A guest post by travel writer Mins (Lukas) Savela
Wondering where to go in Italy if you were to travel there right now? Escape the crowds and head to the mountains for some backcountry explorations, or try long-distance walks in the rolling countryside, or take on watersports somewhere along the summer-ready coastline.
Exploring Italy’s backyard is a safe way to revel in new scenery and culture while vaccines roll out and everything slowly opens up. Also consider sandwiching future visits to Rome, Florence or Venice with journeys through less congested areas like the Dolomites, Umbria, Tuscany, Liguria or Gran Paradiso National Park.
Italy is currently resurfacing after a two-month lockdown. Although there are travel restrictions in place, citizens from the EU, United Kingdom and Israel are exempt from quarantine upon arrival if they present a negative COVID test. U.S. citizens heading to Italy for leisure travel can skip isolating upon arrival — if they fly on an official government-approved “Covid-tested” plane.
Since Italy’s regions now all fall under “yellow,” thanks to the declining cases, you can travel freely without proving why you are going from place to place. The current curfew is expected to disappear by mid to late July. But be sure to check for updates on wearing masks, eating out, etc. before travelling here.
While we wait for restrictions to dissipate and for everything to feel 100-percent safe, here are some recommendations for the best places to go in Italy.
Adventurers won’t want to skip the incredibly scenic Dolomites. Spend hours or days immersed in Italy’s wild northeastern side as you travel from hut to hut and hike, bike or rock climb along trails and routes that take you to jaw-dropping views of amphitheaters of grey peaks.
Gran Paradiso National Park is another fantastic hiking destination, which you can access from either Piedmont or Aosta. If you really want to take advantage of a variety of trailheads, set up base in Cogne, a quaint village backed by all-mighty mountain peaks.
After stopping by Florence, head to the lush countryside, where layers of green melt together to create the ultimate picture of relaxation and bliss. Vineyards and olive groves add a magical contrast to Tuscany’s already magical scenery! As an alternative to extended time in Florence, consider staying in one of the charming small villages dotting Tuscany, then head to the vineyards or hike or bike into the country from there.
Similar to Tuscany, Umbria is a scenic wonderland! Among landlocked hills cloaked in greenery, you’ll step back in time as you visit the medieval hill towns sprawled across the region. Umbria also boasts a large selection of long-distance walking opportunities.
Even the name sounds as beautiful as the region known as the Italian Riviera. Expect a range of adventures — sea kayaking, hiking and snorkelling among them — to entertain you along this shimmering coastline. Liguria is also home to a twine of ancient seaside villages that make up the oh-so-famous Cinque Terre.
Which region would you choose as the best spot to explore in Italy while you wait for restriction-free travel to open up? These destinations give you the chance to get to know Italy on a deeper level, making them fun choices even when COVID becomes a thing of the past.
Mins (Lukas) Savela is a travel writer who hopes his passion for wildlife and nature will help more people to start their own adventures. For more information, see the extensive free online travel guide to Italy by 10Adventures.
Dianne Hales is the author of LA PASSIONE: How Italy Seduced the World; LA BELLA LINGUA: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language; and MONA LISA: A Life Discovered. You can download her most recent book, “A” Is for Amore, for free at diannehales.com.