Good afternoon on Thursday 11th February. The Italian news is quite varied this morning: there's still a lot about Mario Draghi and his new government but also a number of little updates concerning the pandemic.
Yesterday in Italy there were 12,956 new Coronavirus cases, another increase from the day before; this time a rise of 2,326 (from Tuesday's 10,630), which will be of concern. The overall number of people currently infected continues to drop, by 3,856 to a total of 410,111.
Today is the day when a decision will be made on the potential reintroduction of movement between regions which is currently banned, at least until 15th February. The day before that, Sunday 14th February, Tuscany will move from yellow up to an orange zone, meaning museums, restaurants and bars must close again. No time limit has been set on this but it will be for a minimum of two weeks. There is some concern over the new variants in certain Tuscan towns including Chiusi and Sansepolcro which is one of the reasons why the new restrictions have been imposed.
The reopening of ski resorts will be going ahead next week as planned; social-distancing will of course be in place, along with a general reduction in capacity. The ski resorts of Lombardy and Piedmont can open as of Monday 15th while those of Trentino Province must wait until the following day (Tuesday 16th) and Valle d'Aosta, the day after that (Wednesday 17th).
There is some positive Covid 19-related news with the use of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine which is now starting to be rolled out in the Lazio region, alongside the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.
In terms of the weather: most of the country is enjoying sunny spells today. Catania continues to be the warmest part of Italy with a maximum temperature of 19° Celsius while feeling the chill in the north is the city of Trieste where it won't go above 5° Celsius and rain is also expected.
Trieste is an interesting city: geographically it almost feels like it's not in Italy at all and for many years it wasn't. It's the capital of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and sits right on the Slovenian border at the top of the Istrian Peninsula which is mostly within neighbouring Croatia. It is though, one of the most elegant cities in Italy, looking out onto the Gulf of Trieste and famed for its role in the coffee industry. As a consequence, Trieste can boast some of the country's oldest and grandest cafes and coffee houses, including the headquarters of the Illy coffee company.
The centre of Trieste comprises a number of beautiful neoclassical buildings such as the Palazzo del Governo which sits on one of Italy's most impressive squares: Piazza Unità d'Italia. The piazza is open at one end with its seafront lungomare (promenade); a place where you'll occasionally feel the sharpest chill from the famous bora wind which assails the city from time to time. One of the most elegant areas of Trieste is the Borgo Teresiano where grandiose buildings line a canal on either side.
It's also worth taking the 15 minute or so drive outside Trieste to visit the beautiful Castello di Miramare, one of the most impressive castles in Italy.
That's all from me for today and I'll of course leave you with some images of Trieste. Back with more tomorrow.
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.