The (Near) Future of Italy Travel
If you’re involved with the Italy travel niche, you encounter the questions every day. “When can I visit Italy?” “Has Italy relaxed its travel restriction?” What does the future of Italy travel look like?”
These are complex questions, and certainly nobody has all the answers. About the only thing we DO know for sure is that for the immediate future (the next 12 to 24 months), travel to Italy will not look the same as it has in the past. At least not in the main tourist cities.
Which brings up an interesting point. Even at the very height of the pandemic, spending a week or two with your family in a remote country villa was NEVER risky or dangerous. Getting there might have been, if you had to fly into Milan. But the fact is, many areas had very few (or even zero) cases. Without a television or social media account, you might have gone on believing that Corona was simply a low-quality Mexican beer.
With that, I suggest that perhaps this is also the “way back” for those determined to visit Italy again as soon as possible. Not in a crowded museum or Intercity train or in queue to see the historical sites. But rather, a week or two relaxing, cooking, eating, drinking, strolling, and appreciating slow country living, Italian style. Arguably, the “best” of Italy. And social distancing is already built-in by design.
Future of Italy Travel
Listen, the road back to normal will not be quick or simple. For any of us, anywhere. But we must start someplace.
Regrettably, I had to cancel the Rome to Amalfi Coast Tour that was all set for September. It was a great itinerary, which included Rome’s top historic and cultural treasures, paired with a slow-paced visit to the Mediterranean seashore.
But now, under these “new normal” conditions, I’ve been exploring my options for rescheduling an experience that will still highlight some of Italy’s many charms, while enjoying an environment that is tranquil and safe.
In doing so, I reached out to an old friend of mine, Alina Pinelli, who offers slow living experiences in a remote area of Umbria near the border with Tuscany. For the record, Umbria had fewer cases of covid-19 than almost any other region; and Alina’s nearby hometown (Paciano) has not had ANY cases. Zero. Nil. Nulla.
As it stands now, I’m working with Alina to create an itinerary for a week of full immersion into the relaxed lifestyle of the Umbrian countryside. Cooking, eating, drinking, chatting, laughing, and plenty of il dolce far niente.
“How beautiful it is to do nothing all day… and then rest afterwards.” #italy #travel #foodie #wine #relax
Under the Umbrian Sun
If asked to describe your ideal scene of bucolic Italian bliss, what would it include? How about undulant verdant hills in dreamy soft-focus, banded with rows of grapevines? Cyprus trees lining a meandering road that vanishes into the distant horizon? A rustic dinner table in the open air, abundant with the freshest organic ingredients that have been coaxed into culinary perfection by local chefs? And don’t forget the passionate conversation that flows like vino. If this description pretty much hits the mark, then you’ll have a very accurate picture of where I’m planning to travel next.
The name given to this little preview of nirvana is the area surrounding the village of Città della Pieve, near the border of Tuscany and Umbria. There are no crowded museums, but the view itself is all the artwork that you’d need to gaze upon: a canvas in Earth tones and blue that local Renaissance master Perugino (who died only a few miles from here) would have been unable to surpass.
While the immediate environs are remote and peaceful, if you have a car, exploring medieval hill towns, Etruscan sites, and other historic cities are all within easy reach. But then again, you may not want to.
Soon, the threat from the corona virus will be not so much about the actual risk, but rather the perceived risk, and its effects on your ability to relax and enjoy your travels. That’s why the open air, endless horizons, healthy food, and the sweetness of doing nothing is just the recipe we all need at the moment.
As for me and my plans, I am now looking to organize a small group to join me here in early May of 2021. I don’t have the exact dates yet, as I want to wait for more certainty from the Italian government before confirming anything.
But if you’re ready to go even sooner, you can contact Alina directly and she will help you organize a safe and relaxing stay for you and your small group “Under the Umbrian Sun.”