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If you’ve been reading Xanax for a while, you know that in October I am off to Italy for 8 days with my mother and grandmother. If you haven’t… you can read more about that here:  ITALY OR BUST

I have begun making reservations, finding out information for different areas, and overall loving every thing I come across. The beauty in Europe is that culture is thick and important and the daily rat race… well… it isn’t. Europe’s been on the map for some time now… and I think maybe we should give a little more credit to this love of life that they pour out on their “everyday” day.

We’re landing in Rome on Saturday…. and I honestly cannot wait to step foot off of that plane into the land of my ancestors.  Our first day will be spent seeing Rome, and spending the night at Hotel Lloyd.

Our biggest goal in traveling to Italy though, is not to get lost in Rome… because honestly you could spend several years there learning, seeing, and experiencing before you ever felt a twinge of boredom and then someone should consider smacking you for being bored in Rome. (Source)


Anyway, our goal… is to see Italy as a whole…. in 8 days. So with our rental car… we will be driving around the countryside, making random food selections, and sticking as close as we can to the locals and less to the tourist traps.

The 2nd night, we will be traveling down to southern Italy to a place called Potenza. This is where my family is from, and will be very exciting to see with my grandmother and mom. Potenza is in the region of Basilicata and overlooks the Basento Valley and the Apennines. This should be quite a site to see.  (Source) This is one of those ancient little towns built into the mountain side…. not a major tourist attraction… so the food and company here should be borderline epic.

From this southern location we’ll be headed back north, through wine country… under the Tuscan sun 🙂 eeekkk!!!! towards the shores of the Adriatic Sea and a town called Ancona. This location is unique in the fact that it is a Greek development, even through the Roman rule it maintained its own money and the Greek language. It did eventually become Roman ruled, but its strong harbor was a major “want” for all armies. The culture here is very blended and should be a very intriguing place to spend some time.  It is also a great point, halfway back up Italy to stop without wearing ourselves out…. because the 4th day will be us continuing through Tuscany to the hub of wine country in Florence.

Florence has been called the most beautiful city in the world by many different travel magazines and globe trotters… and from the pictures it’s not hard to see why… I personally cannot wait to take my own pictures and make that judgment on my own. 😉 I am fairly certain that it will be Florence cuisine that blows me away… they are a city that is heavy-handed with the meat, cheese, breads, and pastas… oh and the olive oil…. yes please. Can. May I have some MORE???? I fully intend to gain weight on this trip… like Liz in, “Eat Pray Love”… I’d like to leave Italy busting out of my size 6s. (Source)

After our time in Florence, we’re heading into northern Italy to visit Milan. Yep, that’s right my fashionistas out there…  Milan will most likely be where we hit the spa, try to recoup a little and do some girlie shopping. Milan is loaded down with all the designer greats… (Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani)….  and although my purse strings will most likely not allow me to indulge in actually making any real purchases here… walking through it and snapping pictures will be an euphoria like no other. I cannot wait to see the SHOES. … oh and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is here too…I feel the need to let you know that I am aware of that… while I am drooling over shoes.   This will most likely be the most superficial, “very American girl day” that we have here…. minus the embarrassment of our bad language skills and getting run off the roadways by little cars that all know where they are and where they are going. I’ve heard Italy is terrifying to drive in… but I’ve driven Talladega… I should be fine right? :s

Anyway after Milan…. is Venice…. Venice is home to the nicest of the hotels we will be staying in… the Rialto on the Grand Canal… with the Rialto bridge being the oldest in Venice. Venice is possibly the town I am most excited to see and photograph simply out of how awed I am by the architecture. It is also the town I am most nervous of eating in… I know that this is a seafood village…. their catch, all fresh daily, and not being a big seafood eater, but still very much wanting to sample their culture regardless… it should prove interesting on my palate. (Source)

The remaining two days of the trip… I am not planning until we get there and we know how we’re feeling and what we want to see. I would love to go through Verona (the stage for Romeo and Juliet), Pisa, Genova, Merano, hop over and see Sicily, Naples… and half a dozen more…. but being greedy is definitely not what this trip is about…. having 8 days in Italy is more than I saw on my horizon a year ago… but it is very much increasing my appetite for travel. So much to see…. so little vacation time. 🙂 If you’ve been to Italy or would like to go, I’d love to hear where you’ve been… or what you would like to see most…?