Dear friends, today we are here with a nice interview with friend and ‘colleague’ Ishita Sood.
In fact, Ishita is the author of the blog “Italophilia” which, as you may guess from its title, is a blog about her greatest passion: Italy! We asked Ishita to tell us more about her love for the “Bel Paese” and how she got inspiration to write a blog about our beautiful country…and much more!
Please go on reading our post to find it out…
- Where are you originally from and when did you start to be interested in visiting Italy?
“Hello, Ciao, Namaste!” It’s great to be here on DiscoverMarche. So I am from Simla, a town in the Himalayas in India. I was always fascinated with the Colloseum as a teenager but never really thought I’d make my way there so soon. Italy really picqued my interest when I first thought of visiting it in 2012.
- When and where did you visit Italy for the very first time? Did you travel by yourself, with family or friends?
I visited Italy in 2013 with a friend from college. We traveled to several towns and big cities such as Rome, Milan, Florence along with the area of Montespertoli, Biassa, Cinque Terre, Portovenere. It was an experience of a lifetime although a bit rushed I’d say.
- How many times have you been to Italy so far?
You won’t believe if I tell you that I have only been there twice! Yes! But it seems as if Italy was in my blood since forever.
- Can you tell us more about your feelings after visiting Italy? Was there anything in particular that you missed of the “Belpaese” after coming back home?
I remember the moment I left Italy and caught a flight to Barcelona, I felt as if I was missing something. I missed the food, the streets…the people! I didn’t enjoy Barcelona (sadly) as much as I wanted to or hoped I would.
- You’re also a blogger of a very interesting blog called “Italophilia”. Can you tell us when did you start thinking to open it and what did inspire you in particular to write about your journeys to Italy?
Thank you for reading and following my blog. It really means a lot! “Italophilia” was quite well thought. It was a few months after coming back from Italy in 2013 that I decided to start writing on my blog that only existed till now on a single post. I thought that if I document my own travels il have something to go back to and savour. I wasn’t sure whether anyone would read it (like most bloggers feel in the beginning) but I still took the step and started “Italophilia”, a term I had read after coming from Italy.
- Before travelling to Italy: where did you look for information and advice about places to visit and stay? Through books, online websites or other bloggers?
Before traveling to Italy, I was following a few bloggers on Twitter. Their blogs helped. I sought help from Lonely Planet guide and also asked a friend’s friend who regularly visits Florence every year. I was on a budget trip so my places to stay included B&Bs and Hostels.
- Which aspects of Italian life did you like the most and which ones looked more ‘unusual’ to you?
I think the one aspect that really intrigues me till date is how little of life we enjoy here in India, and how much the Italians respect and enjoy “Life”. They really know how to relish every moment of their day whether it is coffee at the bar or a lavish lunch. One thing that struck me unusual was how the smaller towns shut their life after lunch and opened work/shops after 430 or 5. I found it quite insane to halt work just for their sleep or relaxation. But I think I understand it a little better now.
- What did you enjoy most about visiting Italy and about the Italian lifestyle?
I love the aperitivo time. Absolutely! Everyone comes at socializes and catches up about their day.. A great selection of drinks and munchies and lot of gossip. I miss that time of the day and how it is spent in Italy.
- What’s your favorite Italian food?
My favorite Italian food has to be tagliatelle with black truffle oil.
- Do you have any particolar recollection related to one of your journeys that you will never forget?
As a matter of fact I do. Something that I am deeply grateful for . I was traveling from Orveito to Perugia when someone at the train station tried to get hold of my bag. There was a middle aged Italian couple who didn’t know English but I explained to them through gestures that I was scared. They understood me and protected me from that man. Not only this, they gave me number of taxi and police in case I have any problem reaching to Perugia. We boarded the same train and they made sure I sit with them. They were by my side till I changed my train in Cortona. Thankfully I never saw that man again but that couple (who were from Florence) stay in my heart forever. I regret not having their email or a contact number to thank them.
- What is your favorite place you visited so far?
Its hard to pick one place in Itay. It is all so beautiful and gorgeous. But if I had to I would choose between Florence and Trieste.
- What are your top tips to anyone considering travelling to Italy for their very first time?
Don’t go with a set of to dos. Or make it rushed. Maybe just a few places and try to enjoy them. I went to Rome for 4 days but I think I should have spent a week just there to get to really understand Rome. Also, validate your ticket before you board the train. Haha!
- Why should people visit Italy?
To understand love, beauty, art, food and friendship…All of it together is there in every town, city, region of Bel Paese.
- Your blog aims to tell about Italy and inspire other people by your travels. In a similar way, through our blog we love to talk about the Marhe as “the” region to visit in Italy, since we know many people still don’t know much about it. We try to incentivate travellers from all around the world to find out more about the Marche and its local tradition. Have you ever heard about this area of Italy before reading our blog?
I have heard about this beautiful region and I should tell you I am dying to visit Ascoli Piceno. I have seen it in pictures and read several blog posts. All of them have enticed me to just pack my bags and leave, “pronto!”
- So, are you really thinking about visiting the Marche in one of your upcoming journeys?
I definitely want to visit Marche of Italy. Urbino is another town that I want to go to along with Offida. Maybe see the ladies who make the hand woven lace. Ah! You are getting me all dreamy!
In the hope of having our dear friend Ishita visiting and…also writing about the Marche region soon, we really want to say:
“THANKS SO MUCH ISHITA!!!”
…for this beautiful interview and collaboration!