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6 Top Tips for Meaningful Slow Travel in Italy

Slow travel. It’s a term you’ve heard a lot lately, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the easy breezy concept of spending your days moment-to-moment without a set plan and living as the locals do. Despite the idyllic imagery of lazy days in sunny Italian villas, slow travel isn’t always easy to achieve.

It can be really tough to make that decision to pick one small area when you travel instead of trying to do it all. Especially if you don’t know if/when you’ll ever be back.

It can also be a challenge to resist the urge to overplan. Authentic slow travel requires a certain pace to do it right. You can’t be on a schedule, so if there are things in the area calling your name, you may have to just trust that you’ll see and experience the right things at the right time simply by following your intuition. And that’s difficult for those who, like me, experience FOMO (fear of missing out).

Just getting the minimum two weeks off for a real slow travel vacation can be the biggest challenge.

view of pink buildings and a cobblestone street from a balcony window in Monopoli, Itlay

I understand that you may need some encouragement to take your foot off the gas pedal and slow down your vacation plans. I want to prove to you that it’s worth it, so I’m sharing a handful of my favorite things that happened on one of my slow travel experiences as well as my top tips for meaningful slow travel in Italy.

On this particular slow travel trip, I stayed in Monopoli in the southern part of Italy for two weeks. Read on to find out what happened when I surrendered myself to the slow pace of daily life in Italy!

Just looking for tips on how to travel more meaningfully with slow travel? Hop to the bottom for my Top 6 Slow Travel Tips!

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What Happened When I Surrendered Myself to Slow Travel

I made friends with a group of nonni (grandpas).

I found the prettiest spot in town for a drink.

New friends introduced me to the best local street food.

I got to visit the lesser-known beaches.

I chatted with an old lady on a bench.

I shopped side-by-side with locals at the outdoor market.

I nailed down which was the BEST gelateria.

I took in every detail of the architecture lit up by night.

I took a daily passeggiata.

I found an underground hidden gem.

I got to go “backstage” in the city’s main cathedral.

I committed details to memory.

My Top 6 Tips for a Meaningful Slow Travel Journey

1. Pick a far-flung location.

2. Make friends.

3. Pause in the piazza.

4. Cook like a local.

5. Be part of the community.

6. Immerse yourself.