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10 Unforgettable Reasons Why You Should Travel To Italy

10 Unforgettable Reasons Why You Should Travel To Italy
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    Florence/Dennis Jarvis

    Italy isn’t just for travelers who crave the world’s best pizzas, pastas and wines. The food (and wine) in this uniquely boot-shaped country is one reason to add it to your bucket list, but the historic cities, snow-capped mountains, pristine coastlines and endless museums will assure you that one visit is not enough.

    These 10 cities, sites, tastes and experiences are more than enough to lure you into Italy, but we guarantee you’ll return with a list of reasons all your own.

    1. Falling in Love with Venice

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      Grand Canal/Maëlick

      You don’t have to be a honeymooner or even a lover of chick flicks to fall in love with Venice’s romantic vibe. The colorful, canal-filled city will make you want to snap photos until your memory card is full. In addition to the famed Grand Canal, with its rowing gondoliers, travelers can dine on fresh seafood, museum hop and stock up on souvenirs.

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      2. Hiking Along the Cinque Terre

      Vernazza, Cinque Terre
        Vernazza, Cinque Terre/ Daniel Stockman

        Also known as “five lands,” the Cinque Terre region has become a sought-after Italian destination in recent years, and for good reasons too. The colorful towns, appearing as if they’re dangling from cliffs, along the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre offer scenery that rivals Europe’s most famous sites.

        3. Sunbathing on Deserted Islands

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          Tabaccara, Lampedusa/ Luca Siragusa

          Italy is probably not the first country that comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “deserted islands.” However, Sicily’s Pelagie Islands are an off-the-beaten path alternative for travelers seeking turquoise water, white-sand beaches and postcard-worthy fishing towns. Visit Lampione to experience a truly uninhabited paradise.

          4. The Crumbling Ruins of Rome

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            Arch of Septimius Severus/Robert Lowe

            ‘Crumbling’ isn’t a common term of endearment for a city, but it is when you’re referencing the ancient city of Rome. Travelers can enjoy all of the 21st-century conveniences of luxurious accommodations, award-winning restaurants and museums after exploring the ruins of buildings that were once walked by Julius Caesar and Romulus. History buffs haven’t lived until they’ve wandered among the 2,800-year-old columns, temples and buildings of Rome.

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            5. Snacking on Antipasti

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              Antipasti/Kent Wang

              It doesn’t matter where you’ve sampled antipasti around the globe, it’ll never be as good as those in Italy. Start nearly every meal with an array of cured cheeses, marinated vegetables, prosciutto and carefully-made spreads. The antipasti dishes vary throughout Italy’s regions and restaurants, which means you can start your own taste test around the country.

              6. Walking the Streets of Florence

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                Florence Sunset/Maëlick

                Even more than Rome and Venice, many visitors to Italy will tell you their favorite city is Florence. The city’s more compact size makes it ideal for exploring on foot. Wander from the Duomo to the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Uffizi, the Mercato Nuovo, Ponte Vecchio and discover the countless other pieces of the outdoor museum known as Florence.

                7. World Heritage Site Hopping

                Herculaneum from above
                  Herculaneum/Andy Hay

                  Italy is home to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world. Travelers can visit 47 cultural World Heritage Sites and four natural World Heritage Sites, ranging from the archaeological areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata to the Aeolian Islands and the Dolomites. Wherever you are around “the boot,” it’s guaranteed there’s a World Heritage Site nearby.

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                  8. Touring the Rolling Hills of Val d’Orcia

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                    Val d’Orcia/Kuranosuke Oishi

                    When many travelers envision their trip to Tuscany, they imagine sipping glasses of Chianti among green rolling hills. This vision is mostly correct, but Tuscany is a surprisingly large area of central Italy. It pays to focus on a specific area — like the medieval towns of Val d’Orcia perched atop the hills of Montalcino, Pienza and Monticchiello. Cruise along the Val d’Orcia backgrounds, bouncing between wineries and snapping photos of the heavenly views.

                    9. Adventuring in the Dolomites

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                      Dolomites/Navin Rajagopalan

                      Italy’s desolate islands and rolling hills aren’t the only natural wonders the country boasts. The Dolomites, a snowy mountain range in the Southern Alps, is a place where hikers, climbers, skiers and snowboarders can get their adrenaline thrills. You’re guaranteed to be wowed by the craggy peaks of the Dolomites — the range represented in the background of Leonardo’s Mona Lisa — whether you visit in spring, summer, fall or winter.

                      10. Slurping 300 Types of Noodles

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                        Fresh Pasta in Sorrento/Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble

                        Some travelers visit Italy for its food alone — and we don’t blame them. Italians serve up more than 300 types of fresh, homemade pasta. Making an attempt to taste all of the crave-worthy noodles and sauces means you’ll have to cancel your plane ticket home and stay a while.

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                        Featured photo credit: Dennis Jarvis via flickr.com

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                        Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                        Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

                        Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

                        In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

                        And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

                        Why is goal setting important?

                        1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

                        Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

                        For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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                        Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

                        After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

                        So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

                        2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

                        The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

                        The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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                        We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

                        What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

                        3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

                        We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

                        Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

                        But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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                        What you truly want and need

                        Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

                        Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

                        Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

                        When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

                        Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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                        Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

                        Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

                        Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

                        The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

                        It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

                        Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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