Attention to Detail

Door ornament siena small

Sure, we all have checklists when we go to Italy. There are things we definitely want to see. But I suggest adding "time to amble" to any Italian checklist.

Walk slowly and notice the rooftops, walls of buildings, the pattern of the cobblestones or the line of the steps, the doors, door knockers, knobs and ironwork, the detail at the base of the fountain, and everything that is probably not on any Top 10 checklist in a guidebook. 

Bologna floor

This is also great when traveling with kids, because it easily becomes a game, and can be built into a story by asking questions.

For example: why would there be an iron ring attached to a stone wall along the road? Well, it was used to tie horses up many years ago. Why are there rows of them? Maybe it was a market "parking lot". 

Iron ring for horses small

When you're visiting a country with such a vast, long, and rich history, sometimes it helps to just bite off a small piece and chew slowly. Take some time to admire the details that most tourists just whizz by en route to the next major attraction, and you'll have a significantly more Beyond the Obvious trip, I promise!

Door ornament and iron ring photos taken in Siena. Steps taken in Bologna.

All photos by Sanjay

Italy Beyond the Obvious will help make your trip truly memorable. Take advantage of our Italy trip planning services for a customized itinerary, or get coaching assistance with our Italy travel consulting services. And if you like what you read, why not subscribe to the Italy Beyond the Obvious blog and get free updates?

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Posted by on Feb 24, 2009 in Planning Your Italy Trip | 3 Comments


  1. Delia
    February 27, 2009

    This is so true. It’s my favorite thing to do when I travel.

  2. Cath
    March 2, 2009

    I love your picture of the floor in Bologna – I know exactly where it is as I am always tripping over it while running to the station! Those ridges are really impractical – but your photo will make me look at it in a different light! Thanks!

  3. Madeline
    March 2, 2009

    Delia: It makes travel so much more interesting doesn’t it!
    Cath: Thanks, I will tell my husband who took the photo. He will be happy to hear it.