Good morning all on Tuesday 13th April. The fight against Covid continues to gather pace as we edge ever closer to a return to our previous lives.
Yesterday in Italy there were 9,789 new cases of Coronavirus, another decrease from the same day of the previous week. As last week was Easter, those numbers are slightly muddled and we should get a clearer picture of the current situation when the latest figures are revealed this evening.
Vaccination numbers are still considerably lower than the promised 500,000 per day; yesterday for example there were just over 200,000 jabs carried out but help is on the way. One of the leading figures in Italy's vaccine roll out Francesco Paolo Figliuolo has stated that 45 million doses will be supplied over the course of the three months of April, May and June. That works out at 15 million per month and will equate to roughly half a million per day.
Elsewhere, the first Covid free trains will run on Friday between Milan and Rome. Anyone boarding the train must produce a negative test result taken within the 48 hours before the journey with free tests also available at the train stations.
Over to the weather and it's a sunnier day across the country, albeit with those lower temperatures persisting. Catania in Sicily however is bucking that chilly trend today with an agreeable 21° Celsius.
Today's photos come from the northern city of Brescia in the Lombardy region. A city that's typically renowned more for its commercial and economic success, it does however boast a surprising number of sights. Looming large on a hill overlooking the city is the imposing Brescia Castle and from this position you get a bird's eye view of the city layout.
Its most famous sight is the Museo di Santa Giulia which forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Longobards in Italy: Places of the Power: 568 - 774 AD). Just a short walk from there are a series of squares which recognise the different periods of history that unfolded in the city. There's a fascinating contrast between the medieval, Renaissance and Fascist periods with each era well-represented. These contrasts can be strongly felt at Piazza della Loggia, Piazza della Vittoria and Piazza Paolo VI which is home to Brescia's two cathedrals.
With its history stretching back to its foundation in 1,200 BC, it's no surprise that there's such a legacy of sights which also includes a Roman Theatre. However, it's not just the sights within the city that make it so eye-catching, it's what's close by. Thirty kilometres east of Brescia is the town of Desenzano del Garda, one of the major lakeside locations on Lake Garda along with nearby Sirmione and Salò. If the presence of one of Europe's most beautiful lakes on its doorstep isn't quite enough, then how about another one even closer in the opposite direction?
It's a short run of 25 kilometres from Brescia to Lake Iseo with a number of delightful towns edging the lake and the pretty Monte Isola in the middle of it. Not only this, but to get there you have to pass through the bucolic Franciacorta wine region with its vineyard landscapes of rolling hills.
Back with another blog 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.