Don’t think that going to Italy demands that you only visit the well-known places—Rome, Pisa, Venice. Drift to lesser visited but charming Italian towns like Parma and Bologna. My husband wanted to have Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in Parma and Mortadella (Bologna) in Bologna. Simple, right? But what joys we had touring these cities. Oh to the food that we devoured!

Italy is the land of David, the Renaissance, a long stretch of history. Don’t miss seeing the museums and take every opportunity to stroll the gorgeous beaches. My first trip included Italian towns Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Cortona, Siena, and Pisa. What an experience—to drive around and discover the hill-clinging town of Volterra and marble. 

The second time I went to Italy was with my sister Jackie. We landed in Milan, took a train to Genoa, then onto the Cinque Terre National Park. What escapades we had! Hiking, eating scrumptious meals every day, followed with gelato, and never gaining a pound! That works for me.

Italy Adventures are never far from my heart. I long to spend a month hiking the Ligurian Coast. Two lovely towns are Parma and Bologna.

large wedges of Cheese on display in Parma, Italy


You love cheese, right?

Springtime in Parma … see the greenery growing out of the terra-cotta roof tiles. Glance out your hotel window and notice the building next door sports elaborate stained glass like a spider web. Ask where the local outdoor markets are and wander along the stalls. Food, clothing, rain boots—they have it all in vibrant colors.

Never stop marveling at the statues that adorn buildings four stories above you. Be stunned by the fact that such detail exists on a building that is already architecturally gorgeous. 


Porticos are everywhere. And I love me a portico.

In Bologna, climb stairs or climb one of the towers, whatever—but go up. You’re rewarded with a view of  towers—20 of them! There were 100 towers in the Middle Ages, which would have been something to see. But trust me, the 20 that are there now—amazing! It’s also a city of porticos, which has my writer’s brain creating stories of avoiding rain only to discover….

I don’t like baloney anymore that I like prosciutto, but…. Put me in Bologna and I’m dining on Mortadella and onion-skin-thin prosciutto any meal I can.

Adventures in Italian Towns Linger

Eventually, my husband’s job took him to Europe and I was lucky to go on some of those trips. What a treat! Florence, Genoa, Milan, Parma, Bologna, Rapallo, Portofino. What wonderful opportunities to get to know more of this gorgeous country.

Italy is more than good food and great wine. It’s about history and the people and continuity of lives. Italy is connectedness, making my American lifestyle feel uncomfortable. I want that human to human linking of people over the ages, over the years of my life. Italy offers that to me.

Castles, Churches, and Cathedrals

Exploring buildings over 500 years old is utterly intriguing. Think of the people who have walked where I just walked! Centuries of feet upon the stones. Families, artists, writers, sculptors. What history! Attend church and soak in the atmosphere of hundreds of worshipers. Isn’t that something?

Stand before a Michaelangelo sculpture and let your mouth gawp open.

Wow, Italy, wow. When is your first Italy adventure?

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