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Were you planning on flying to Europe this year, or you’re someone who’s craving the buzz of traveling to new horizons?
What comes as fantastic news to travelers, Italy is re-opening international travel from June 3, 2020! The mandatory two-week quarantine for all incoming passengers will also be stopped.
On Saturday, May 16, Italy’s government announced that it would open its borders in early June, ending one of Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. It hopes to revive the country’s tourism industry, which contributes some 13 percent of gross domestic product. Starting June 3, the government will eliminate the 14-day quarantine for people arriving from abroad and will open both regional and international borders.
But before you start celebrating, these new regulations don’t apply to residents of the United States. According to thegovernment decree these new rules only apply to people arriving from member countries of the European Union, countries within the Schengen Zone, as well as the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and the microstates and principalities of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican.
The government decree also says those who test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with people with the virus will still be subjected to mandatory quarantine measures. (Officials did not provide details on how exactly they would be checking or confirming travelers’ contacts.) As coronavirus cases continue to fall within Italy, the government also retains the right to institute “more restrictive measures” to and from certain regions in the event of worsening epidemiological data.
Although major commercial flights are grounded in most countries around the world, Italy joins a slowly growing list of places where air travel is no longer shut down.
Here are 10 places that should be on your bucket list when you come to Italy.
1. Sicily, Italy
Sicily offers some of the most unexpected sites in Italy.
The Villa Romana del Casale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a fascinating 4th century BC Roman palace that has been excavated. The Aeolian Islands is a well-hidden gem, offering stunning coastline views and restaurants.
Enjoy Sicilian cuisine from favourites such as arancini to desserts like cannoli.
2. Venice, Italy
Venice is home to the iconic Italian gondolas, canals, St. Mark’s Square, and St. Mark’s Basilica. It is, however, one of the most visited places in Italy by tourists which have led to damages and a resulting tourist tax.
Try visiting Venice’s vineyards, local producers of artisan goods, the beaches, and wineries for a refreshing side of the city.
3. Florence, Italy
Described as the art capital of Italy, and perhaps even the world, Florence is a breathtaking destination that is definite must-visit.
This destination is a doorway into Italy’s colourful Rennaisance days.
Explore the Uffizi Gallery, stroll along Ponte Vecchio, climb the Duomo, and see Michelangelo’s famous David statue.
4. Rome, Italy
Rome is abundant in history, art, and sites to see and visit. The Roman Colosseum, the Patheon, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and Trevi Fountain are only a few of the top experiences in Rome.
We’d say no visit to Italy is complete without marveling at Michaelangelo’s artistic and engineering masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel. Fresh, traditional, and flavourful Italian cuisine is what awaits visitors in almost every winding cobblestoned alley.
5. Milan, Italy
Milan is romantic, gorgeous, and offers plenty of high-end shopping and world-class museums. It is also where Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “Last Supper” and the Duomo are found.
This city has also witnessed some of the greatest opera performers in history, so if there’s something available during your time of visit, have an evening to remember and book some opera tickets.
6. Tuscany, Italy
The sunset in Tuscany is unlike anything. Expect scenic hillside towns, lush vineyards, and meeting local producers of cheeses, grapes, and other crafts.
Tuscany is also a pretty great place for road trips if you prefer to drive while on your holiday, as it’s a vast region.
7. Lake Garda, Italy
Think ancient medieval towns and charming architecture set along cool mountain waters. Lake Garda also boasts a strong local fishing and outdoor activities scene.
From visiting romantic castles to hiking the alpine trails and savouring locally grown olives, there is a wealth of things to do in this not-so-mainstream spot in Italy.
8. Sorrento, Italy
Found in Southern Italy’s picturesque Amalfi Coast, Sorrento is the perfect place to get lost in sun-drenched marketplaces, winding streets, pastel-coloured homes, and the 50km coastline’s cliffs and crystal clear waters.
Sorrento oozes plenty of Old Town charm that is often overlooked by visitors for the more popular sites. It’s no doubt a charming destination to add to your Italy bucket list.
9. Pompeii, Italy
The devastation of Pompeii is a stunning and fascinating stroll in Italy’s history. Perfect for history buffs, visitors can see the ancient Roman city that met its end in August 79 AD. The archeological site is only 30-minutes away from Sorrento. Pompeii is still preserved under the ashes of Mount Vesuvius, which you can still spot at just a distance from the city.
10. Bologna, Italy
Known as the gastronomic city of Italy, Bologna offers a generous number of culinary stops where you can eat cheeses, meats, and bread. You also can take cooking classes, go truffle hunting in the mountains, and explore specialty food shops. If you’d like a break from your food tour, the Ferrari Museum Maranello is just a day’s trip from Bologna. Make your dreams of driving a world-class racing car with an exciting Ferrari race experience!
Before booking your next flight to Italy, be sure to check the latest travel restrictions for your area and country.
It’s also worth noting that Italy is one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe for Covid-19, and precaution is advised while traveling.
Patrizia Marin is journalist and chairman of Marco Polo Experience, a leading agency specialising in strategic communications, public affairs, marketing and media relations, with twenty years of experience in business internationalisation strategies, communication campaigns, media relations, mapping of the decision makers and community of interests’ relations.
Patrizia has been advisor to the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers for Communication, Publishing and Information. As regards the logistics and infrastructure sectors, she has been Head of Communications for the Venice Port Authority; Media Relations Consultant for Aeroporti di Roma; International pr advisor for Atlantia while Vice-President at FBC.
Patrizia is Contract Professor in Leadership and International Relations at the IULM University of Milan and has a degree in Law and International Political Science.