Travel vs. Terrorism
The latest terrorist attacks in Europe have tourists and tour operators concerned on whether or not it’s still safe to travel. It’s a valid question, and thankfully one which is answered quite simply:
The world cannot come to a halt because of terrorism, and by making just a few smart choices you can keep every bit as safe as you are at home. I’ve put together a few quick tips on how you can travel in Italy safely and with less stress.
1. Go Off the Beaten Path
Are you still dreaming of visiting Italy or going back there but you are concerned about crowded places?
If you want to avoid crowded and touristy places such as Cinque Terre, Rome, and Florence, consider adventuring to small unheard-of towns that are unique, charming, fascinating, and deliver on that local authentic experience you’re looking for. For example, head to Bologna for Tortellini and Mortadella, Modena for Balsamic Vinegar, Novellara for Parmesan Cheese tasting, Manduria for harvesting Primitivo Grapes, and Alberobello for mozzarella and ancient Trulli houses—you’ll never regret missing out on snapping photos of a few landmarks when you exchange it for delightfully local activities that allow you to get to know the real Italy.
2. Connect with Trusted Locals
You can spend hours on the web trying to identify a company or tour operator that you can trust, but also keep in mind that all testimonials and feedback are very subjective. It’s becoming much more worthwhile to trust small boutique travel companies that are personally connected to trustworthy locals, because their own reputation is on the line; often they will accompany your small group or traveling party to towns, places, and experiences most tour operators don’t even offer.
3. Look for Authentic Experiences
There are greater benefits to going on experiences rather than organized tours, and safety and trust are among the most important ones. Another benefit is that you get to do and see things in very authentic ways by interacting with locals and eating amazing food. It’s like living a day in the life of an Italian family and experiencing their culture firsthand.
According to Skift (One of the best Travel and Tourism reports), Italy remains a top international travel destination for the fourth year in a row. The purpose of VoomaGo is to help you find these experiences to learn more about Italian culture, interact with Italians, observe more of the day-to-day life of Italians, veer off the touristy routes, and immerse yourself with locals who can teach you to make pasta, pizza, hang out with them in their country side or villa, learning about balsamic vinegar production and much more.
4. Avoid Crowds and Long Lines
If you are passionate about art and architecture, always remember that every small town in Italy will have largely the same architectural and artistic influences that the next major city nearby—which means they’re all beautiful and worth taking your time. Your trip will be much more enjoyable when you’re not running into huge lines or crowded piazzas full of thousands of tourists. The experience will feel much more personable, not rushed, and rather relaxing.
5. Explore (Safe) Uncharted Territory
Finally, consider adventuring to the South where you will find countless small towns and cities with picturesque views, churches, piazzas, coastlines and ancient history. Puglia and Sicily, for example, are two regions at the every end of the boot away from mass tourism, and are the best kept secret of Italy—and very, very safe for tourists. And if you don’t believe us, why not ask one of our locals yourself?
Terrorism will continue to exist, and by sheer definition it’s an attempt to scare you. But it doesn’t have to. Terrorism only succeeds when we allow ourselves to be scared, and when we let that fear drastically change our behavior and feelings towards others. By following these few tips, we can do more than just decrease our risk: we can immerse ourselves in a culture that we would perhaps never would have gotten to know otherwise. This world is our home—let’s go explore it!