Italy

Places that EVERYONE likes but you don’t?

The other day on a travel board I frequent, a question was posed asking people to respond with a city or country they didn’t particularly care for but others just love. My answer was easy: Rome and Florence.

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I’ve talked before about how my one and only trip to Italy was less than memorable. I traveled there with a girl from my study abroad program. While we had hung out a lot in Sevilla and always gotten along, we weren’t meant for long-term, “exclusive” travel . So there was that and then, since we’d booked our trip to Italy rather last minute (in a typically college student sort of way), our accommodations were…horrific. We stayed at a hostel in the Termini neighborhood of Rome (if you’ve ever been to Rome you know that Termini is the type of neighborhood you want to get in and out of, not stay in). Those two circumstances,ย paired with what in hindsight was bad planning on my part (I was not prepared for Rome’s tourist crowds-i.e. spending ridiculous amounts of time waiting in line for attractions that I could have gotten tickets for in advance and buying a train ticket to Florence for a Monday since all tickets on Tuesday were sold out, not realizing that almost all of the museums there were closed on Mondays) resulted in a less than memorable trip. Sure, I have great photos that on the surface look cool, but deep down I know the bad memories that are lurking beneath them.

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So in all fairness to Rome and Florence, I know it was not them but rather me. They can’t be blamed for my travel companion, they’re not at fault for the hostel I stayed at or the fact I was terrible with advance planning. Enough people travel to Italy each year and love it-the food, the people, the ambiance, the sights. So by all means, I want to give it “another shot.” One that involves lodging at a nice hotel in a nice area (i.e. one where I am not randomly propositioned by some creepy South Asian man); one that involves doing research in advance to know of which restaurants and trattorias to eat at (I had less than stellar meals the entire time I was in Italy); and most importantly, one that involves seeing AND experiencing the Rome and Florence that most people fall head over heels with (i.e. I’m looking at you Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn).

Now granted, if I go a second time to Rome and Florence, stay at nice hotels, eat great meals, and still am less than impressed, then I know that perhaps it was not me and always Italy all along (but I severely doubt this is the case).

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What also inspired me to write this post, i.e. specifically “pick on” Italy with my writing, is this drool worthy post written by Jessica over at Curiosity Travels. She’s a prime example of why Italy truly looks (and tastes) amazing.

Are there any countries or cities you weren’t too enthralled with but others just love?

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    May 30, 2014 at 2:04 am

    I’m not really a fan of London, nice city but a bit overrated in my opinion
    Rebecca recently posted…Africa 2013: SummaryMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      May 30, 2014 at 11:55 am

      I loved London the second time I visited (I got to spend 2 weeks there and the first week I lived in a residential community north of the city center) but I think at first glance it can be somewhat generic compared to many other major cities in the world. I love just getting out and off the beaten path and exploring things that way.

  • Reply
    Jessica of Curiosity Travels
    May 30, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Your travel partner and where you stay really can have a big influence on your experience! I felt this way about Myanmar even though everyone raves about it these days!

    Thanks for the link too! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jessica of Curiosity Travels recently posted…What Americans Can Learn From ItaliansMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      May 30, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Unbelievably so! Looking back almost a decade later, I really wish I had just gone to Italy alone. I thought it would be nice to have a friend since I’d be gone for the whole week but hindsight, ain’t it grand? ๐Ÿ™‚

      That’s interesting to hear your opinion of Myanmar. I would like to visit one day as I’m an ultra history nerd and am intrigued by its colonial past.

      With pleasure! Your Italy posts have gotten me majorly wanting to add the country to the top of my travel to do list. Having more money (than as a college student) and a better traveling partner, I think it would be an improved experience all around ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tamara
    October 2, 2014 at 11:26 am

    We’ve done very little traveling in Europe, and never been to Italy, but it’s so true that your traveling companions can have a big influence on your experience of a place. I felt that way about Mexico for a while… Always enjoy hearing your thoughts!
    Tamara recently posted…Food for Thought with ParTASTEMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      October 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      There is so much to be said on solo travel…and yes, your travel buddy can definitely make or break a destination. Italy isn’t on the horizon but I really do look forward to the day when I can give it another shot!

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