So, if I had $20,000 for genealogy travel, what would I do with it... Really, it is more like what WOULDN'T I do with it. There are so many places I want to go but I don't think $20,000 would cover it all so my main destination: Italy.
First, I'd go to Naples because that was the port of departure for my family when the left Italy in 1920. Then I would travel east (and take my time doing it), preferably by train or bicycle. Remember, Southern Italy is the rural part of the country and has always been primarily agriculture based so you really have to take your time going from village to village, farm to farm soaking in the local color. They make a lot of olive oil in that area so I'd like to stock up on that and maybe go to a tasting (yes, they do have olive oil tastings). Unfortunately they also make a lot of wine and tomato based products there too. Since I hate tomatoes and wine, I'm passing up anything that has to do with them, sorry Italy. Once I make it to the other side of Italy and am in the region of Apulia, I'm heading straight to the coastline of the Adriatic and will travel along it until I reach Vieste, which is the small fishing village my Italian ancestors lived in for generations and left for Ohio. It was primarily a fishing community but thanks to the incredible waters it has become a major tourist destination in Southern Italy.
While I'll enjoy doing the tourist thing for awhile, I mainly want to get records for all my Lapiccirellas and Daccias. My grandmother's sisters were all born there so their birth records would be the first thing I hunt for and then I'd work my way backwards. I've also got relatives still there, though I doubt there are any left who would remember my great-grandparents (they left Italy 90 years ago). It would still be fun to try and connect with them, especially since I'm sure they could show me the ancestral haunts and fill me in on the family. I'd also go graving and visit the local Catholic church to look for records.
All in all, I'd like to spend at least a month there. How much it all comes out to, I have no idea but I would think $20,000 would cover it. If I had any left, I'd travel north to England. I'd like to go to Sydling St. Nicolas in Dorset, where my Croads were from and maybe also go to Lincoln to research my Tocks, and Somerset and the places in Wales where my relatives worked in the coal mines and lived before coming to Michigan in the mid-1890s.