I’ve become a woman who goes to Italy for a quick week in February. I’m not really sure quite how that happened, but I’m very much enjoying, and appreciating, the fact that somehow this is my life.
As my departure date grows closer, I find myself increasingly giddy at the thought of being in Italy for the first time in four years. After a handful of trips disappointingly canceled during these Covid years, I’d been working to rein in my excitement to keep it in check. But, with much of my pre-travel required paperwork complete, submitted and accepted, I’m beginning to believe that this trip really is going to be a go.
Fingers crossed that Thursday afternoon’s Covid test results are negative and arrive in my email before my flight.
The confidence I’m feeling about this trip, and other exciting things in my life, prompted me to finally start making some plans for my time in Italy. I’d been thinking it might be a good idea to break up my time in Rome with an overnight stay in a different city, if only to give my hostess a midweek reprieve from having someone in her home.
I’m not interested in spending hours on a train during such a brief trip, but there are a number of appealing options within an hour or two of Rome. I considered Florence or Siena, or even going as far as Venice, but instead I decided on Napoli. Yesterday, I finally figured out my week and made reservations for accommodations – and I couldn’t be more psyched about my plans.
When I was last in Italy I visited Napoli, despite being told by numerous people that it was a very rough city.* I spent my time there walking around, eating and enjoying what is essentially a somewhat gritty port city that happens to have terrific food. On that trip, I stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast which was situated somewhat oddly in a large office building that featured a bird cage elevator, a gorgeously tiled shower, a view of the bay and one of the best continental breakfasts I’ve ever had. I’m returning – and I’ve reserved the very same room for next week.
But, prior to my upcoming return visit to Napoli, I’m off to a new destination motivated by someone who has also been inspiring my smile recently. The small island of Ischia, off the coast of Napoli and accessible via ferry or hydrofoil, looks amazing and I can’t wait to explore it. I did a little research and intend to partake in the thermal springs available and maybe even treat myself to a spa treatment or two while there. My bathing suit, along with my camera, is packed, friends.
Also packed is a sequined turtleneck and a red leather dress, because apparently I’m a woman who travels to Italy for a mere 6 day visit and who wears such garments. I wish you could see the smile on my face right now – my life is one which is currently filling me with unexpected delight and for which I am ever so grateful.
Other than my days on the coast, I’ll remain in Rome and imagine I’ll be doing my usual solo travel thing – eating, drinking, walking, running and soaking as much of the experience as possible into my very being. I may travel to get away, but the very best trips are the ones which remain with us long after we return home. I think this is going to be one of those trips.
*Incidentally, I’ve heard the same thing said about Athens. I like it there, too.