Written in collaboration with Mary Davis.
The latest coronavirus COVID-19 guidelines indicate that tourism in Europe is about to resume. Air travel could still be limited, but Italy is just a short drive across the French border. There are many historic Italian cities to visit, not to mention it’s beautiful seaside and amazing food! The crowds will probably be much smaller at less well-known tourist attractions, making Italy one of the safest destinations.
Normally we were supposed to go to Italy, but for family reasons we sadly had to renounce our Mediterranean escape. We wish we could be sipping tight espressos and baking under the Italian sun. But please, go enjoy it in our place, and tell me all about it!
My first time in Europe on my own was to Florence and the surrounding area. Everyone who travels to Florence loves to visit the Duomo. Its terracotta dome is a distinctive feature of the city’s skyline. The Ponte Vecchio is a fourteenth century stone bridge built across the River Arno. The Old Bridge is lined with shops dating back to the Mediaeval era. It is the perfect place to buy jewelry or leather goods such as handmade Italian bags from local artisan brands like Mirta. Do you enjoy meat? Enjoy the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina or Ragù!
Sanremo is located on the western shores of Italy. The town is famous for its casino, but exploring the Old Town is just as exciting. There are steep, cobbled streets and steps and atmospheric Mediaeval houses. The views of the sea are magnificent. Enjoy relaxing in Queen Elena’s Gardens or the Piazza Colombo shopping center.
Not far from Rome is the resort of Sperlonga. The Old Town is incredibly charming and filled with whitewashed villas. There are beautiful sea views. At the foot of the cliffs is the Grotto of Tiberius, a cave with a Roman bath and spa. It was once part of the Emperor’s luxurious palace and contained many statues which are now in the nearby museum.
Ischia is a small island in the Bay of Naples. It is famous for its hot volcanic springs and natural spa where visitors can relax. The ancient Aragonese Castle is built on nearby rocks and is connected to the island by a stone bridge. There is also a fascinating museum dedicated to the island’s long tradition of fishing.
Not far from Florence is Siena. The city is famous for its Mediaeval red brick architecture such as the Torre del Mangia, a watch tower built in the fourteenth century. The Piccolomini library has a beautiful interior including an elaborately painted ceiling. The Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta has a carved marble pavement and several artworks by Donatello and Michaelangelo.
Visiting the wonderful attractions in these small Italian cities will provide you with many charming memories. There are many things to do in each of the towns. You can enjoy travelling and sightseeing without having to worry about crowds. It is the best way to keep safe following the Coronavirus pandemic.