Summer in Italy: Post-lockdown Guide
What's the first country that comes to your mind when you think of culture and culinary delights? For me, the answer is always Italy. Although initially the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic the hardest, the country has since recovered and is now ready to attract international visitors once again.
Italy is a country with a history that dates back to thousands of years, with historical sites throughout the country. The country is well known for its cuisine, where else can you taste authentic Italian dishes than in Italy itself. Eat your way through the country and experience the irresistible nature of Italy. From the big cities to the small rural villages, there is something for everyone.
Below we will describe the new rules and regulations for visiting Italy and your ability to travel inside the country as well as some travel treasures to ignite your wanderlust once again.
Italy is open for travellers from the EU and the Schengen area. International travel from outside Europe is currently banned. From July 10, all UK travellers returning from a holiday to Italy do not need to self-isolate for 14 days once returning to the country. This is great news and will help us to travel more freely in mind, body and soul while following the local rules and regulations. Find the full list of included countries here.
Rules inside the country
Currently Restaurants, cafes and bars are open under certain rules and regulations. Non-essential businesses and attractions in Italy are also open under restrictions.
The need to wear face masks is different between regions. It is mandatory to wear a face mask on public transportation and enclosed public places, in some areas it is required in all public places. This seems to be the norm for all holiday destinations in Europe. Social distancing rules are also applied.
What a glimpse of a very quiet Rome? Here is a video that shows Rome’s busiest tourism attractions empty.
Italy Travel Treasures
Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Florence is my favourite city in Italy, a well known and well-travelled bridge the Ponte Vecchio is an important historical bridge that dates back to hundreds of years. The bridge has shops on both sides of it with a decree dating back to 1593 that states that goldsmiths and jewellers are the only types of shop allowed to sell on Ponte Vecchio.
The bridge is the centrepiece of the city. Ponte Vecchio has remarkable staying power as the bridge has been subject to many floods throughout the years. A true Firenze landmark.
Located on the toe of the big boot of Italy, Cefalu is a beach town on the island of Sicily. This sleepy beach town is off the beaten track and has a more relaxed feeling than the hustle and bustle of the bigger neighbouring city, Palermo.
Cefalu has an old medieval feel to it and is awash with traditional Italian houses and shops. The Cefalu Cathedral looms large over a town and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a walk through the old town and spend your day relaxing on the beach where you can engage in a refreshing dip in the ocean to recharge your travel battery.
Monteriggioni is a walled town in the middle of the Tuscany region. This region is well known in film and media for its beauty and authentic Italian feeling and outlook on life. A romantic trip to Tuscany is a must for all the lovers out there as the region radiates love and romance.
The walled town is a sight to behold and is a unique experience, the city still houses many structures built 700 years ago and was initially used as a defensive outpost for the region but subsequently has been established as a tourist attraction for young and old. The walled town has 14 guard towers along the walls to fend off any trespasser. Monteriggioni comes highly recommended.
Castel del Monte
You might have travelled to Italy before or heard about how Europe is all about the history and the past, the old buildings that never change. all buildings look alike. Don’t fear, the Castel del Monte is near.
This unique structure is located in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. The castle was completed in 1240, almost 800 years ago and is a structure that is very different from the usual castle you have seen and heard about in Italy. Its perfect octagonal shape makes it a unique site not just in Italy but also in the world.
Let us end this travel secrets list with a well-known tourist attraction in the capital city of Italy, Rome. Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world with a diverse array of unique historical attractions throughout the world. A traditional tourist area but still worth the visit even for the most cynical of us.
The reason I have chosen to highlight a well-known attraction is the bonus of the travel situation that has befallen us this year. The international lockdown that was enforced by many countries has meant that traditional tourist attractions have become somewhat of a ghost town. This leaves us, brave travellers, to be the first to experience this new quietness. A perfect opportunity to get that perfect Instagram picture without all the annoying tourists around you. Oh, what a pleasure.
Europe is slowly opening and so will Italy. In these unique travel times, we need to adhere to the rules and regulations of countries to make sure that we can travel for years to come and that worldwide travel can start again. Follow respectfully the new guidelines so we can travel free together.
Please check the website of GOV.UK to keep up to date with the latest travel advice for Italy. Please be aware that The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
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