Italy Bound

While most of the hockey world heads to the Draft, I’m heading out of the country.  Destination: ITALY.

It’s kind of funny because my boss and I always book our vacations and then later he mentions to me where he’s taking the family this year.  I always look at him strange, because ironically…that’s where I booked my vacation this year, too!  {Not at the same time, mind you.} 

While he’s heading to Venice and Florence, I’ll be in Venice, Bologna, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Capri, Pompeii and Sorrento.  That definitely means I’ll be packing very light!  I have a lot of olive oil to bring back! 🙂

There will be a lot to see.  One of the things I’m looking forward to seeing the most is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice and Verona.  I’m really looking forward to seeing Juliet’s House and catching Don Giovanni at the Arena in Verona…an opera under the stars! 

On my birthday (aka Free Agency day), I’ll be in Rome, running around the city from the early hours until late at night when I’m running around the ‘haunted’ part of Rome. 

Oh yeah, I guess I am going on the ghost tour in Venice, too. 

I always like to go on these little ghost tours to see if they’re full of crap or not.  I went on the Jack the Ripper tour in London, which was cool because I got to see a lot of London from the historical point of view and then see how it has changed in the last century.  Then some really super tall Chara-ish guy passed out after he saw a photo of the most gruesome Ripper murder ever. 

I felt bad for the guy.  He went into a seizure when he hit the pavement.  That ended his tour right then and there.

As for Italy…besides taking on the ghosts of Italy, I’ll be sampling a lot of food and buying up a lot of ingredients.

Ever since I saw Eat, Pray, Love and that pizza from Naples…I’ve been craving it ever since!  That is the main reason why I’m going to Naples. 

I’ve got 3 different travel guides I’ve picked up over the years (the latest one on Milan I picked up at the library’s seasonal book sale in my $5 per bag of books deal). 

Speaking of travel books, I only buy DK Eyewitness Travel guides.  What I love about them is that each book has a walking tour to cover all of the important locations, as well as give you a history of each spot (and give you an idea of what photos you should take at each spot).  I usually walk away with all of the same photos that were in the travel guide.

When I was in Vysehrad in Prague, I got a little lost on the walking tour, but the sights I did find were gorgeous!  Each marker, each bridge, each statute…they were all described as to its importance in the book.  It was nice just to take a moment and take in each place that is marked on the tour. 

After I came back from Prague, I only bought DK Eyewitness Travel as my guidebooks.  They are so much easier to navigate, especially if you like to go off on your own and look around (great for solo travelers that don’t want to pay for the tour guides…this is basically $20 or less for a tour of everything in the city you want to see).  They provide you with maps for each tour showing you all of the stopping points and things you should notice or do.

Most importantly…those subway maps are the most important maps in the book! 

When I get back from Italy, I’ll have lots and lots of photos from all over the country.  I’ll be armed with recipes and lots of ingredients, because who knows…I may ask to go back into the kitchen to learn more about the dishes they make!

Between now and leaving the US, I have to brush up on my Italian again.  The last time I spoke Italian was my sophomore year in college…and that was 16 years ago! 

This is actually a birthday present to myself.  I’ve never taken myself anywhere on my birthday.  I usually travel in late September/early October.  So this will be a big treat, because I’ve always dreamed of seeing Italy!

About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth has been a member of the NHL credentialed media covering the New Jersey Devils since 2008 for Inside Hockey. She is the owner or PerfectionistWannabe.com.