American Tourists in Calabria

American tourists often get a bad rap. We are stereotyped as being loud, single-language slobs who are demanding, obnoxious and egocentric.

And sometimes they are right.

For a long time I’ve wanted to write a post about American tourists in Calabria and how 95% of the time, they bust that stereotype wide open. Then, a group of Americans will visit us who fit that mold and make me rethink the idea of the great American traveler.

After two years of running our B&B in Calabria, both my Italian husband and I think American guests rock. In general, they are most respectful, the most gracious and the most grateful guests who pass through our doors-and we love them.

In honor of Thanksgiving week, I present to you my non-ode-because I can’t write poetry-to American Tourists. Here are 10 reasons why we love you, American Tourists in Calabria.

We love you for …

– the nervous emails you send while planning your trip

– how we often feel like we know you, before you’ve ever stepped foot in the bel paese

– how you offer to bring little reminders of home, whether it is a new coffee press, Ziploc bags or English-language books

– the glimmer in your eye as you explore Calabria

– the excitement that radiates from you as you tell us about your journey

– how you marvel at every little thing you see and think each place you visit is better than the last

– how you aren’t afraid to try new things or eat unidentified dishes

– appreciating the locals and respecting their way of life

– respecting us, our bed and breakfast and the other guests you meet here

But most of all, American Tourists, we love you for loving Calabria, for appreciating her rugged beauty and timeless charm and for leaving us like you found us. We are just a little bit better off for having met you.

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

10 Responses
  1. Ciao Cherrye! Lovely post! American tourists do get a bad rap, but that is looking over so many of their good points. My boyfriend works with Americans, Italians, French and British tourists, and by far his favorite are the Americans. And it made me smile to see that it is for many of the smae reasons you listed. I wish that was what people thought of about American tourists first! Thanks for sharing!

    Ah that is great, Laura. I am glad to hear you guys enjoy American tourists, too. I love their enthusiasm!

    .-= Laura from Ciao Amalfi´s last blog ..Out & About: A sunny autumn day overlooking Ravello =-.

  2. Hi Cherrye,

    What a nice post, especially for Thanksgiving! I really do think that most American travelers these days try their best to be respectful and eager to learn. It’s nice that you have been able to witness this from both angles.

    Take care and hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving in Calabria (something to definitely be thankful for)!


    Definitely, Melanie. We are having about 8 people over, American women and their Calabrese husbands! We are looking forward to it! I hope you enjoy your day, as well.

    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Best Places in Italy for Modern Art =-.

  3. mah

    And what do they visit in that shithole called Calabria?
    The unfinished buildings?

    I don’t even know how to respond to this.

  4. Belinda

    this is in answer to “mah”…you sound like a bigoted and ignorant shithead. I guess I couldn’t resist saying it. Have a nice day!

    Thanks, Belinda. “Mah” couldn’t have expected a positive response after that comment!

  5. j

    Happy Thanksgiving Cherrye! I’m off to Martha’s Vineyard for the holiday. I’ve never been there. Probably not much like CZ. I’ll try not to be a loud obnoxious Clevelander!

    I can hear you from here, J! Ha. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  6. mah

    If appreciating tidy and well kept cities means being bigoted, I am a proud bigoted who finds Calabria the third world..

    Well, you are ahead of me. I’ve yet to find a city that where every neighborhood is well-kept.

  7. Cherrye. this might be the same anon person who always leaves very negative comments on my blog about Rome.

    It’s weird. Maybe he just hates everything about Italy. Usually an anti-Rome person will be pro-southern or northern Italy/smaller towns etc.

    You are probably right. There was actually a comment from “anon” last week and I thought it was a joke. Calabria ugly? Huh?

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..Still broke, still single but like Stevie "Not Going Worry ’bout A Thing" =-.

  8. mah

    Yes, Reggio Calabria, Catanzaro, Crotone, Vibo Valentia are ugly.
    And Calabria is devastated by unfinished buildings galore.
    Am I wrong?

    You sure seem to have spent a lot of time here-why if you hate it so much?

  9. mah

    Just because I’d love to understand if you had noticed that Calabria is one of the most blighted and poor european region… and population and tourism are also declining… just a coincidence I suppose… I am from Southern Italy… I know it very well… It isn’t hate at all… I don’t hate the place I belong (do you understand, nyc caribbean ragazza? Italy is still full of wonderful places).
    I simply don’t understand such blogs where a false and folkloristic vision is proposed…
    I have just realized that Southern Italy is an area where life is simply impossible: the unbelievable lack of public spirit is destroying anything.

    Tourism isn’t down at all, in fact more is being written about Calabria now than any other time in her past. I’m not sure where you are getting your information. That being said, it is true that life isn’t easy in Calabria, but just because you weren’t able to make a life here, doesn’t mean it is impossible or that Calabria is “ugly” or that it isn’t one of the most special places in the world to many of us. I’m baffled by the fact that you would imply public spirit is lacking-it is the people of Calabria, above all, that make her special.

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