Few of us can resist a holiday in Europe’s most elegant country. Especially not 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 lunch on an Amalfi terrace.
After a fraught winter in which various travel restrictions made it a tricky proposition for British travellers, Italy is firmly back on the map as a realistic destination for holidays in 2022.
Prior to March 1, the land of Pompeii, prosecco and puttanesca was demanding that even fully vaccinated visitors pass a PCR test to enter the country. But in the wake of a loosening of its stance on Covid, Italy is now accessible to tourists via proof of full vaccination (or, if you cannot supply this, through a negative test result or certified recovery).
Of course, as always in this pandemic era, there are caveats. 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. The latest news is that this will remain in play until at least April 30.
But other than this, there is no real reason to hold off from booking an Italian escape.
If you are hankering after anything from a Milanese shopping trip or a romantic weekend in Venice to a Sicilian villa and a fortnight away with the grandchildren, a country that was threatening to be a relatively closed shop as the holiday season approached is now open for business. And not just in the hottest months. Leave it until September to enjoy Rome with fewer people, or look ahead to a skiing session in the Dolomites.
Whatever your preference, the 15 following options should provide food for wanderlust.
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 more gentle vibe.