's not just about pleasure carb-loading meals like pizza and pasta. It's the quality of the ingredients. The produce, the cheeses, the breads are just better in Italy.
The culture of La Vita Bella is something that I've never experiened outside of Italy. Maybe in New Orleans, but it's rare to encounter a society that prioritzes pleasure, family, fun and a zest for life above all else. I'm trying to add more of that to my current life and remove less of the need to grind and hustle—a trait that's been ingrained in me since I graduated college into the 2008 recession. Being in Italy you truly get to be, and it's a feeling like no other. I'm looking forward to getting back to that!
I'll be in Italy the second half of July visiting Cinque Terre, Lucca and many of the smaller Tuscan Hill Towns. I look forward to sharing those adventures with you all!
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Hi! I'm Erin Shaw. I'm a freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer based in Los Angeles. My happiest days are those that are spent packing a suitcase for my next adventure! More at Erin-Shaw.com