In a couple of days only we’ll go on a new trip to Italy and I recently realized that we traveled here so many times, twice a year in the last 3 years. This makes it our second most visited country, after Germany!
To honor this new discovery about my travel patterns, I have made a short list of the reasons that always draw me like a magnet towards this beautiful country.
1. The short distance
Italy is a short flight away from Romania, because in less than 2.5 hours you can get to any part of it. This for me is a big convenience. Not only I don’t lose too much time on the road but I don’t spend too much time in an airplane! There are many maaaany people that don’t love to be on planes, and I’m one of the many.
As much as I love to travel, I actually don’t enjoy a plane journey at all. I know the statistics, plane is “the safest”, but when I’m up there, with my ears popping, in the tight seat, and sudden turbulence happen, the statistics don’t really do much to my peace of mind.
2. There is always a reasonable flight ticket
Whenever there’s a bank holiday in Romania and I’m late on planning a new trip, I know I can still find an affordable ticket to some Italian town. From Bucharest, the biggest number of flights are towards Italy, and out of them, the biggest number of flights is operated by the low-cost airlines.
3. The language is no mistery
Some say that for a Romanian, four weeks in Italy are enough to speak the language. It’s not the truth, of course, but there are many similar words between our languages, both evolving from the Latin and being part today of the Romance languages, along with French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese and Occitan.
I do not consider myself as an Italian speaker, but I can formulate some basic sentences and I can understand it well enough. After 4 Sailor Moon seasons in Italian during childhood years, I started to be familiar with it. Then one summer, together with my cousin, we spend some time in the company of a few catholic nuns from Italy, sent as missionaries to the only catholic church in our town. They were learning a few Romanian words from us, and we were learning even more Italian from them.
It’s a real joy for me to go to a foreign country and understand the local language.
4. Infinite travel choices
Whether you’re a history nerd, art lover, literature enthusiast, romantic spirit or a sport’s person, you just can’t go wrong with Italy!
The towns, big or small, are full of historic sites, world heritage left by one the greatest civilizations to have ever lived, the Romans. So it’s no surprise that the country has the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (53 of them) to this day.
Italy is famous for its contribution to art and literature but also to sciences and constructions. You’ll need a lifetime to visit all the museums or to see all the cathedrals and palaces.
The topography is so diverse and no matter the season there are a myriad of travel choices: the big Alps in the North, the green plains and vineyards in Tuscany, and almost 8000 km of coastline to Mediterranean sea.
5. Good value for money
Italy will not make you break the piggy bank. It’s not as affordable as a trip to Greece or a trip to Bulgaria, but I have always found good and affordable accommodation and affordable plane tickets.
And here’s a travel tip: the North of Italy, being the richest part of the country, attracts the greatest number of visitors and tends to be more expensive. However, the south of Italy – Puglia region for example – is not so touristy yet and is even more affordable and with countless beautiful and fascinating places.
5 + 1. The food is good
I have recently returned from a two weeks work stay in Germany, and I must say, I’m not so fond of their cuisine. Too heavy and waaay too salty. My tongue was numb after each lunch at the office’s cafeteria and I was always leaving a lot of food in my plate.
I don’t chose my next travel trip based on the food preferences, of course, but I’m glad that there are always tasty affordable and also healthy options in Italy. And yes, the ice-cream is the best!