Online search trends show that Italy remains a top destination for post-lockdown holidays, and Travel + Leisure recently announced that Italy is its “2021 Destination of the Year”.
But what to look for when planning your next Italian escape?
Here are three top reasons why Italy is the perfect destination for a post-lockdown trip.
- All the safety precautions – from staying at home to physical distancing in public spaces – have led many to embrace a more authentic, down-to-earth approach to travel. Italy offers the chance for visitors to “return to basics” and appreciate the essence of nature, of genuine food, and of a slow pace of life. All its tiny hamlets and remote areas represent the ideal escapes for a healthy trip between relaxation and active experiences, such as hiking, biking and sailing.
- Even art is everywhere around Italy: we tend to picture large crowds in Venice, Florence and Rome, but it’s surprising to realize just how many wonderful works of art, ancient buildings and archaeological sites are available in hidden gems off the beaten track. These towns are, in some cases, a bit more difficult to reach because they do not have airports or large train stations, but this just helps them to be more exclusive and desirable for the Slow Traveler.
- Italians are friendly and proud of their heritage and traditions. They can be great hosts or a precious source of tips for those who feel the need to travel in a more conscious and “warmer” way, for those who want to give more importance to the human relationships that we have missed so much during the lockdown. In Italy you can travel deeper, getting in touch with local communities and supporting small local businesses.
Post-Lockdown Destination Spotlight: Liguria
Italy is full of places that have all the above-mentioned qualities.
One of the regions that feature the most diverse characteristics for all tastes is Liguria!
Whether you love the sea, the hills or the mountains, here you will find hidden gems waiting to be discovered with their pristine nature and authentic activities. Let’s get inspired with some examples.
The glorious coast of Liguria – also known as Italian Riviera – is famous worldwide.
But if you want to go off the beaten track, then consider seaside hamlets like Camogli and Tellaro.
As the homeland of the Ligurian Focaccia, colorful Camogli is the ideal place where to stop and taste different kinds of freshly baked focaccia!
And after trying the selection of plain, olive-topped and cheese flatbreads, you can burn those healthy calories with a walk in nature along the hiking path between San Rocco di Camogli and San Fruttuoso, in the Park of Portofino.
To view the coast from an exclusive and alternative point of view, a private boat tour is a perfect solution.
What about sailing around the bay that inspired poets like Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley? One of the absolute jewels in the “Gulf of Poets” is Tellaro, along with the more famous yet still uncrowded Lerici and Portovenere.
Artists were inspired by the western side of Liguria too.
For example, French painter Claude Monet visited the Riviera di Ponente in 1884 and was delighted by the 15th-century Romanesque bridge that connects the two sides of Dolceacqua, making it the subject of some of his paintings.
If you like the idea of traveling back in time by visiting medieval hilltop villages, then you will love Dolceacqua and its neighbor Apricale.
They are set slightly inland, surrounded by hills and imposing mountains like Monte Bignone (Ligurian Alps). Here you will find the local Rossese wine, which is one of the few red wines from Liguria, and many artists and artisans who will be happy to tell you stories about their traditions and skills in their bottega (typical shop).
Another fantastic experience to connect with locals off the beaten path, is to visit a family-owned olive oil mill in Lucinasco.
Imagine yourself walking under century-old olive groves, listening to the owner explain how his family has been producing quality olive oil for generations in a sustainable way, and tasting typical products and wine for lunch!
The Cinque Terre villages are undoubtedly the most famous tourist destination in Liguria.
As such, they are often overcrowded, particularly in summer. But if you would like to visit them in an alternative and eco-friendly way away from the crowds, consider an e-bike tour between La Spezia and Cinque Terre.
Or, for an exclusive and unique experience from the sea, you can discover the Cinque Terre on board a traditional boat called “Leudo”, which was used in the past to transport wine barrels along the coast of Liguria and Tuscany.
How to plan your post-lockdown trip in Liguria?
In late 2020, Maria Shollenbarger from Travel + Leisure wrote: “A new Italian renaissance is waiting in the wings, and there’s no better time to start planning your next visit”.
But how can you plan and book a trip to Italy with peace of mind?
Relying on an established local expert is one great idea, because it is a guarantee of human contact and assistance 24/7, not only before but also during your trip.
A flexible cancellation policy is also important, because it allows you to plan ahead and avoid last-minute decisions, knowing that you will not lose your money should new restrictions prevent you from traveling.
Choosing private tours and traveling in small groups is also desirable in the post-lockdown era, because they allow your local insiders to focus on customization and to better plan your experiences considering all the distancing measures.
Local travel advisors, just like the insiders at BeautifuLiguria, can help you feel confident and safe in your decisions. Contact us to learn about our 100% Carefree Booking Policy and our authentic experiences in and beyond Liguria.
More Tips and ideas?