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Report 879: October in Lucca, Chianti, Montalcino and Rome and Two Slow Travel Converts

By jabez from Georgia, Fall 2005

Trip Description: October 8 - 25, 2005 Busseto, Lucca, Chianti, Montalcino, Rome and Milan

Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Milan, Rome, Tuscany

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Sightseeing; Wine Trip; Independent Travel; 3-4 people

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Page 1 of 7: Background

The last three years Judy and I have traveled to Italy, my sixth trip overall. Last year was a true Slow Travel trip with a week in Tuscany and a week in Rome.

Two years ago we traveled with friends (Carla and Duane)and had a fantastic time, but tried to do way too much in too short of time. This year we again traveled with the same couple and hoped that we might slow down a bit more.

Slow travel: I can understand the temptation to do everything possible when traveling to a place like Italy, especially the first visit. There’s so much to see!

There’s also a lot to miss!

Packing-unpacking and checking in-checking out takes time and interferes with the travel experience. Invariably, every week or two someone writes for advice at Slow Travel. Usually the heading posted is something like this:

“Is this possible?”

Then the message has an itinerary like:

“Will be in Italy for ten days. We fly round trip Rome and plan two nights in Rome, two Florence, two Lake Como and two Venice. Our question is, what should we do for our other two nights? Maybe the Amalfi coast?”

In my humble opinion, slow travel is about experiencing the travel destination and not just adding a notch on the “I’ve visited” travel-gun. I say all this as a prelude that our trip wasn’t a 100% slow travel trip, but a compromise. The good news is that our dear friends (who, as you will read later, kept going when we slowed down in Rome) at the end of our trip were talking about longer stays for our next trip. Converts!

Planning: Since our 2004 May trip we experienced some amazing personal things that kept my wife and I away from planning this trip as we like. Almost immediately after our trip I had abdominal hernia surgery. We then placed our house up for sale. For people who go through moves every few years, this may not seem to be a big deal. We, however, hadn’t moved for 25 years! No one told me the house needed to be neat all the time!

As stressed as my wife got preparing our house for a sale, she even had more stress going through the process of searching for a new home.

Originally, the idea was to downsize . After awhile, I realized that it was really more to modernize. Over the many months we visited literally every subdivision in our price range. Our house finally sold in March. We decided to build the “perfect” house and it was supposed to be ready early May.

Then my company decided to bring consultants in for a reorganization. Consultants (oh no!) and reorganization (OH NO!) were two words most managers don’t like to hear. Fortunately, I was on the “winning team” and the consultants had me promoted.

Not to carry this on any further (you thought you were suppose to be reading a trip report and not a blog) but, after much times staying with friends, relatives and a long stint at a hotel we finally moved in this August. Thus (mea cupa!!) I didn’t post a trip report for last year's trip. It also added up to less time for preparation.

So less than two months after our big move, our trip began....

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