I am sitting at Lanate airport in Milan and have time to reflect on my Italian travels. What is abundantly clear is that I travel in a unique way --- I will call it The BVE (short for the Bryan Verona experience), coined by fellow Louper (and traveling bud) Matthew S. The BVE has three essential rules:
Rule #1 - When done with a destination, leave!
Rule #2 - Know where to go, but don't fear change of course.
Rule #3 - Why do tomorrow what you can do today!
Rule #1. When traveling, get out there and see a lot of places ... you don't know if and when you'll be back to that region. This Summer, I have brought the road trip (conceptually) to Europe where we are going (flying, boating and driving) to a slew of new, diverse and previously unchartered (by me) lands. It's hard to predict how long you need to be somewhere. Therefore, don't be beholden to an itinerary; always be ready to pack up and leave for your next destination. Conversely, if you need more time in a place ... take it.
Rule #2. This is the epitome of the Loupe's credo. Ask friends and people who know where you have to go. You are likely heading somewhere that friends of yours have been before. They can save you many mistakes and missteps.
Rule #3. The last rule relates directly to the first and second rules. If you wake up early, rather than go to breakfast, first go on a hike or a jog, as there is no better way to see and learn a new place. If you are showered and early for dinner, squeeze in another spot (maybe a martini or bellini) before dinner. If you have some downtime in the afternoon, use it. These are the ways to fit more activities into less time, allowing you to travel BVE style and move on to your next destination without FOMO.
I want to be clear; vacation doesn't always equal relaxation. I am on vacation to do and see things that I haven't done before. For instance, in 10 days in Italy I have been to Matera (in Puglia), Amalfi, Positano, Capri, Naples (for pizza), Sardinia, Portofino and Cinque Terre. I have eaten to my heart's (or stomach's) desire each region's specialties and have seen, heard, smelled, and touched (get your mind out of the gutter) Italia! Basta, let's get to this week's finds!