To Italy!

My love of art history, particularly Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture, makes Italy the place I most want to visit.

Children, work, and limited vacation funds meant that my first visit to Italy was not until 2007. But I returned to Italy in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016. In 2018, I went to Italy twice and followed that with another trip in 2019. In 13 years, I visited Italy 9 different times. By 2019, I was starting to think I should be going to Italy every year or at least, every other year.

And then, of course, the Covid pandemic ended travel for over two years. Finally, in 2022, we resumed international travelling by going on our postponed 2020 trip to Switzerland and Germany.

For 2023, I need to make up for the absence of travel to Italy.

In early 2022 I saw a UBC alumni tour of Palladio architecture and decided to put down a deposit. Scott leerily agreed to try a group tour for the first time.

We planned to arrive in Europe a few days before the tour to adjust our time clocks to the 8-hour difference. I have read suggestions that you need one day for every hour difference. We weren’t planning on taking 8 days but almost a week, which would help get onto Central European time.

We decided to fly to Amsterdam and visit our daughter-in-law’s parents and then visit Bologna getting time adjusted. We would then join the UBC tour in Vicenza.

The UBC tour was to end in Venice. We planned a week on our own in Venice. I enrolled in a lot of art history and history webinars in 2020 and 2021 and learned how many things I had not yet seen but want to see in Venice and area.

I booked flights when I saw the price dropped in July. That month we also paid a second deposit for the UBC tour. Then in December, the UBC tour got cancelled because there were not enough participants. BOO!

But with flights booked and some accommodation partly paid, we are not cancelling going to Italy. Instead, we will do our own version of the UBC tour.

Scott will return after 25 days, which he thinks is long enough for him to be away—but not me. We will be in the northeast corner of Italy, an area that has a lot of small cities with great art and architecture. I’m staying on for another two weeks.

With the addition of my solo travel, my vacation will total 39 days—the longest vacation I have ever taken! Maybe I will discover that is too long or maybe I will discover that is too short. It will be a good opportunity to get a taste of long-term travel and whether that might be part of future retirement plans.

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