About Offbeat Italy

Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi

So let’s address the basics first, shall we:
1. Is it going to be a(nother) blog? – Yes
2. It is going to be a travel blog? – Yes
3. Is it going to be any different? – Absolutely, read on to find out!

So… What is Offbeat Italy all about?

Offbeat Italy is a one stop shop for finding out all about travelling to some of the remotest places – villages, towns, cities or even ghost towns in Italy. It’s about discovering the coolest restaurants, cafes, bars, boutiques, cathedrals, bridges, piazzas/squares, Instagrammable spots, etc. in some of the most inconspicuous corners of the most popular cities like Rome or Venice, or in the most unheard borghi/villages like Castelezzano or Pietrapertosa. It’s about knowing the Italian way of life and understanding the nuances of Italian culture as an outsider. It’s about travel tips or inspirations to create your own itineraries. And last but certainly not the least – it’s about experiencing, cherishing and celebrating this beautiful country – Italy, and all the wonders it has to offer, by respecting and even supporting in our own little way, the very mettle that contributed to creating and conserving this beautiful country – its villages, towns, cities, environment, culture and the Italian people!

So what will you find on Offbeat Italy?

Over a period of time you will find some itineraries off the beaten track, e.g. – https://offbeatitaly.com/2020/03/17/a-coastline-roadtrip-along-the-sole-of-the-italian-boot/ .
Or ideas for offbeat places to visit and things to do in Italy which can help you plan your (next) trip to Italy, e.g. did you know that Venice is just one of the islands making up the Venetian Lagoon? Read my blog to find out more about the other islands of the lagoon worth visiting – https://offbeatitaly.com/2020/03/17/the-venetian-lagoon/ .
Or that the iconic city of Verona popularly known for its association with Romeo and Juliet has many interesting monuments and landmarks to offer to fellow travellers? Read https://offbeatitaly.com/2020/04/25/verona/ .
Or blogs with fun facts which can teleport you to that place and maybe inspire you to visit it someday, e.g. the Colosseum that I’ve written about in https://offbeatitaly.com/2020/01/10/thecolosseum/ . Or genuine recommendations in my blogs about accommodations to stay at or restaurants/cafes to eat in, which I’ve been to and experienced myself and loved for one or more reasons.

Did you know?

1. The country of Italy is home to two independent states – The Vatican City and The Republic of San Marino?
2. There’s a concept of suspended coffee or as they call it in Italian – caffè sospeso (pronounced [kafˈfɛ ssoˈspeːso, -eːzo]; Italian for ‘”suspended coffee”‘); it is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity.
3. The the country of Italy has the shape of a boot! Yes, fashion runs in the genes of Italy 😉.
4. Italians are genuinely warm people who love socialising and are welcoming by nature; and this very nature makes them very passionate and proud about the service/s they offer, be it in any restaurant, bar or a cafe.

Can’t find what you’re looking for on my blog yet? Or looking for ideas to plan your (next) trip or want my help in doing so? Having been to 12 of the 20 regions in Italy and ~50 towns, villages and cities collectively in those regions, I’m happy to plan a trip for you, personalised to your tastes and wishes, for a fee.

What will you not find on Offbeat Italy?

1. Ripped off itineraries or itineraries that you can rip off and use to plan your next trip, e.g. 2 days in Rome/Florence/Venice. This is because there is plenty of such material already available on the internet and writing one more blog like that doesn’t make sense to me – neither as a blogger nor as a reader. And also, because there’s so much more that each of such big cities of Italy have to offer that, what may be an ideal itinerary for a history buff may be far from enjoyable for a fashionista or a solo girl traveller. And most importantly because every person/couple/traveller has his/her own pace of travelling, interests and tastes; there’s no one-size-fits-all.
2. A blog about the best places/hotels/hostels/Airbnbs to stay in when in Rome/Florence/Venice or any such cities, again because of the aforementioned reason.

Who am I?

I am Jaini, a first time blogger, a Dutch-Indian, living and working in Amsterdam since 2014. The first time I visited Italy was in 2013, with the sole purpose of visiting the Colosseum in Rome. I’d visited Rome over the weekend, with my prime focus being to see the Colosseum and then cover a few other monuments in the city along the way. While the Colosseum took my breath away, it was love at first sight with Rome. My weekend affair with Rome led to my curiosity to explore a lot more of Italy. Ever since then, I make it a point to visit Italy for a few weeks once every year, to explore some new places in a new region of Italy. And with every trip to Italy that I take, my love and admiration for it just gets stronger and stronger!

Why am I blogging about travel in Italy?

I fell in love with Italy from my very first trip. And it is this passion, this love and warmth for Italy that I have today, that made me start writing this blog! I want to share with all of you – my travels, experiences and adventures that I’ve gained about Italy as an outsider, and that has made my love for it grow stronger and stronger with every trip that I take; wishing that me sharing my knowledge and experiences about Italy with all of you encourages you to also explore it more and more, just like I do, or even better – at your own pace, in your own style!

Through my blog, I wish to bring the attention of the world to the bigger cities like Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan or Bologna and the most far flung, difficult-to-reach, unheard-of places places like Scilla, Locorotondo, Matera, Catania, Gubbio, Todi, Padova, etc. alike. I want to encourage people to visit the lesser known places, even if it’s slightly difficult to reach them. Trust me, it’s not that difficult and totally worth the effort and time! Such lesser known places deserve the attention that’s been long overdue. It is in such places that I’ve had the most memorable, sweet and heartwarming experiences of my travels in Italy. It’s in such places where I’ve met some of the kindest and the most welcoming Italian hosts, who go out of their way to make my stay comfortable or that dining experience at an osteria memorable! And it’s these Italian people and places that I want to bring to the forefront via my blog, wishing that the world gets to experience what they have to offer!

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian opera composer.

Pictures – Cattolica di Stilo, Spiaggia di Tropea, a street in Assisi, a panoramic view of Assisi from Rocca Maggiore, View of Todi from Parco Della Rocca, a street in Gubbio, Fontana Maggiore – Perugia, Via Dell’Acquedotto – Perugia, Lido Onda Marina – Scilla

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