The Innkeeper's Tales

Innkeeper's Tales: When in Italy

by John Voigtmann

Italians. Sometimes they can't even be serious when they try. Photo by Mimi McCormick.

Summer is primo travel-to-Italy season. If there's anyone who knows what that means, it's La Bandita owner John Voigtman, a New York guy who loved traveling to Italy so much he moved there. And now helps other travelers discover the country. Every trip may be different, but the universals can't be denied. The latest installment in his Innkeeper's Tales.

TUSCANY – A few months ago, I shared advice for your next trip to Tuscany. To round that out, here's a list of a few experiences you will encounter on your trip. Forewarned is forearmed.

* You will be stuck, at least once, on a road behind a slow-moving herd of sheep. I've tried many strategies to move around them (honking, zooming up, trying to ease through the flank), but nothing works. You'll just have to wait it out.

* You will scrape the back left bumper of your rental car trying to maneuver a right turn on a dimly lit, tight medieval street. Best to get that extra insurance.

* You will scream at your GPS device. (It's okay, we've all done it.)

* You will manage to have a  long enjoyable conversation over dinner with an Italian uninhibited by the fact that neither of you speaks a word of the other's language.

* You will mispronounce the names of towns. Even locals have a hard time keeping it straight: Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monticchiello, Montefollonico, Monticiano...

* You will certainly meet a new pasta shape. (Shout-out to ditaloni rigati!)

* You will end up canceling half the things you planned before the trip, realizing quickly that doing less and taking a bit more time in fewer places is more fun and relaxing.

* You will probably eat gelato everyday. And why the hell not?

And maybe, just maybe, you'll think, "I would love to come and live here someday..."


An Inn Grows in Italy
John Voigtmann Fathom Questionnaire
Fathom's Italy Guide

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.