I Dream of Going Back to Italy

Future travel to Italy

I will be going back to Italy … someday

Kerwin McKenzie, avid traveler and commercial aviation enthusiast of Passrider.com, asked bloggers to share favorite places they hope to revisit when travel opportunities are again widely available and safe post-COVID. There are many places that I’m yearning to revisit, but when Kerwin asked me to participate in this project, I quickly responded that Italy is a place that keeps calling me back.

Why are we looking forward to going back to Italy someday?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know how much Mr. TWS and I love Italy. We’ve had extraordinary experiences there immersing in the culture, getting to know the people, savoring amazing food, staying in lovely accommodations, walking in the footsteps of history, and feeling romantic.

In the articles previously posted on Traveling with Sweeney previewed below, I hope you’ll find some inspiration for your future travel to Italy. Look around the blog and you’ll find many more relevant posts about Italy.

I Left My Heart in Asolo

I often think of Asolo. Since our visit to this town in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, I’ve thought back fondly to many moments of our stay there. The picture-perfect hilltop town exudes romance with its winding lanes, beautiful villas, galleries, cafes, and fabulous views from its lofty position. In part, this explains why great writers and artists have loved the town and found inspiration here.

One of Asolo's stunning views from the panoramic vista point of Queen Cornaro's Castle

One of Asolo’s stunning views from the panoramic vista point of Queen Cornaro’s Castle

Shame-less Matera: A Cultural Rebirth

Imagine the cities of biblical times and you’ll probably come close to a vision resembling much of Matera in the Basilicata region of Italy. It’s not surprising that the city has been chosen as a location for a number of biblical movies, including The Gospel According to St. MatthewKing David, The Nativity Story, and the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur. In fact, I first heard of Matera because it was the location for key scenes in Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of Christ.

Matera, Italy

Ancient cave dwellings of Matera, Italy

Highlights of Mantua, Italian Capital of Culture

The historic city center of Mantua along with nearby town of Sabbioneta was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Mantua also has the distinction of being designated as the “2016 Italian Capital of Culture”, the first city in Italy to be awarded this honor. And no wonder — music, history, art, and regional food and wine specialties were all part of our stay.

In a Renaissance mood on the rooftop of Palazzo Castiglioni, one of many highlights of Mantua

Imagining the Renaissance on the rooftop of Palazzo Castiglioni

The Art of Pietrasanta: A Tuscany Highlight

Of the many highlights that Mr. TWS and I enjoyed during our stay in Tuscany, one of our favorites was learning about the rich art culture of Pietrasanta, a town near the Versilian coast (Tuscany’s Riviera) in the foothills of the Apuan Alps.

One of several sculptures by Igor Mitoraj in Piazza Duomo, Pietrasanta, Italy

One of several sculptures by Igor Mitoraj in Piazza Duomo

A Day in the Heart of Chianti

It’s not a secret that Mr. TWS and I were smitten with Tuscany on our first visit to the region. Each day brought new experiences in the hilltop villages, historic towns, and countryside. On this day with the promise of more tasty and interesting activities ahead, Mr. TWS and I were driving along Tuscany’s country roads among the vineyards and olive groves enjoying the burst of colorful spring blooms on the wooded hillsides.

Vineyards and olive groves in the Chianti hills of Tuscany

Vineyards and olive groves in the Chianti hills of Tuscany

Rome in a Day: The Grandeur

As we walked around Rome viewing dramatic scenes of ancient ruins and famous landmarks, the old cliché that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” really hit home. Remnants of Rome’s grandeur remain in the many ruins of the city. There are the well-known sites and there are also those that appear unexpectedly — bits of façade or columns exposed in excavations, some of which are quite recent as new archaeological finds continue.

A hilltop view of Rome: The Eternal City

A hilltop view of Rome: The Eternal City

Small Bites of Venice on a Walking Tour

Venice is an amazing, magical city made for long, meandering walks that get you lost in the maze of alleys and bridges. To enhance our walking experiences in the city and capture a sense of Venetian history and culture, Mr. TWS and I took a remarkable Venice food tour offered by Walks of Italy.

Getting a taste of Venice with our guide Cristina (bottom left) on a Walks of Italy Venice food tour

Getting a taste of Venice with our guide Cristina (bottom left)

Part of the Family in Portico di Romagna

Entering Portico di Romagna, a small village about 65 miles from Bologna in the Apennine hills on the old road connecting Ravenna with Florence, I felt as if I was seeing the Italy of a long time ago – one that I yearned to experience when I was growing up and dreaming of international destinations.
"Al Vecchio Convento family standing in front of their Albergo Diffuso in Portico di Romagna, Italy"

Our Al Vecchio Convento family

Beautiful Ostuni: A feast for the Eyes

In the beautiful hilltop city of Ostuni, we indulged in stunning and compelling sights at almost every turn. Whitewashed buildings, winding staircases, narrow alleys, and vistas of the sea created many photo opportunities for us.

Lovely sights upon every turn in Ostuni, Italy

Lovely sights upon every turn

So … what place are you yearning to visit again? Will you be going back to Italy?

Dreaming of Italy

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9 thoughts on “I Dream of Going Back to Italy

  1. Mike Hinshaw

    Great article. Our oldest son is moving to Naples and we can’t wait to visit. I have a tour guide friend who lives in Mantua. I have seen Rimini which I recommend for a beach visit. I loved Sicily and was able to see Catania, Messina and Taormina on the island.

    In addition I was on a FAM trip to the Aeolian Islands. They are very charming. My only other city was Milano. It’s of course gorgeous and I really couldn’t see most of it as I was only there from Friday through Sunday afternoon. I was surprised by the quantity street musicians. My favorite was a steel drum individual.

    Hope to experience the cities you highlighted as each time we visit we will have 90 days to venture out. I’m drooling thinking of the food!

  2. Jeff & Crystal Bryant

    Thank you for expressing the feelings of so many travel bloggers. These trying times remind us that we need to stay safe, but for those who have wanderlust it is especially challenging. Let’s hope that our ability to seek out new destinations will become allowable in the near future.

  3. Carole Terwilliger Meyers

    I do hope you get to travel back to Italy in the near future. I am hoping that around that same time I will be heading back to London and England for a long-overdue return visit. Meanwhile, I’ve been watching Rick Steves reruns on PBS, which does help with my thwarted wanderlust.

  4. Debbra Dunning Brouillette

    I have so many friends, some travel writers, others not, who are in love with Italy… I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet! So many of the areas you’ve outlined above really intrigue me. Matera is one I hadn’t heard of and looks fascinating. I have long wanted to visit the Tuscany region, so as soon as it is safe to travel again to Europe, I am going to put Italy on my list.

  5. alison abbott

    I can understand why Italy tugs at your heart strings. It’s doing the same to mine! So many unique spots to explore and the food….I was supposed to be in Sicily in March, and hope to get the chance to revisit that trip in the very nearest future. I have no doubt you’ll have another passport stamp from Italy as well!

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