I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, so usually this time of year sort of passes by without much in the way of self-reflection on my part. But even though I’m still not making any New Year’s resolutions for 2010, I am prepared to do a little navel-gazing – of a professional variety, that is.
2009 was a pretty big year for WhyGo Italy – we launched a brand new design (which I’m still tickled by, and I hope you still think is snazzy) and continue to be blessed by increasing numbers of visitors who are asking all kinds of great questions about traveling in Italy. If travel budgets were down in 2009, traffic on WhyGo Italy didn’t indicate that. There is, after all, only one Rome in the world, right? Even if people are traveling less, they’re not going to miss out on things like Italy if they can help it.
January is also a special month for WhyGo Italy, as the site was officially started as more of a bloggy endeavor back in January of 2007. At that point, I was writing a few posts – mostly about Italian news – on the weekends in my spare time, just because I loved having an outlet to write about Italy. Oh, how times have changed.
WhyGo Italy is now a site I no longer even describe as a blog – it’s an online travel guide to Italy – although I will continue to inject plenty of personality into everything I write here. The articles that I tend to publish these days, however, are more of the travel guide variety and less of the fun or funny variety. Which is why it’s particularly fun for me to look back over the articles that were the most popular in the last year – yes, there are some of the fun/funny ones on the list, but some of the really useful travel guide-y ones are there, too.
Here’s a list of the 10 articles y’all visited the most during 2009.
- Italy Itinerary: The Perfect Two Weeks – The fact that this article is among the most popular from 2009 doesn’t surprise me – it continues to get comments regularly from people asking me for advice on their own itineraries. The fact that it’s not higher on the list does surprise me a little. I’m also reminded that I need to write more suggested itinerary articles.
- Top 10 Things to Do in Milan – Since Milan is the city where I’ll be starting my expat career, I’m partial to it. I also know it’s not for everyone. But if you’ve got some time to spend in Milan before a flight out of Malpensa, then this article is the perfect place to find out what to do in Italy’s fashion, business, and banking capital.
- A Trip to the Lamborghini Museum – This article continues to get so much traffic, it must be true that it’s not just the husband who keeps looking at it. Even if you’re not a car person it’s easy to appreciate the beauty of design when it comes to Italian cars – and as a photographer, it’s easy to find lots of pretty things to take pictures of at the Lamborghini Museum.
- 20 Things Everyone Should Do in Italy – While I particularly love hearing about those offbeat travel experiences that can only come from not listening to what anyone else tells you to do, there are some experiences that are quintessentially Italian. The vast majority of people headed for Italy will have most of these 20 things on their checklist. Do you?
- Top 10 Things to Do in Rome – Rome is a city I still don’t love the way I love some other Italian cities, but it’s growing on me. And that’s thanks (in large part) to some of the things on this list. Keep in mind Rome is a city that defies top 10 lists, which means I may have to make another one (an addendum) later on.
- 10 Hottest Italian Soccer Players – Along with my obsession with Italian soccer came a healthy appreciation for the beautiful Italian boys who play the game. This list is where it all started, and there are now two more in the series. It’s a favorite series of mine. Not that you needed me to tell you that, probably.
- Top 10 Things to Do in Venice – How many times will I tell you that I love Venice more than most other cities on earth? Many. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t get emails regularly from people telling me it’s too crowded, too smelly, too expensive, etc. I know Venice’s faults (and for the record, Venice doesn’t smell), but I also know its perks. Stick with me – starting with this top 10 list – and you’ll enjoy Venice, too.
- Limoncello Recipe in Pictures – This is another one of those articles that I’m still surprised by every time I see how much traffic it’s getting. I mean, I love all kinds of Italian food, including limoncello (and the recipe I use is fantastic), but it just amazes me a little how many people are consistently – apparently – also making limoncello. Well, I’m glad to help out!
- Jessica’s 8 Favorite Italian Swear Words – It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that this is among the most popular articles on the site, given that it’s always one of the most popular topics in Italian language classes. There have been more articles on this topic, but this one remains the most visited.
- The 13 Hottest Italian Soccer WAGs – And finally we arrive at the most visited article from the site in 2009 – and it’s about gorgeous Italian women who happen to be involved with Italian soccer stars. I’m fairly confident the high ranking of this article isn’t just because the guys in my office (for whom I started doing these lists in the first place, after I did the hot Italian soccer players lists for myself) keep clicking on it. But who can say? Incidentally, the current woman on the arm of part-time Italy resident George Clooney is none other than former WAG Elisabetta Canalis, pictured at the right (and featured in this article).
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So that’s it – the most popular articles from WhyGo Italy in 2009. It’ll be interesting to try this exercise again in a year and see if anything from this year remains in the top 10!
photo at the top by Optical Illusion; all other photo credits on the articles from which the thumbnails were taken