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How Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages Are Preparing For Tourists This Summer

Over a year has passed since Covid-19 hit Italy, wreaking havoc on the lives and economy of Italians. The tourism sector, which contributes 13% of Italy’s GDP suffered in a major way due to the country and the world being forced into a stand still.  

Its hard to know what will happen this summer – will American’s be able to travel abroad to stroll the streets of the Bel Paese? Its certainly what everyone wants. In a recent interview with Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission said “The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines – this will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union.”

“Because one thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.,” she said.

No timeline was given on when or how this will go into effect, but it is a hopeful update the shows that current travel restrictions will change based on vaccination certificates.

In the case of Italy, one of the nation’s worst hit by the pandemic, Italy went from being a tourist hotspot to a banned country for months during its stringent lockdown crushing much of the nation’s economy. Yet, like with all things, sometimes silver linings come out of devastating moments and last year, Italy began to rediscover its small villages.

Borghi Più Belli d’Italia, is an elite group of villages across Italy that are selected for their beauty. These are the best villages captured for the best Italy can offer, scattered across the country.

President of I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia says that this past summer, “the virus and restrictions to travel pushed Italians to appreciate and discover the beauty near home something they would never have done without the pandemic,” says Fiorello Primi, president of I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia.

According to ISTAT, in 2020 Italy recorded data on tourism which showed that people were visiting villages more than any other type of tourism. In summer 2020 alone, there was an increase compared to the previous year. This shows that visiting Italy’s villages became an increasingly popular destination, especially during the pandemic, a period in which tourists were seeking out destinations where social distancing was easier to attain.

Now, I Borghi Più Belli d’Italia are getting ready to attract more potential visitors. Here are some of the best trips to take in Italy’s villages this summer:

Asolo, Veneto:

The village of Asolo in the northern region of Veneto is organizing free apperitivo to everyone who participates in a guided tour. All visitors who purchase tickets for museums, Torre civicia or Rocca will be able to receive a discount to spend in a local shop. All of these attractions will be free for healthcare workers.

Montalbano Elicona, Sicily:

This summer and autumn 2021, the village of Montalbano Elicona, Sicily will give a voucher of 150 euro per family who stays in the village at least two nights.

Bienno, Lombardy:

There are two main things to do when visiting the village of Bienno. The first starts from via Artigiani to discover the Vaso Re along the path drawn by the water. Its clear when walking through the square that there is an industrial history to this village. The ancient Forging School, the seventeenth-century factory of the Fucina Museo and the equally Mulino Museo show this – the mulino still capable of producing excellent polenta flour with the stone millstones moved by the water mill of the Vaso Re.

An art competition is held annually in Bienno where the participating artists are hosted by the municipality (residence + workshop) and at the end of their stay the artists leave one of their works as a gift so the village becomes an open air museum.

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