Good morning on Thursday 15th April. With a growing number of protests on the streets of Italy, it feels as if the country is reaching a point in the lockdown where it's time to say basta ("enough").
The latest protests were by workers from the entertainment industry who, dramatically as you would expect, took to the stage of the Globe Theatre in Rome's Villa Borghese park. After a year of lockdowns and a variety of other restrictions being imposed on the populous, there's a growing feeling that the country needs to focus more on finding ways of reopening businesses safely.
Leading government officials are meeting today to discuss a timetable for a gradual reopening with the middle of May mooted as the likely date for that process to start. We've already heard in recent weeks plans to open up the country to tourism on 2nd June and we're quickly closing in on that date without it being confirmed.
Yesterday in Italy there were a further 16,168 new cases of Covid 19, an increase of more than two thousand from the same day of the previous week. Over the last few days a gradual trend has emerged of an upward curve in positive tests which is a cause for concern.
Temperatures remain low with the elongated winter refusing to budge: today's warmest city will be Palermo with just 15° Celsius while Turin will rise no higher than 2° C. These mediocre temperatures will linger for another week or so but look set to rise to the mid-20's from next Thursday onwards.
Today's photos come from the town of Bassano del Grappa in Veneto. The town takes its name from the imposing mountain that overlooks it: Monte Grappa, an important theatre of operations during the two world wars of the last century. The second part of that name also refers to the local tipple that's produced in the area. If you've never tried grappa before, tread carefully as it's liable to blow your head off, metaphorically of course.
The iconic sight of Bassano del Grappa is the wooden bridge that spans the River Brenta. It's known as the Ponte Vecchio, just like the really famous one in Florence, but also as the Ponte degli Alpini after the Alpine soldiers who rebuilt it after it was damaged in the Second World War. This laid-back medieval town is characterised by a collection of pretty piazzas surrounded by historic buildings and not to be missed.
Back with more tomorrow. Buona giornata.
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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.