“You can’t see Italy unless it’s …”.”

Rome Tourists – By Luca Sartoni (creative Commons)

It was a very funny week. I wrote a note about the article ” A perfect two-week Italy itinerary” which includes caveats about how what works for one person may not work for another, how you can see more in two week than what I suggested, and so on. It is unrealistic to expect everyone who visits Italy to read the article and say, “That’s the itinerary for me!”. The country is too diverse, the possibilities too numerous, so no single trip is perfect. You will see this in the article.

However, one person reading the article didn’t go all the way through or ignored one of its caveats. This is in response to the expression, “You can’t possibly claim you’ve been to Italy unless (fill in blank)”.

You can, however. This is a snobby attitude that says one type of travel (or traveler) is better than the other. This attitude is not something I like. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get to all the places on another’s list of Italy must-sees, or that your trip didn’t count. You can’t claim to have been to Italy if you don’t visit any Italian airports while on your way somewhere else. That’s a fact that even I will call you on.

Never mind that the adage “You haven’t been to Italy if your haven’t been to Naples” is merely factually incorrect. There’s also that.

I ignored the comment because I had heard it a million times and was annoyed by it. But then I thought I would return to you and explain why I believe you should not ignore this kind of comment.

Anybody who believes their version of Italy is the best, right, and the best. Who dismisses your Italy trip for not including a favorite place or because it contains an attraction they don’t believe you should see. Who tries to make it seem bad and makes it difficult to plan your trip.

It’s your vacation, not theirs.

Personally? Perhaps I have no interest in taking a cruise. If that’s what you want, pardon the pun, then go for it. Go for it. You will learn everything you need about Italy’s cruise ports. I can also suggest shore excursions and give tips on where to eat in each port. I won’t tell you to do X or Y in lieu of a cruise.

Do not get me wrong, I have opinions. I’ll tell you when you try to do too much. When I feel something isn’t worth your time, I will let you know. You can make your own decisions because you are a grown-up.


Sorry for being so sappy, but I am tired of people being bullied and berated for wanting to spend ten minutes pretending to hold the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This is something you must do if it’s on your list.

(Unless you are hurting another person along the way. Even I would bully and scold you if your goal was to stand on the backs puppies and babies in order to get the perfect shot. But I digress.)

Some of my Facebook friends responded to the “you can’t say that you’ve seen Italy unless X” comment. They made me laugh out loud and helped me realize how ridiculous the original comment was. I give permission to answer any questions about your itinerary from anyone (and I do mean everyone):

Are you saying that I won’t be able to see Italy if it’s not in a specific city? Yes.

I’m watching you.