I recently came across a quote by George Clooney on Italy: “I think people in Italy live their lives better than we do. It’s an older country, and they’ve learned to celebrate dinner and lunch, whereas we sort of eat as quickly as we can to get through it.” And I have to say – I completely agree!
When Mike and I briefly lived in Rome, we loved how the Italian families in our neighborhood would set up long tables in their alleyways and have dinners with their neighbors that would last for hours. The kids would run around with soccer balls and the adults would linger over wine! The Italians sure do know how to live their lives to the fullest!
One of my favorite things about the Italian culture is their summer tradition of “passeggiata” or a little walk. Between 5pm-7pm, Italians head into the streets and take a little stroll saying hi to friends and neighbors, working up an appetite before dinner, or just getting outside for some fresh air. How great is that?! There’s nothing I love more than a stroll around the neighborhood and I love the sense of community that surrounds this tradition.
So in the spirit of an Italian summer, take an evening stroll in your neighborhood and say hi to your neighbors! You might as well keep the Italian theme going and plan an Aperitivo hour (make an Aperol Spritz, Sgroppino, or Bellini, and a cheese plate) and have a big pasta dinner or make pizzas on the grill! Sounds like the perfect Saturday evening to me!
For any of you planning a trip to Italy this fall or even next year, I wanted to let you know that the Florence guide is now available on Traveling Chic! You can purchase the 30+ page Itinerary HERE! The Rome guide will be available next week! New York and London are also available on our website!
Without further ado, here is this week’s Weekend Wanderlust!
Travel Tip: All about the Shoes!
Shoes are often an afterthought when packing your bag as they can be tucked nicely in the corners of your luggage or are thrown in last minute after everything else. But I’m here to tell you that shoes deserve a bit more deference when packing and here’s why:
1. It’s best to pack your shoes on the bottom of your suitcase and close to the wheels. This will keep the weight distributed in a location that won’t make your bag topple over.
2. Pack the inside of your shoes to help make room for other things in your suitcase. Not only are your shoes the perfect place to hold the little items that don’t fit in your toiletry bag, they are also the perfect place to stuff your socks. If you’re traveling with kids, their shoes will fit nicely inside your shoes as well.
Answering Your Frequently Asked Travel Questions:
How do you decide where to go on a trip?
There are so many factors that go into deciding where to go on a trip. Here are a few things I thinking about into during the initial planning stages of a trip:
- I keep a bucket list of places I’d like to go, and you’re probably not going to be surprised when I tell you it’s SUPER long! Any time I come across a trip that sounds like fun or a new destination I’m excited to visit, I add it to the list. So whenever I’m planning out my vacation time, or convince my husband that we’re due for a getaway, I have this list to reference already. Now that Traveling Chic is creating bespoke travel itineraries, I have a list of recurring places to go to for research and updates as well!
- It should also come as no surprise that I LOVE reading blogs. In general, I find that bloggers are pretty darn good at taking pictures, finding out the cool spots, and providing tons of travel inspiration. I’m not just talking about travel bloggers – some of my biggest sources of travel inspiration come from fashion bloggers, food bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers. Occasionally I find that travel bloggers agree to press trips and end up promoting activities or places that they probably wouldn’t have if they didn’t get a free trip out of it – so I’m cautious on taking advice when that seems to be the case. I use Bloglovin’ as a way to save the travel guides or photo diaries from other bloggers to easily reference later.
- Once I’ve narrowed down a few places that are at the top of my list, I think about what kind of trip I want to have. Has work been stressful and I’m just dying to get some R&R? Am I in need of an adventure? Or am I in the mood to explore a new city?
- From there I think about the weather. If I’m not traveling too far, I probably have a good idea of what destinations are suitable for that time of year. But if I’m planning a trip in another country, it’s definitely worth googling “best time to visit…” to avoid rainy season, hurricane season, etc.
- If I still haven’t made up my mind yet, I’ll see how the flight prices vary between a couple cities. I check booking sights to seek out the cheapest flights, but there are some smaller airlines that never seem to find themselves on those websites. If you are aware of smaller, local airlines (i.e. Southwest, Wow, Jet Blue, Spirit, Sun Country, Frontier etc.) that fly out of your city, I’d look on their individual websites too.
Hotel Spotlight: Villa Feltrinelli in Lake Garda
With an Italian summer on the mind, I can’t imagine a dreamier place to sip a bellini, read a book, and unwind! Just a short drive from Verona and perched on lovely Lake Garda sits one of Italy’s most amazing hotels. With boat rides, a lemon grove garden, a Michelin Chef, peaceful views, and a personal Italian opera (or contemporary) music system in your room – what more could you ask for? This obviously comes at a price, but would be incredible for a honeymoon night or two or a big anniversary celebration!
Quoting Princess Diana:
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
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