Morning all and a happy Friday 5th February 2021 as we head into the weekend. I've just read a very encouraging article in The Times which has disclosed plans for "vaccine passports" are being considered for international travel from the spring. The report centres around Greece who appear to be open to the idea of British and American tourists this year, due to the good progress made in the countries' vaccination programmes.
The idea seems very much to be at the planning stage at this point, but it does provide another level of optimism for foreign holidays later this year. Although the report only mentioned Greece, it follows that other European countries that depend heavily on tourism such as Italy, Spain and France, will be considering such options in order to get their economies back on track.
Yesterday in Italy there were 13,659 new cases of Covid 19, a rise of around 500 compared to the previous day. The overall figure of current confirmed cases in the country continues to drop: this time by a figure of 4,445, leaving a total of 430,277.
A new vaccination rollout plan in Italy has been taking shape over the previous few days. A greater number of vaccines have been promised to the country and this will see focus switch away from the over 80s, to the over 55s and key workers. Along with other EU member countries, Italy is behind the likes of the UK, USA and Israel in terms of its rollout; due to supply issues and later approval for use of the vaccines such as those produced by Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Moderna.
We'll see how things pan out with the vaccine rollout and potential vaccine passports; it does though look as if some kind of foreign travel may be possible by the end of May or June.
Part of the purpose of this blog is to highlight places in Italy that you might like to visit. Ask most people to reel off the most popular destinations in Italy and they'll probably provide you with a dozen or so: the likes of Venice, Rome, Florence, Sicily, Tuscany, Puglia and the Amalfi Coast among others usually featuring heavily. However, on this website I've featured in excess of two thousand places in Italy that offer some level of interest, from sleepy fishing villages to historic hill towns and everything in between.
Today I'm going to focus on that "in between" level. Throughout the country there are dozens of small towns and villages that can now be described as "Mural Towns". Enter a seemingly innocuous village and before you know it, you're surrounded by an art gallery on the walls of the local shops and houses. In the northern region of Emilia Romagna for example there's the historic town of Dozza, with even its medieval castle overshadowed by the art on the walls. Piedmont's mountain village of Usseaux is another great example, along with Sardinia's San Sperate and Orgosolo.
Back on the mainland and in the south of the country there's Valogno in Campania and further south still, the seaside town of Diamante in Calabria. However, pick of the bunch for me are two towns in Basilicata which are so close to each other that I'm sure it's become something of a competition. The two towns in question are Sant'Angelo Le Fratte and Satriano di Lucania which are separate by just 10 kilometres, making a visit to both on the same day one of the best days out in Basilicata.
I've selected a handful of the best photos from these Mural Towns for today's photos and I'll be back with another update tomorrow.
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My name is Dion Protani, founder of Italy Review. The Italy Review blog is designed to provide ideas and inspiration to visit places in Italy you might not have heard about, as well those you have.