Okay guys, I’m going to go off script on this one. No points or miles talk here. Just real talk for this piece… I love the European way of life.

As a proud American, I certainly strive to be open-minded about all cultures and ways of life. My dad is an Italian immigrant and many of the values instilled in me growing up stem from the values he and my mom were taught by their parents.

As I grew older, I became more curious about Europe, mostly because it was the only continent with which I was intimately familiar. When I was 15 I joined my Italian II classmates on our high school’s summer trip to Italy.┬áIt was a blast. Fourteen days in Italy with stops in Rome, Sorrento, Pisa, Assisi, Venice, and Milan. It was truly a great experience and one I’ll never forget.

venice, italy

Bridge of Sighs, Venice. Photo by Dominic Perilli

 

Enter, Betty…

Then I met my girlfriend, a neighborhood girl. She was studying at the American University of Rome and was more Italian than I could have ever imagined. Fluent in the language and knowledgable in all things Italy, I never missed a chance to pick her brain.

I had the chance to visit her in November 2014. Side note: If you’re looking for a GREAT time to visit Italy, this is it.

We spent a few days in Rome before grabbing the high-speed train to Venice, my favorite city on earth.

Each day was started in truly relaxing fashion: coffee (espresso) and a cornetto. Cost: ~2euro

In Venice I was able to redeem Hilton points for two nights at the Molino Stuckey Venice, which offered a ridiculous breakfast spread for Diamond members. Cold cuts, croissants, coffee, you name it.

venice, italy

Can’t forget the Insalata di Frutti di Mare! Photo by Dominic Perilli

After that trip, I had the opportunity to visit my girlfriend’s town the following summer. It was here that I discovered my love for the small town European way of life. The “simple” life as I like to call it. The slightly monotonous overtone shielded by a way of living that just works.

The region is Molise and while I won’t reveal the name of the town, just imagine one of the most picturesque places on earth combined with the quiet of a library. Peaceful. Cell phone service is spotty, and WiFi is a luxury. If you truly want to disconnect, these people know how to do it.

I repeatedly asked the natives, “Is this how all of Italy lives?” to which I received an almost resounding “Yes!”

I’m hooked.

While there are some aspects of the European life that I wouldn’t enjoy (read: socialized medicine), I found myself constantly yearning for another trip back to this land of true relaxation.

I may be sounding a bit naive but I promise you I would only convey my truest feelings and I could certainly get used to living the way Europeans do.

What’s the point?

The point? The point of this post is to document something I’ve been feeling lately and to hopefully give you the inspiration and insight needed to finally make that plunge and book a trip to Europe. I’m biased towards Italy, but I’m sure each European country has similar features and charm.

Buon Viaggio!