When you start dreaming of that trip to Italy, start the planning...even if you have no idea when you plan to go. Most worthwhile (and a few frivolous) things we do result from the fantasy that we act upon. It seems that the more planning I do for my next trip, the more quickly it becomes a reality and suddenly, the gears mesh and the dream becomes a reality... like the experts have said, your thoughts become your actions (good or bad). So...get busy planning, read books, get on the Internet and learn all you can and make those reservations! This next picture is the result of that sort of thinking...The Bay of Naples from a hotel room balcony in Sorrento!!!
Today my suggestion is... Take the next step once you have made the airline reservation (and paid for it).
Buy a map of Italy and hang it on the wall where you see it everyday, more than once.
Right now, start a list of all the places you want to see in Italy. Use the internet to explore some locations that you might not think about right away. Go to the library and get a few books about Italy, fiction as well as non-fiction...Hemingway wrote a marvelous book "A Farewell to Arms" about his experiences during the First World War as an ambulance driver and later...less well know authors have many great reads about Italy...
These steps will begin the immersion into Italian culture that I believe is so important an ingredient in the excellent experience that is Italy. Italy is truly more than food, art, and antiquities!