The first time I went to Italy, I hated it.Â Hate might be a strong term because I had a good time, but that was based solely on the people I was with.Â Not Perugia.Â Not Assisi.Â Especially Assisi.Â The country itself didnâ€™t make any great first impressions.Â In fact, left the country quite disappointed, and also with a few stereotypes confirmed.Â A good friend of mine had just returned with his own horror stories.
Really, in the long run, these horror stories were just your common traveler horror stories. Things get lost, things get stolen, people are rude.Â Travel enough and it happens.Â But when it happens to you, it sours the whole trip.Â And the whole country.Â Unfortunately.
I know itâ€™s not fair to judge an entire country on just a few days of traveling through one or two cities.Â Itâ€™s ridiculous to lump everyone together.Â But we all do it to some extent.Â The important thing is to realize that everyone has a bad day.Â Even the waiter in Italy who gives you a dirty look and makes rude comments about your nationality.
The second time I went to Italy, I went because there was a girl involved.Â Iâ€™m glad I did.Â Not necessarily because of the girl, although she is quite nice, Iâ€™m glad because it forced me to experience Italy again.Â Things didnâ€™t go wrong.Â Instead, I was treated to one of those classic destinations that, despite the crowds, is still one of the best places to visit in Europe â€“ Rome. An extra Italian city under my belt and a whole new outlook on the entire country.
A couple of years after my Rome trip, I went back.Â Again.Â This time Milan and Turin.Â And it was amazing.Â All of it.Â I stood on the roof of The Duomo di Milano in Milan, Italy, I even made an Historical Pilgrimage to the Shroud of Turin.
The moral: Donâ€™t give up on a place because of one bad experience.Â Remember that European city that left you with a bad taste in your mouth?Â Go back.Â And have fun.