Three places I had wanted to go for ages and ages that were adjacent, but off the Italian mainland were Sicily, Sardinia, and Croatia. I was lucky, extremely lucky, to see all three in the last two months of living in Italy last year. Sicily was first, and it was a challenging act for the other two to follow:
We flew into Trapani (pronounced Trah-pan-ee) first, and marveled at the blue color of the water and how it was clearly like and unlike Italy at the same time. There weren’t many tourists there, but there was a lovely old town, free beaches (though the water was still a bit cold) and ridiculously delicious food. Like this arancino, a snack originating in Sicily, and unlike any of the pallid imitations I had eaten in Rome and elsewhere:
There aren’t necessarily a ton of sights in Trapani, just beautiful colors and beautiful food. I decided that I wanted this to be my window:
And since all of Italy is packed to the gills with sights, so many sights, it was nice to just wander around and see.