Who says you need to spend a fortune to enjoy yourself when traveling. The following are my very favorite and very affordable experiences.
10. Crossing the street. If anyone disagrees with me here, they have obviously never tried to do so in Rome.
9. Driving on the Autostrada. The thrill goes both ways. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and out in the open. It seems though, no matter how well I’m doing or how fast I’m going, some Italian is on my butt.
8. Ordering an espresso (or two) in the afternoon. I just can’t get enough of coffee in Italy and I find myself sneaking in and out of bars through the day indulging in my addiction.
7. If coffee isn’t your thing, then I dare you to double down on gelato. Ignore those raised eyebrows and go back for seconds or order a triple to begin with. My mouth watering combo? Pistachio, hazelnut and something chocolate!
6. For you ladies wanting to live on the edge and believe in fashion at all costs, try an evening on the town in heels. There is nothing more amazing or sexy than watching the Italian women strut along the cobblestones. I have tried this myself and….well, not so sexy but I didn’t break anything.
5. Passeggiata. Probably my favorite time of the day, when the day trippers have gone home and the locals come out to catch up on the day’s news. There is no better time to people watch and be watched! Even in the smallest of villages, people can be found out and about during the evening right before dinner. Couples holding hands, old women arm in arm. Magic.
4. Sagra. These food centered festivals are everywhere, in every town or village. Love garlic, cheese or olives? You are in luck because there are a handful of places across Italy ready to celebrate.
3. Festivals. Each and every town has some festival rooted in tradition that you can be a part of with the right timing. The activities vary widely, from pushing wine barrels up the steep city center to decorating the ground with elaborate works of art made from flower petals.
2. Flirting. It’s free and it’s everywhere. The men in Italy love women and not just the Victoria Secret model women. Feeling bad about the extra weight you can’t seem to get rid of? Having trouble hiding the grey? No worries! Italian men are professionals when it comes to making a woman feel beautiful, any woman. Flirting taken with the right frame of mind can be a great ego boost. Of course, if they go too far I’m not afraid to let them know they’ve crossed a line.
1. Battling the old women during the morning market. You have to mentally prepare for this scenario. They are plump and sweet on the bench in the piazza, but they are shrewd and as stealthy as any ninja at the vegetable stall.
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Copyright 2012 Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel