My 7 Links: Exploring WhyGo Italy's Attic
Four and a half years is a long time to be writing anything, let alone something like an online Italy travel guide – so it’s not surprising that many of the things I wrote way back in 2007-2008 during the first year of WhyGo Italy’s life are somewhat difficult to find.
So when I was invited to participate in a new blogging project putting the spotlight on long-forgotten older posts, of course I accepted!
The “My 7 Links” project asks participants to publish one link per category in seven different categories, all from his/her own site. Some of the WhyGo Italy posts below may be ones you’re already familiar with, while others may be new to you – I hope you enjoy this little walk (or should I say passeggiata?) down memory lane.
My Most Popular Post
Italy Itinerary: The Perfect Two Weeks – This category is easy, because no other post on WhyGo Italy gets as many comments as this one (and it’s gotten comments consistently since it was published nearly three years ago). I thought I’d get more guff for proclaiming this a “perfect” itinerary for a 2-week trip, but the truth is that it’s (a) designed especially for first-time travelers who want to see the “big three” destinations plus a couple others for good measure, and (b) full of suggestions for alternatives if you want to tweak the itinerary slightly rather than start from scratch.
My Most Controversial Post
The Cinque Terre is Closed – This is a travel guide, so controversy is kept to a minimum here, but back when the site was a mere six months old I tested the opinionated waters and wrote this post suggesting that the over-burdened Cinque Terre might do well to issue a limited number of permits each year to visitors, like the Grand Canyon does with rafting permits. I would write this differently today, using slightly different language, but my point would likely remain the same.
My Most Beautiful Post
Not finding quiet Venice? Don’t blame Venice. – I love lots of places in Italy, but I don’t try to hide my bias toward Venice. A couple years ago I had a day leftover on my Eurail pass and used it for a day trip to Venice from Milan, which gave me only seven hours in the city I love so deeply. I wandered almost the whole time, but stopped so frequently to take photographs that I covered hardly any ground at all. It was glorious. This post includes my favorite photos from that day, as well as me putting my foot down about all the Venice complaints I repeatedly hear.
My Most Helpful Post
Italy First Time Visitor Guide – WhyGo Italy is a travel guide, so pretty much the whole thing is designed to be “most helpful.” To that end, perhaps my most helpful post is the one that organizes the other helpful posts in a way that makes them easier to find. I sometimes think of this post as the site’s table of contents, if it has one, and although it’s called a guide for “first time” visitors it’s crammed with information for anyone with questions about an Italy visit – including topics like transportation, budgeting, food, and language.
A Post Whose Success Surprised Me
Italian Gelato Flavors Decoded – Gelato is one of my true Italian loves. On my first visit to Italy, I kept track of every flavor I tasted – there was a running tally on the inside back cover of my journal. I sampled flavors I knew and plenty I didn’t, and I don’t think I disliked any of them. Clearly, I’m not alone in my affection for gelato, because this post listing many of the flavors you’ll find in a gelato shop (plus some uncommon ones) is much more popular than I ever dreamed it would be when I wrote it. The companion piece about how to order gelato is pretty popular, too, but it’s the list of flavors that evidently makes people salivate the most.
A Post I Think Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved
How to Create the Perfect Italy Itinerary – Since the two-week itinerary post got so much attention, and in an attempt to cut down on the number of times I was repeating the same tips in email replies, I wrote this post about the important things to know and/or keep in mind when planning a trip to Italy. It’s quite literally how I plan my own trips, to Italy or anywhere else. I still think this post is useful, and I still refer people in its direction – and yet I continue to get itinerary questions (many on this very post) that make it clear people aren’t actually reading the advice before they ask…
The Post I’m Most Proud Of
An “Unforgettable” Forgettable Meal in Venice – Storytelling isn’t what I do here on WhyGo Italy. It’s a skill I aspire to have, and every so often I try my hand at it for a bit of practice. This was one of those times. Re-reading this post now, there are lots of things I would change about it – and I’m still proud of it, partly because it’s an admission that even people who are supposed to know better make the same travel mistakes that everyone does, and partly because the memory of that night still makes me smile.
Part of the My 7 Links project involves each participant nominating five more bloggers to post their own 7 Links. So here are my nominations: