Since almost 10 years my destination for summer holidays is Albania. Not a specific place, but a different place every year: from the mountains of the North, in places like Razma and Vermosh, to the beaches of Velipojë, Qerret, Gjiri i Lalzit, Vlora, Himara, Dhermi, Saranda, to Lake Pogradec, and some city tour: Tirana, Scutari, Lezha, Gjiokastra. I can consider myself an expert tourist in this fascinating country that contains different landscapes in just a few kilometers.
Albania is beautiful and today more and more foreign tourists are becoming aware of it.
Every year I invite family or friends to visit it with me, to experience a holiday beyond the Adriatic and I like to know the impression that this trip raises in the end. The first answer I always reply is that in Albania we eat very well! "We are really Italian", I think, but it is true, Albania is one of the few countries where an Italian eats as (or even better) than at home! The food is excellent: genuine, tasty, fresh, simply prepared and cheap!
Holidays in Albania means
sun, sea, wide beaches, good food, cheerful and sunny people, fun, folklore, beautiful sunsets, starry skies, luxurious and traditional restaurants and clubs according to taste.
Holidays in Albania means
weddings, bobbins, cameramen with the bust outside the window on the highway, music, young people, children playing with each other without being glued to smartphone or computer screens, large families, young couples, meetings.
But holidays in Albania also means
people who leave the rubbish on the beach, music that is too high in places where there would only be need for silence, overtaking in cars due to accident risks, architectural barriers, dirt in common areas, open yards, stray dogs everywhere, chauvinistic episodes.
We must not lie, Albania is wonderful, but like all good things, it also has flaws, which can only be solved if we did a little more attention.
I will never give up my Albanian holidays, because they represent a way to regenerate myself, it is the home of my husband and my son and also my own.
In these years I have seen many things change and improve, and it is a pleasure from time to time to find the changes.
I invite everyone to organize a trip to this country, where defects can be seen as a resource, a pedagogical tool in the hands of the younger generations, able to make their country more and more beautiful and popular from the tourist point of view.
Elena Pagani she is the author of two books on Albania
In search of the identity of a people
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