Timothy Sykes has traveled to Italy 12 times. Credit: Colourbox
I’ve been to nearly 100 countries, but Italy is by far one of my favorites. Here are three reasons why you must take the trip:
Reason #1: The Food & Wine
My weight goes up and down so much I’m like a less-funny Jonah Hill and the blame can be placed squarely on my frequent trips to Italy. But it’s worth it. Italian food is very simple and natural and whether you’re a seafood lover, meat eater or even vegetarian or vegan, there’s something on every restaurant’s menu for you here in Italy and it’s all delicious thanks to their refined-over-time family recipes and quality of the local ingredients.
In the past few days I’ve had impossibly perfect breads and pastries, healthy grilled vegetables and salads, spaghetti al dente with buttery and garlicky clams, expertly fried calamari, juicy steak smothered in cheese and olive oil, perfect eggplant parm, ravioli with the tastiest tomatoes ever and tons of mozzarella, pecorino and parmesan cheese and of course pasta bolognese and carbonara.
And I’ve washed it all down with vast quantities of tasty and refreshing glasses of wine from various regions all over Italy. This is a fat person’s heaven so I’m indulging.
Reason #2: The People & History
Rome, Venice and Florence all have grand histories so the museums and architecture are truly magnificent, but the local people of Italy are some of the friendliest and most accommodating in the entire world. After all, despite their past power and influence, this country now relies on tourism so by being a tourist you’re getting the best of what they have to offer.
I’m a history buff so walking through the Roman Forum and Colosseum, seeing the Medici family treasures, canals of Venice and the grand castles, villas and piazzas inspires me to no end, but the countryside and coastal towns are even more charming.
Reason #3: The Attitude
Unlike some other countries also known for their food and history, Italians are truly welcoming to tourists and especially Americans as they take the saying “when you’re here you’re family” to heart.
And I’m not talking about a cheesy restaurant slogan, nearly every single person I’ve encountered here from hotel owners, boat operators and waiters to shopkeepers, bartenders, artists and locals have embraced this message as they truly love their country and want to share it with the world.
Outside of a few key food phrases, I don’t even speak the language, but everyone is so helpful and this being my 12th trip, I’ve seen more and more Italians speaking English and broken English which is always helpful.
Things I Liked:
1. New rumored photos of the iPhone 6 tease all sorts of new features, my favorite being wireless charging…fingers crossed!
2. Every single meal I’ve had here in Italy, I must’ve gained 10 lbs. in a week so far, mamma mia!
3. The U.S. stock market is strong again and while we’re heading into a dangerous time of year, if there’s no drop, we should see some serious spiking.
I’m not a Red Sox fan, but ever since I treated my dad to front row World Series tickets last year, I can’t help but admire David Ortiz who despite his age keeps proving himself
The situation in Ferguson shows racism and race-related anger is alive and well which is very sad and somehow I thought, and a lot of others, though we’d evolved past this.