It is the travel news many of us have been waiting for. Especially those of us who dream of a nice glass of chianti on a warm evening, a sunny stroll through a broad piazza, a day of high art in glorious galleries, a villa in the Tuscan hills or a week on an Adriatic beach.
As of this morning (March 1), Italy is back on the map as a realistic destination for getaways in the spring and summer that are just over the horizon. Prior to today, the land of Pompeii, prosecco and puttanesca was a tricky holiday proposition, demanding that even fully vaccinated visitors pass a PCR test to enter the country. But with a new month comes new openness. Italy is now accessible to tourists via proof of full vaccination – or, if you cannot provide this, through a negative test result or certified recovery from Covid.
Of course, there are caveats to this happy headline. For one, there is the small obstacle that you still need a “Green Pass” (which is only available if you are fully vaccinated) to enter bars, restaurants and other venues. But even here, change is afoot. “We will gradually put an end to the enhanced green certificate obligation, starting with outdoor activities including fairs, sports, parties and shows,” the prime minister Mario Draghi announced last week. Although he was unspecific on dates, the message was clear. The Italy that we all know and love from visits before the pandemic will be back online soon.
Good enough reason to plan a break immediately? Absolutely. And if you are hankering for anything from a Milanese shopping trip or a romantic weekend in Venice to a Sicilian villa and a fortnight away with the grandchildren, the following options will have appeal.
Ideal for: Couples craving a long weekend in a special setting
When to go: March or April
There is no time like the present for seeing La Serenissima at its best. Famously busy in summer, Venice presents a calmer face in spring. Go this month, and you should have St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, if not to yourself, then with more room to breathe than in August. Wander out at night, meanwhile, and you should find that, with the day-trippers gone, March’s cooler temperatures equate to quieter restaurants and a gentle vibe.