• 20 November 2017

“My trip to Italy absolutely ignited my passion for travel and learning and seeing more of the world. I always planned to travel when I retired, but that is not on the cards anytime soon, so need to make the most of my annual leave and see whatever I can!”

Sharon Costigan fell in love with Italy after joining us on one of our Italian Delights tour. After 12 days of exploring the cultural, traditional and historical delights of Italy and San Marino. Sharon felt an Italian mark left on her heart and a hunger to see more.


Just need to make the decision to go

After being invited to a cousin’s wedding I thought this was a great time to take the plunge and travel. My last major trip was to England 40 years ago -so it had been quite a while! I have been interested in Italy for quite some time, including reading historical novels based on the Roman Empire, I also love the food and every Italian I have ever met!

It absolutely ignited my passion for travel and learning and seeing more of the world.

“I always planned to travel when I retired, but that is not on the cards anytime soon, so I need to make the most of my annual leave and see whatever I can!” 

I have been interested in Italy for quite some time, including reading historical novels based on the Roman Empire.

Italy here I come

I landed in Rome, exhausted. The only thing I hadn’t organised was transfer to my pre-tour hotel. Lovely man at the airport (shuttle driver) saw my indecision, and he explained my options. Of course I took his option and straightaway he fussed about. Sat me down, rounded up 7 others, loaded us in – with me next to him in the front. Driving down the highway into the city, 130kph, entering hotels into his GPS, chatting on the phone, talking to the passengers (including hand gestures!), weaving through the traffic…

And I felt perfectly safe.

At the hotel, I stowed my luggage as it was too early to check in. I walked down the cobbled lane about 50m to a main road (via dei Fori Imperiali), looked left…Colosseum. Across the road, Palatine Hill. Then I looked the other way…Forum. I was in heaven!

Everywhere was different and everywhere has its own unique points which makes it special. I absolutely loved it all!

There’s no such thing as a ‘favorite city in Italy’

If I have to choose a favourite I would have to say Rome. I spent a few days there before the Expat Explore tour and just loved every second of it. Closely followed by Sorrento, Venezia, San Gimignano, and Assisi. I need to spend more time in Firenze too. Everywhere was different and everywhere has its own unique points which makes it special. I absolutely loved it all!

My next trip is back to Italy – to see the bits I missed! Spend more time in the places I saw, because it is just such a special place. Then, I will start on the rest of Europe and Britain…. Look out world, the bug has bitten (and not a minute too late)!

I need to spend more time in Firenze too. Everywhere was different and everywhere has its own unique points which makes it special. I absolutely loved it all!

Why travel with Expat Explore?

I was researching tours to find one that met my destination ideas and my budget and came across Expat Explore. Perfect! I travelled on my own and as an introvert I find it hard to make friends but after a couple of days we all started to relax and get on, and we had a great time. Most of us are friends on Facebook now and I think we would all love to catch up on a tour in the future!

If I had simply travelled to the destinations on my own, I certainly wouldn’t have experienced as much as what we did on the tour, as I didn’t know – what I didn’t know!

Questions & Comments




  1. Nice, really appreciate your passion for traveling. Best wishes for your future trips!!