February is the month for love! Warm up with our hot deals to the world's most romantic destinations. No list would be complete without Italy. Travel consultant Bridget Vail tells us why Italy makes her heart flutter.
1. How many times have you visited Italy?
I've been six times. I studied abroad there, then went back for two archaeological digs. I've also returned to Italy for fun, then for eight months of work and for a wedding that happened last fall.
A sweeping view of Cortona, Italy.
2. What is your favourite city in Italy?
Cortona. It’s a small town in Tuscany, and it embodies everything I love about Italy – good food, good wine, and amazing people! It has a small town feel with a lot of history.
3. What surprised you the most about Italy?
Every area is like a different country. Florence and Naples are definitely worlds apart! It is amazing to see all these subcultures within one beautiful country.
Bridget at the ruins of Paestum, in Salerno.
4. What made you fall in love with Italy?
Art! Not art in the sense of what is in a museum, but how people dress, the food itself, and the architecture that surrounds you. It is all so artistic and romantic. Also, aperitivo! The art of having a drink, that comes with a few snacks at local bars in the early evening, before dinner. It's a great favourite in the north that's spread elsewhere in Italy.
5. What's your favorite memory about Italy?
My favourite memory about Italy is the most recent: a big, Italian wedding at Lago d’Iseo (Lake Iseo). We watched the setting sun over the hills that surround this beautiful lake. This was followed by dinner — eight courses of heaven!
6. What are your top 3 Italy tips that you would give a client travelling there?
1) Never eat gelato at a store that has a billion flavours and bright colours. Chances are it isn’t authentic or as delicious as you can get! 2) Always ask a local or a concierge for somewhere good to eat. Often times restaurants that are closest to tourist destinations, or serve meals at our more traditional dining times (6 o’clock versus 8 o’clock) aren’t going to be giving you the best taste of the area. 3) Be wary of pickpockets! They are rampant in the bigger cities and trains – make sure you keep your things close to you.
7. Why do you think it's important for people to visit Italy?
To challenge yourself. To challenge everything you know about art, architecture. To experience the slower paced way of life that the Italians enjoy.
8. What things would you recommend someone pack for a trip to Italy?
There's a few things. Firstly, pack good shoes, because you will be walking absolutely everywhere! Bring both an umbrella and sunscreen, because when it rains, it pours, and when it's hot, it is scorching. I recommend packing a money belt for when you're in the bigger cities and on public transport. I know they're silly, but I've known many people to be pickpocketed, including myself. Finally, pack clothing that you can layer, because the weather is different all over Italy.
Thanks, Bridget! Are you ready to fall in love with Italy? You can call, or click with, one of our flight consultants 24/7, online or at 1 855 7 YOUFLY.