Let's be honest: those who live in Italy and decide to opt for a Staycation do not need particular advice. Just take a short train or car trip to reach incredible destinations, and often you won't even need to use a means of transport other than your own feet or a bicycle.
As a result of travel and movement restrictions due to the limitation of the Coronavirus pandemic, those who live in cities that were always full of tourists from all over the world - Rome, Florence and Venice to name the most famous - have had the opportunity to visit museums, exhibitions and other places of culture without fear of long queues and crowds.
If you belong to the category of people who have lived in Rome all their life but have always postponed the visit to the Vatican Museums for fear of spending hours in line at the entrance, or who have never been inside the Colosseum because "there is time, sooner or later I will go", but also if you live in a distant region and have always postponed your first visit to the Capital, maybe this is the right time to book that train or rental car and buy that ticket for the entrance to the museum or art gallery that you have always wanted to visit. Before travel restrictions are loosen up – we hope very soon – you may have the opportunity to see some of the most important places of art and culture in the world without too many crowds and queues.
And why not, maybe you will discover that that little restaurant in the centre that you have always considered too touristy makes a very good carbonara.
Find out more: www.rome.net
The first thing we recommend that you do, if you go to Naples with your car or a rental car, is to leave it in a garage and wear a pair of comfortable shoes to get around the city on foot. Not only will you avoid the stress of the narrow and busy Neapolitan streets, but only in this way can you really immerse yourself in the life and smells that are hidden in every corner and alley of the city.
Some of the activities that we advise you not to miss when you are in Naples are:
1. Take the Stairs of Naples, over 200 natural pedestrian paths that connect the hills with the centre and the coast. These ancient pedestrian paths were born for urban planning needs and today are considered real masterpieces.
2. Take the underground. In Naples, this is not just a necessary activity to move from one point of the city to another, but a real cultural visit. The Toledo station is probably the most famous and scenic one.
3. Go to the Sansevero Chapel Museum and be impressed by the Veiled Christ, the famous marble sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino.
4. Enjoy a coffee in front of Piazza Plebiscito and find yourself choosing between short-crust or rippled sfogliatella, obviously to eventually have both.
5. Admire the panorama of the Gulf of Naples from the Virgilian Park, in the Posillipo district and enjoy the view of the islands of Ischia, Procida and Capri, the Gulf of Pozzuoli and Bacoli, the promontory of Capo Miseno and Mount Vesuvius.
Find out more: www.visitnaples.eu
The city located on the north-western coast of Sicily has experienced, over the centuries, the influences of the different cultures that have inhabited it, especially the Roman, Islamic and Byzantine ones.
In the ninth century, the Muslims moved the capital of the island to Palermo, making it an important city in trade and culture. When the Normans conquered Sicily, they collected the Arab, Greek and Roman cultural heritage, creating a kingdom characterized by the coexistence of various ethnic groups and different religious faiths.
The important exchange of human values over time and the example of coexistence and interaction between different cultural components of heterogeneous historical and geographical origin have earned the "Arab-Norman Palermo" the inclusion among the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015, together with the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale. There are 8 monuments in the Arab-Norman style that are part of the Unesco Heritage itinerary. Among these, the most emblematic of the city is most likely the Cathedral, built starting in 1184 and enlarged and transformed over the following centuries.
Find out more: www.visitsicily.info
Book car rental in Palermo or Trapani.
If you are more attracted by unspoiled nature, you can walk the paths of the Zingaro Nature Reserve, the first Nature Reserve born in Sicily, that has just been reopened after the devastating fire of 29 August 2020.
You can access the Reserve from the north entrance of San Vito Lo Capo or from the south entrance of Scopello. Entering the paths, it is possible to find uncrowded coves, authentic little green and white oases.
There are three types of trails, from the simplest and shortest coastal one to the highest, most challenging trail, recommended exclusively for trekking enthusiasts and experts.
In all cases, always remember to equip yourself with trekking or gym shoes, long pants, a hat and water supplies. If you go in spring or autumn, you will be able to better enjoy the route as it will not be too crowded.
Find out more: www.riservanaturalezingaro.com
Book car rental in Palermo or Trapani.
The Tuscan city was the Italian Capital of Culture in 2017, thanks to its artistic and architectural heritage but also to the commitment with which the city administration promotes and supports projects and initiatives that enhance its identity and traditions.
Piazza del Duomo is defined by the main buildings that have characterized the political and religious life of the city over the centuries: Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Pretorio, the Cathedral of San Zeno, Palazzo dei Vescovi, the Baptistery and the spectacular bell tower.
The territory outside the three city walls offers a magnificent scenery: the Apennine mountains with the ski resorts, the Acquerino Nature Reserve, the San Marcello astronomical observatory, the Montalbano hills and their precious typical products and the Valdinievole, with the spa and hotel system of Montecatini and the town of Pinocchio, Collodi.
Not to be missed is also the village of Orsigna, where the famous journalist and writer Tiziano Terzani lived.
For music lovers, the ideal time to visit the city is the month of July, when the Pistoia Blues festival is staged in Piazza del Duomo. In this occasion, some of the greatest international artists have performed over the years.
The province of Pistoia is a unique area with plants typical of all areas of the world. The ornamental nursery activity is concentrated in the Pistoia Ombrone Valley.
Find out more: www.discovertuscany.com