Good morning on Thursday 22nd April. Once upon a time there was a thing called a road map that used to help you navigate from one place to the next. So long and forgotten is the humble road map that it now gets used as a metaphor for the way out of the pandemic. It even has an Italian version these days although it's slightly different: they call it "La Road Map". It might take you a while to get your lips around that tricky new phrase and its pronunciation so while you're doing that, let me explain why it's relevant today.
As of Monday 26th April "La Road Map" will lead us out of the pandemic and into the land of milk and honey otherwise known as Italy. I've just carried out an extensive update of the new restrictions on the home page but the main bullet points are as follows:
There are a number of other restrictions to be eased detailed on the home page but those above are the most relevant for tourism as it stands. Note the green certificate which allows you to travel freely between regions. Of course you'll first need to be able to leave your country for a holiday and you probably won't want to quarantine when you get back, and we're a little way off some relevant announcements on that from the likes of the UK and the US. We're getting there though, bit by bit.
Yesterday in Italy there were 13,844 new cases of Covid 19 confirmed which was a nice drop on the previous Wednesday of more than two thousand. The seven day comparison shows an overall reduction of 12% which has grown a bit from the previous day's 8%.
In other news, a man in the city of Catanzaro in Calabria has been accused of drawing a salary from a local hospital for the last 15 years despite never having set foot in the building. The 67 year old earned in the region of €538,000 during that time and has been dubbed the "king of absentees", the kind of royal title you just don't want. The hospital has been inundated with new applications for jobs in the last few days since the news broke.
I won't dwell on the specifics of the weather today; suffice to say it's a bit rubbish but it should be getting better by the weekend, said no weatherman, ever.
Today's photos come from Puglia and the wonderful hill town of Ostuni. Known as La Città Bianca, the white city sparkles from its perch across three hills a few kilometres inland of the Adriatic Coast. It takes its name from the whitewashed walls which line the narrow streets in the town's centro storico. It's one of the most internationally-visited towns in Puglia and has an appropriate number of bars and restaurants to suit those needs, particularly at night when it's a favourite spot for locals and tourists alike.
Ostuni sits at the point where the trull houses of the Valle d'Itria give way to the golden beaches of the Salento. Within easy reach of Ostuni are the likes of Alberobello, Cisternino and Locorotondo, all of which are shrines to the trulli homes while nearby beaches include Costa Merlata and those of the seaside town of Polignano a Mare.
I'll leave you with a few images of Ostuni and the surrounding area for now and I'll be back with more tomorrow, including a list of Top Ten Italian Islands.
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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.