Enjoying La Dolce Vita

by Brian Alex | November 4, 2022

Who doesn’t want to escape the daily grind and enjoy the Sweet Life now and then?

This is just one of the many reasons that Italy is at the very TOP of so many vacation destination guides. Italy’s world renowned food and wine, breathtaking scenery, Renaissance art, Opera Theaters, Greek and Roman history, as well as beaches abound while being categorically unparalleled.

Everything in the Bel Paese (Beautiful Country) says Hey stranger! Come over here, let your hair down, relax, and enjoy life! So what’s getting in the way of you and your Italian holiday? The bait and switch is that Italy’s tourism industry isn’t very user friendly. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, right?

From outdated transit systems (especially in the south), a stubborn language barrier, and an overwhelming number of pesky tourist traps that distract from (nay, I say, even disguise) the Real Italy, it can be tough to see her true beauty through all that facade. It’s all a dirty little secret.

Travellers are often left scratching their heads, and wondering where they went wrong. Add to that the stress and overwhelm of planning that next dream vacation, as well as the fatigue of travel (both international and domestic), and it can feel like a bit of a nightmare!


The Problem Becomes The Solution

Marcus Aurelius, Roman philosopher and emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD, puts it this way in his collection of Meditations, What stands in the way becomes the way.

While we’re letting that sink in, do you remember this expression, When In Rome, Do As The Romans Do? Well, here’s a brief primer on where that came from and why it’s STILL relevant today. Bear with us, this is worth it!

Long after Marcus Aurelius had brought peace (once again) to the empire, 4th century Rome was being torn apart, first internally and then externally. Politically, it had already split in two.

Then, St Augustine, a Christian church leader, moved to Milan to take up a teaching position. Unlike his previous post in Rome, he discovered that the Milanese didn’t fast on Saturdays.

St Ambrose, who at that time was the bishop of Milan, offered some sound advice. He told Augustine, ‘Romanum venio, ieiuno Sabbato’, or ‘When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday’. Ok, point made.

The idea of following the local customs where you are, and being guided by those who’ve gone before, learned the ropes, and graduated from the School of Hard Knocks is an ancient custom.

In essence, what could be an obstacle to travellers, can also be their way forward!


Here’s Your Insider’s Guide Pro Tip:

So, we want to do as the Italians do when we’re in Italy… this is where you may need to adapt your technique: Stage your travel in strategic steps.

  • Do as Italians do: hang around long enough to get a feel for the local vibe
  • Meet your neighbors, go where locals go, avoid tourist traps (e.g. fake Italy)
  • Use your location as a base to make day trips to all your dream destinations

In doing so, you’ll avoid exhaustion, have a richer experience, and enjoy the sweet life. What should you do in the meantime? Don’t waste time just dreaming without planning. Sign up for your FREE Italy Consultation today!