Good morning on Tuesday 27th April, the day after Italy's grand reopening when several pandemic restrictions were eased. The main headlines today centre around the country's €250 billion recovery plan which translates into Italian as "Il Recovery Plan". Prime Minister Mario Draghi outlined details of the scheme to boost the Italian economy after the financial devastation of the last twelve months. The general tenor of what he said was that it's very important and he hopes it works.
Yesterday in Italy there were 8,444 new cases of Covid 19 reported, that's just a small amount below the figure reported the previous Monday. Vaccinations dropped to 159,069 because much fewer jabs are carried out over the course of a weekend. The new case figures will come into sharp focus over the next few days with so much more freedom of movement; of course we all hope for the numbers to steadily fall but I think at this stage, even some sort of stability would be a positive sign with the last thing we want being another huge spike.
Yesterday I reported on the story of a man who became shipwrecked on an island in Sardinia which could easily be the plot-line to a film, and today there's another one which may whet the appetites of Hollywood producers. A collection of religious relics went missing from a seminary just outside the Tuscan city of Siena in 1989, the value of which was said to be incalculable. The Italian art police, real name: Carabinieri Art Squad yesterday presented details of their investigation into the matter which concluded with the discovery of the collection at the home of a collector in Sicily who was unable to explain their provenance, a fairly awkward moment you would have to assume. The plot to steal the San Galgano Reliquary as it's known included an insider from the local area in Tuscany who colluded with three Sicilians to carry-out the theft. The items of gold, silver and enamel have now been returned to their rightful owners in Tuscany.
The weather is inching towards a more predictable pattern, even if temperatures remain unseasonably low. There will be a good deal of rain around the country today but the usual hot spots are emerging with temperatures above 20° Celsius in Sicily and Sardinia. Looking ahead, some warmer days are expected around the country next week but we're still a little way off from being able to say the summer has landed.
Today's photos come from the Venetian Lagoon and specifically, one of its 118 islands. Burano, not to be confused with the nearby Murano, founded its economic success on the production of lace. However, whilst there are still some vestiges of the lace industry to be seen around the island such as a school dedicated to the art and dozens of shops selling the finished article, it's something altogether different that leaves the most lasting impression.
Before, and indeed after the lace trade, was the fishing industry, and while the fishermen were out working around the Lagoon, they were comforted when they looked back towards Burano and they could pick out their house because it was painted in a distinctive colour. The array of bright colours and canals lined with medieval buildings makes a compelling case for a visit and Burano can even boast its own leaning tower.
You can visit Burano and many of the other islands in the Lagoon by using the Venice Water Bus system, which are colloquially-known as vaporetti. Aside from the other-worldly charms of Venice itself, exploring the Lagoon on the vaporetti is a wonderful way to pass some time.
I'll be 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.