After reports surfaced recently that Italy was going to close its borders to tourists until 2021, Giorgio Palmucci, president of the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT) set the record straight: Italy will not be closed off to tourists this year. “Tourism in Italy will start again, with all precautions and in maximum safety,” said Palmucci in a st...

As a great lover of New York, a few years ago I started to notice a particular character on social media, unique in his way of talking about the city that fascinates me so much. I contacted him, and we met, and we became friends. One year we also walked in the Columbus Day Parade together. His name is Piero Armenti, and today he is a real star. Ten...

Over the past 15 years or so I’ve spent much of my time travelling the country for Lonely Planet. I’ve covered countless kilometres on foot and traversed the boot by plane, train, ferry, car and, on one terrifying occasion, riding shotgun on a scooter in Naples. So while it may be some time before Italy re-opens to visitors, here’s why I think we s...

Maratea has a small, enchanting port where to see the most beautiful summer sunsets, but it also has many beautiful beaches, all characterized by a crystal clear sea, and spectacular backdrops, which in addition to being a paradise for snorkelers, have often brought to light historical finds of Greco-Roman age. The coast of Basilicata is varied, a...

AN EXTRAORDINARY EXAMPLE OF ITALIAN medieval religious art lies hidden in the historic town of Anagni, located about an hour southeast of Rome. Also known as the City of Popes (four Popes hailed from the town), Anagni is crowned by its beautiful Romanesque cathedral dating back to the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries.  Under the cathedral floor,...

In Venice, the lagoon, like the rest of the city, is resting. There are no giant cruise ships damaging its fragile ecosystem; there’s very little boat traffic, so sediments are not being stirred up and waters are more transparent than ever. The only boats you see are the garbage collection boats and those that carry food provisions to the Rialto ma...

Sicily will pay half the price of tourists' flights in a bid to lure back holidaymakers after the coronavirus lockdown. The regional government will also pay one in every three of their hotel nights and all their tickets for museums and archaeological sites.  A €50 million budget will pay for the scheme after coronavirus robbed the industry of arou...

There is a whimsical aura that masks over Piazza del Duomo. It is not the flight of pigeons that crowd the place, pecking bread crumbs on the floor. It shrugs off the oblivious tourists flocking in the main square, arms stretched and posing for an Instagram-worthy picture. The owner of such aura reverberates from the stalwart architecture that stan...

The cancellation emails arrived in a wave in late February. Italy’s growing number of COVID-19 cases, increased lockdowns, and travel warnings had rightfully spooked travelers. Over the course of a few days, I watched bookings for food tours and cooking classes with me and my guides and in Rome vanish from our shared Google calendar. Since moving t...

One of the symbols of Italy, but especially of Calabria, is the Riace bronzes. Two bronze statues from the Hellenic era that were found in the Italian waters off Riace, depicting two Greek warriors or gods. Symbols of a disappeared civilization and a mastery belonging to 2500 years ago, the bronzes still hide dozens of mysteries related to their da...