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In the travel community, there is generally a strong focus on seeing as many different countries as possible. Many people count the countries they have been to and proudly display them on their social media. While there is nothing wrong with that and I also keep track of the different countries I’ve been to, I believe that this sometimes means people miss out on exploring specific countries more in-depth. If you only see the capital for a day or two does that mean you really know the country? That doesn’t mean you have to see every part of every country you visit, but I think that there are definitely some countries that are worth traveling to again and again because they have so much to offer.
There are several countries I have been to more than once: Denmark, Sweden, France, Canada, Spain, Poland, and Italy (and the Vatican if we get technical). With the exception of Denmark which is less than two hours from my hometown, I always went back consciously because I very much wanted to see more. However, Italy is one of the countries that stands out most to me.
The first thing to keep in mind when asking why I keep traveling to Italy is that for the much of history, Italy was not, in fact, one country. Just like in Germany, different states were united into one state in 1871. This means that traveling to the different Italian regions feels a bit like traveling to different countries. What I saw on my recent trip to Milan stands in contrast to my experiences in Rome, Naples, or the Apulia region. The architecture, the food, the people, the lifestyle, and atmosphere – they all differ from one Italian region to the next which is why I find it important to travel back to Italy to see the many nuances.
Italy is also one of the European countries with the richest history. There is so much to see in Italy that even though I have been to Naples twice I have not yet seen the Vesuvius volcano or the ancient city of Pompeii. And to think that I haven’t even been to cities like Bologna, Florence, or Venice yet! Not going back to see these cities would mean missing out on so much!
The truth of the matter is that Italy is simply beautiful in its diversity! The Amalfi coast is stunning with its colorful houses on the steep shores and driving through Apulia, you see the pretty Trulli, stone huts with a cone roof. Rome invites you to marvel at the remainders of the Roman Empire (check out my post on the six days I spent in Rome for New Year's Eve), and Milan offers lovely bars along the Navigli canals. Gritty Naples and posh Milan have nothing in common with each other, and that’s exactly why I keep traveling Italy – it has something for everyone!
Have you ever been to Italy? Are you planning to go back? Let me know in the comments below.
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.
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