Siena Is Still There For You After Covid, Here Something Not To Miss.

Last year, images of Siena could make us all weep. Normally, this old city is brimming with life and happiness, so empty streets seemed simply wrong.

Luckily, Italy is opening up, and Siena shines like a proper jewel of Tuscany again. If you’re a repeat visitor, you know what amazing sights and foods await you. If this is your first time, here are the places that you must not miss.

Piazza del Campo, perhaps the most beautiful piazza in Italy?

Where: Smack dab in the center of Siena, can’t miss it.

When: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as long as you don’t patronize any establishments.

Budget: Free, unless you start shopping around, get hungry, or decide to up the Torre del Mangia.

If you have only one day to spend in Siena, this is your must-go-to location. Pretty much, even if you don’t move more than a mile from that spot, you will get to experience the lifestyle, people watch, visit a few sightseeing hotspots, and have some delicious food.

Even without moving an inch, the piazza is a sight to behold. It’s frozen in time, all the way to the pre-Renaissance times. There have been a few additions over the centuries here and there, but it’s mostly left looking untouched. And fortunately for all of us, the people of Siena love their piazza and they have all preserved it for us over the centuries so we can admire its beauty.

Once you find yourself standing there, you would not get surprised if you were to see someone in a historical costume – what’s more, a sight like that could even fool you into thinking you have gone back through time.

This is also the place where everything happens. If the city is holding a public fair, celebration, or festival, it will happen there. So, if you plan your trip anywhere around those big dates on the calendar (both secular and religious), you are in for a treat.

Try La Prosciutteria in Siena.

Where: Via Pantaneto 89, near Piazza del Campo

When: Every day from 10 AM to midnight.

Budget: Price s range from 4 to 25 Euros per item.

Warning, this is not a restaurant! Okay, that was a bad April Fool’s joke since the Siena location is one of the few that offer in-house dining. Some other places? They just pry you with their delicious fare and send you on your mary way.

If you love your prosciutto (and other Italian deli goodies), you must come to La Prosciutteria. You’ll be welcomed with a perfect combination of fine and casual dining – fine in terms of some of the finest food that will ever grace your mouth, and casual in terms of atmosphere.

On the menu are cutting boards, cold cuts, and different types of Tuscan wines. Sometimes they host special events and tasting parties. However, you may need a reservation to enjoy all of this these days (reservations at +39 577 42026 and siena@laprosciutteria.com). They also offer delivery through UberEats or if you give them a call (if you are not able to secure a table during your visit).

And if you loved what you had for your lunch/dinner/special tasting, you can buy and bring most of those delicious morsels back home with you.

Well Try Pretto in Siena too.

https://www.prettoprosciutteria.it/

Where: Via dei Termini4, between Piazza del Campo and Piazza Tolomei

When: Every day, from noon to 9 PM

Budget: The cheapest item is about 3 and the most expensive one is about 25 Euros.

Okay, definitely another not-vegan-friendly recommendation, but what’s there else to say? Siena has quite a few awesome prosciuterrias.

However, that is very much not advised. The entire place is bathed in amazing aromas – even the most disciplined would break their diet and/or their budget if they stay for too long. Pick up your food and sit as far away if you want to stay safe!

If you still want to risk it, call them at +39 0577 289089 or send them an e-mail at prettosiena@gmail.com for a booking.

All joking aside, come at least for their prized Lampredotto sandwich or Tuscan focaccia. They are also very well known for their Pinsa Romana: a delightful taste of Italy that will change your view of pizza forever.

Then Visit Palazzo Pubblico and Torre Del Mangia

Where: Right across Piazza del Campo

When: Palazzo Publico is opened from 10 AM to 7 PM. Torre del Mangia is closed between 1:45 to and 2:30 PM for sanitation.

Budget: Individual ticket is 10 Euros, the family ticket is 22 and 25 respectively. Free access for children under 11 and reduced tickets are available. Note that you need to get separate tickets for each location, or get a combined ticket for 15 Euros (valid 2 days).

Palazzo Pubblico serves as mucipal offices of Siena. However, if you are not interested in getting a building permit or conquering the city from within, you may be interested in the Civic Museum.

The museum is located on the first floor of the palazzo and it’s a must-see for any history buff. Even if you take a moment just to take a peek at the 13th and 14th-century frescoes, it will be more than worth it. But if you want to get your money’s worth, use this visit as your time-travel portal through Siena’s history.

Then climb up the Torre del Mangia. This tower is the highest secular structure, and only the 3rd tallest in Italy (from this time period). If you are willing to make a climb of 280+ feet, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful view of the whole of Siena.

Keep in mind that, due to the current restrictions, only groups of 12 can go up the Torre del Mangia every 45 minutes. You can call ahead (+39 0577 292342) to make sure you can grab a spot. Also, both the Palazzo and the Torre are closed down or close early during public holidays, so check your travel dates and plan accordingly.

Important Information

Before you leave for Italy, check out http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/covid-19-updates-information-for-tourists.html for all up to date information for tourists. Please, also be respectful of each establishment’s guidelines and restrictions.

Travel safe, and have fun.

Florence Reopens after Covid, Here 6 Evegreen Recommendations.

Aren’t the words “Italy is open again” some of the most beautiful words an avid traveler can hear? Finally, your wish to visit Florence can come true.

There’s a lot of prep before the trip, so let’s make this part of your travel plans as painless as possible. These 5 evergreen spots are perfect for both first-time and return visitors. Let’s check out what to see and, of course, what to eat first.

Have a Fat Panini at Antico Vinaio.

Where: Via dei Neri 65, 74, 76, and 78, close to Piazza San Remigio and Piazza della Signoria

When: Every day from 10 AM to 10:30 PM

Budget: The most expensive item is 13 Euros, but you can still enjoy a great sandwich at half that price.

If you were lucky enough to check them out in LA, just imagine what’s waiting for you in Florence. We are talking amazing Hulk-sized sandwiches loaded with local salami, prosciutto, cheeses, and other goodies on fresh artisanal bread. Plus, you can follow them up with a glass or two of good Tuscan wine.

Make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes. Even without restrictions, the place is known for its long waiting lines. Or give them a ring at +39 055 23 82 723 for a reservation.

Antico Vinaio Florence

Get into Science at the Galileo Museum.

https://www.museogalileo.it/en/

Where: Piazza dei Guidici, near Pallazo Vecchio

When: 9:30 AM to 6 PM all days but Tuesday. On Tuesdays, the museum closes at 1 PM

Budget: Tickets for adults are 10 Euros, for minors 6 Euros. Or you can get a 13 Euro ticket that allows you to skip the lines.

Formerly known as Museo di Storia della Scienza, it’s housed in an 11th-century building. It’s home to artifacts from the Medici collections, Galileo’s belongings, and other numerous pieces of evidence of Tuscany and Italy’s contributions to science.

It’s not all about old objects, but old books as well! A lot of historical scientific papers are housed in the museum’s library, right next to one of the most extensive collections of contemporary materials.

The museum also puts on temporary exhibitions. Numerous events are on schedule often, including anything between debates and lectures, to fun historical reenactments. Check out their website to see what will be available during your visit.

Galileo Museum in Florence
Galileo Museum in Florence

Have Lunch Like a Local – Trattoria Mario Florence.

http://www.trattoriamario.com/index-en.html

Where: Via Rosina 2r, right next to Mercato Centrale.

When: Takeaway and table service from noon to 3 PM.

Budget: No item on the menu goes over 20 Euros.

Every city in Italy has numerous restaurants that are decked out in Michellin stars, but still many can’t compare to Trattoria Mario. In 1953, Rome and Amelia opened this restaurant and named it after their son. Since then, the place has been a favorite for both the locals and visitors alike.

The menu changes every day. You can either check their page to check for hints of what’s cooking. That being said, no matter the time of the year, you’ll always be able to get a Florentine-style steak, Ribolita, or their signature slow-cooked Ragu.

Keep in mind that, due to restrictions, reservations are mandatory. Feel free to reach out to the workers and the family via email and social media, or call them once you’re in Italy (the number is +39 055 218550).

In Florence you must have a t bone steak fiorentina.
Cantucci and Vin santo it’s a typical dessert in Florence

When: The food court on the 1st floor is open from Monday to Sunday, 10 AM to midnight. The fresh market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7 AM to 2 PM.

Budget: The food court can get very pricey, but the items at the fresh market are reasonably priced.

You can’t call yourself a proper foodie unless you make a stop here. The market halls are open since 1874 and have since been the best place to have a taste of Italy.

You can enjoy different produce, pasta, oils, truffles, and numerous artisanal products on the ground floor. Outside you’ll encounter numerous stalls that sell souvenirs, clothes, and other miscellaneous knick-knacks. However, be a smart shopper and watch for high prices: if they seem to be higher than what you’ve encountered at other parts of Florence, some is looking to scan some tourists.

The food court features numerous small restaurants, tasting rooms, and wine bars. Here you can enjoy both traditional Italian dishes as well as other amazing food made by master chefs. Make sure to visit the website and see if they are planning something special for the days you’ll be visiting.

Another pro tip: if you’re on a tight budget, make a trip to the second floor. You’ll still get to enjoy some amazing pizzas and snacks while causing less pain to your wallet.

Mercato Centrale in Florence is the ideal destination for foodies.

Get Lost in Giardino Boboli.

https://www.uffizi.it/en/boboli-garden

Where: Piazza de Pitti

When: From Monday to Sunday, from 8:15 AM to sunset (closing times change by season, so check the website for the exact time)

Budget: Single ticket is 10 Euros, but you may qualify for a free or a reduced price ticket as well.

https://www.uffizi.it/en/notices/covid-19-rules-for-visitors

Designed for the Medicis and inspired numerous court gardens all across Europe, these beautiful gardens are open to the public since 1766. A perfect place to get lost, wander, and feel like you’ve traveled through time. Enjoy a stroll through Cerchiate Piccole or take a peek at the statues of mythical creatures near the Fountain of Neptune.

Plant lovers must also stop by the Botanica Superiore, aka the Pineapple garden, and enjoy its hundreds of species of tropical, subtropical, and aquatic plants. And if that was not enough for you, Museo della Moda e del Costume and Museo delle porcellane are right next door. The same goes for the Forte di Belvedere and Porta Romana (the city gate from the 13th century).

No worries if you choose to visit in the spur of the moment. The entire complex is accessible to people with disabilities and family-friendly for a hassle-free experience

Boboli Garden in Florence

Tuscan Best Beaches You Should Visit North of Pisa

aperitivo on the beach in Tuscany

Tuscany is an Italian region well known for its rich culture, beautiful art, and history. For many, the first image that comes to mind when thinking about Tuscany have is picturesque and important cities such as Florence and Pisa, which have made history. But Tuscany isn’t only that. It is also a region with a beautiful coast and stunning beaches that should be enjoyed just as much as the rich culture that characterizes Tuscany. Indeed, if you are visiting Pisa or Florence or even Siena, you should consider combining a city tour full of history and art with a beach day. Not only you’ll be able to soak in the sun and relax for a while, but you’ll also be astonished by the wonderful panorama you’ll be in front of.

But what are the best beaches you should be visiting when in Tuscany? To help you make up your mind, we prepared a small guide about the top 3 beach towns in this beautiful town.

Viareggio

Viareggio is also called the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea and with good reasons. The view is stunning: on one side you can appreciate the beautiful sea and to the white marble peaks of Massa Carrara. Even if not as famous as other Tuscan cities, Viareggio is the second-largest city in the province of Lucca and it is not only popular during the summer season but also for its famous carnival.

The coast is small but worth visiting: with around 10 km of sandy beaches, Viareggio is an awesome town to stop by for a while to relax under the sun and eat delicious food by the beach. Also, if looking for something “more active” to do, you can stroll around the popular “La Passeggiata” a 3 km long road running parallel to the beach scattered with several gelaterias, cafes, restaurants along the way. If you get tired or if you want to enjoy your gelato sitting down with a view of the sea, you can sit down on one of the many benches along the road, decorated in the traditional liberty style.

Additionally, if you are looking for some good shopping, Viareggio might be the right place for you.

Choose from one of the several “Bagni” or simply go to a “Spiaggia Libera”, or free beach and enjoy everything that Viareggio offers!

Forte Dei Marmi

Forte Dei Marmi is much better known compared to Viareggio, but only because it is a slightly posher destination, popular among many celebrities. This exclusive beach town is worth visiting because of its astonishing panorama, with the elegant villas hidden behind the lush vegetation of the pineta (pine tree forest) and the stunning view of the Alpi Apuane. But Forte Dei Marmi is also fine dining and luxurious shopping. If you love the sea but also fashion, Forte Dei Marmi is the place to go as it is the chicest place of all Tuscany. It is the ideal destination for everyone looking to experience some luxury, with plenty of posh beach resorts offering more privacy and comfort than other “simpler beaches”. Of course, this also translated in higher prices, both when it comes to stay somewhere or to eat at a restaurant. But if you are not afraid to spend a little bit more for a luxurious experience, even if only for a couple of days, you should consider visiting Forte Dei Marmi.

Also, keep in mind that even if Forte Dei Marmi is mainly remembered for its luxurious villas and high-end restaurants and beach resorts, this beach town also has an interesting history and traditions hidden behind the beautiful mountains of the Alpi Apuane. When you are looking for a break from the beach, Forte Dei Marmi has plenty to offer to its visitors. You can visit the inside parts of the city and discover a place that is very different from the “chic” beach town you though Forte Dei Marmi would be.

For this reason, if you can, try to include a couple of days in this picturesque and famous Tuscan beach town and try to explore more of the town than the beaches and the city center: you won’t be disappointed!

Marina Di Carrara

Massa di Carrara is famous around the world for its beautiful white marble used throughout the century to build churches or even wonderful villas and for decoration. The caves can still be visited and have an important historical meaning: they were used by the Roman for their sculptures and during the Renaissance by artists such as Michelangelo. What many do not know is that in the small Carrara, you’ll also find a little sea town, Marina di Carrara. If you want to mix a visit to the famous Carrara with some relaxing time at the beach, consider visiting Carrara. With its several resorts and restaurants, but also the beautiful coast, Marina di Carrara is gaining traction as a tourist destination in Tuscany. The nightlife is particularly lively in this small town, meaning that if you are looking to fully relax, this might not be your ideal destination. But if you are looking for some life even during the night, you should experience Marina di Carrara. Also, if you are looking for some shopping, you’ll find good deals in local shops.

The Bottom Line

Tuscany is an excellent Italian destination that can suit everyone’s taste: from good food to rich history and culture, but also wonderful landscapes, everybody will be able to enjoy this wonderful Italian region. Tuscany is also a great destination if you are looking to enjoy the sun and the beach. With so many things to do, it might be hard to choose what to do and where to go. If you want to combine history, art, and culture with stunning beaches, consider including at least one of the destinations we proposed in this short guide for you. The destinations we proposed you here are all different and unique, and possibly suited for different people’s taste, but without a doubt, you’ll find the panorama stunning!

Covid Fase 2: What Can You Do In Italy After 4th May 2020

The novel Coronavirus outbreak has affected all countries of the world, some more than others, with the result of a general slowdown in the global economy. One of the countries most hit by the outbreak, Italy, after almost 3 months of harsh quarantine, is slowly opening up.

Italy has a strong touristic industry which during these months has dropped significantly, Many business owners are pushing to open, but reopening will not be possible unless the right measures are taken.

The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, has announced the last 26th of April, the beginning of the so-called “Fase 2”, which is operative starting from the 4th of May and that involves the opening of some businesses (including restaurants and cafes), public parks, and some open-air sportive activities. But essentially, the lockdown will be still active and single citizens will not have much freedom of movement even after the 4th of May. But what exactly can you do in Italy starting from the 4th of May? Keep reading to learn more about the not so clear Italian “Fase 2”.

Some Museums Will Open But Everything “With Distance”

Italy is a country rich in culture, art, and museums. While during the quarantine, all museums stayed closed and some organized online tours to some interested visitors, from early May it will be possible to visit some archeological sites and museums. Not all museums will reopen at the same time and what is very clear is that even if the museums will open, social distancing and COVID safety measures will be imposed.

For example, the number of visitors allowed to enter will be limited, everyone will need to wear face masks and respect the distance of 1.5 meters from other people. Museums are currently working on organizing new ways of offering a visit in all safety and without going against the measures for the novel Coronavirus outbreak. All the underground archeological sites will remain closed and some museums will implement strict measures at the entrance, even those open-air museums like Pompei, for example.

Virtual Reality tours (with the use of the special glasses), as well as audio guides, will not be allowed unless the museums will be able to guarantee the correct disinfestation of the apparate.

Take-Aways, Including Gelaterie Will Start To Reopen From The 4th Of May

Sorbetteria Castiglione
Sorbetteria Castiglione

The new decree is set to slowly re-start the small and medium restoration, a sector that has been strongly hit by this epidemic outbreak. From the 4th of May, all of those restaurants that remained closed during the quarantine, bars, gelaterie, and pastry shops are allowed to open, all with the addition of takeaway services. Indeed, while restaurants will not be allowed to deliver food and drinks directly to their clients’ houses, clients in all Italy will be allowed to order from home and take the food directly at the restaurant, bar, or gelateria. r. The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, had emphasized the importance of not gathering outside restaurants or bars and to eat inside one’s home.

However, each region might take a stricter approach to Fase 2 and impose safety measures and the need for constant disinfestation to each restaurant or bar.

What Happens After 18th Of May?

Officially, Italians will be on total lockdown until the 18th of May. Starting from this date, the museums, libraries, and some parks are allowed to reopen.

What seems more clear is that starting from the 1st of June (which conveniently falls right before a public holiday, the 2nd of June), the Government is planning to implement the reopening of bars, restaurants, hairdressers, and estheticians. On how this will happen, the Government has not yet established any measure, with the promise of communicating them later on.

What About Beaches? Will They Reopen?

Soon beaches to reopen, right now you can walk, swim or exercise, no sunbathing

In most parts of Italy, beaches are not restricted to lay down under the sun and swim in the sea. Restoration is involved in most establishments, which means that strict measures will need to be followed for the reopening of beaches.

Each region is adopting different measures to guarantee safety on the beach. For example, in Veneto, there will be blocks of 50 square meters per family to enjoy the beach, Sicily will impose the check of everybody’s temperature at the entrance with the appropriate scanners, while Sardegna will only allow access to a limited number of people.

So, beaches will open, but the restrictions will be significant. Most people will need to book their place at the beach online or through a phone call, to limit queuing at the entrance. In the Lazio Region, sat the beach will need to download an app to book their spot at the beach and all beaches will allow the entrance to a limited number of people and the guarantee of social distancing on the sand as well as at the restaurants and bars, with measures imposing a distance of at least 2 meters in the restaurants and 4 meters on the beach (with some regions imposing even up to 10 meters distancing). To guarantee safety, it will be essential to disinfect chairs, beach umbrellas, and cots, as well as showers and toilets.

The Bottomline

As you can see, Fase 2 doesn’t mean that everything will come back to normal. Indeed, this summer will be probably a strange one, with new rules and new safety measures to follow which might make it more difficult to feel at ease. Certainly, most restaurants, small businesses, and bars have an urge to open and to restart their operations. With the right measures, you’ll still be able to visit museums and to enjoy yourself at the beach, as well as eat from a restaurant. In such hard and uncertain times, it is normal to feel lost and possibly fed up with the situation, but the good news is that the Italian government and the businesses involved are doing their best to slowly start the economy and to go back to normal life. Of course, all within the limits that this new coronavirus outbreak imposes.

Follow Stirling Moss Heritage in Modena Italy

Maserati at Panini collection in Modena.

When it comes to luxury cars, the first ones you might come into your mind are the famous and beautiful Ferrari and Maserati models. And who doesn’t like seeing them run, for example in F1 races? Well, one of the Formula 1 drivers that made the difference in history is Stirling Moss. Unfortunately, he recently passed away. And if you don’t know much about him or if you simply want to learn more about this important figure in the world of Formula 1, keep reading this article we put together for you.

Who Was Stirling Moss?

Maserari Eldorado driven by Stirling Moss.


Stirling Moss was a British Formula 1 racing whose fame started to scale in the 1950s. Indeed, it was in 1951 when he made his debut in car races at the Swiss Grand Prix. His results grabbed the attention of the powerful Enzo Ferrari, who decided to have him as a driver of one of his cars in the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bari, Southern Italy. However, at Sterling’s arrival in Bari, the driver found out that his car had been given to another driver instead. Since then, he swore to himself that he would never drive for Ferrari again.

He did drive for other important teams. including Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes, and Cooper. An interesting fact is that, despite Moss being described as one of the best drivers in the world, he never won the Formula 1 World Championship, while he came third tree times. Moss was hugely popular, not only as a drive but also as a commenter for a long time. The world of motor racing was struck by his death and lost one popular legend that is still remembered and praised today.

Stirling Moss and 1961 Modena Grand Prix.


Modena is one of the most important cities in the world when it comes to sports cars. Not only it is home to some of the most famous car companies, but it is also the location of some important Grand Prix.

The 1961 Modena Grand Prix Race was one that saw Stirling Moss winning a gold medal on a Lotus. The race was run over 100 laps of the circuit and was dominated by the British driver. This race was a significantly good one for Moss, who took pole position, got the fastest lap and won the game, finishing a few seconds before the Porsche driven by Jo Bonnier. Even if Moss was already pretty popular by then, this Modena race contributed to making him one of the best drivers in the world.

Consider Taking a Look To Maserati Eldorado At Umberto Panini Collection

Maserati Eldorado at the Casa Enzo Ferrari Museum.


If you are a fan of Formula 1 races, you might be interested in having a look at the iconic Maserati Eldorado in Modena.

On the other hand, you might not know much about the Maserati Eldorado, a car that became famous in 1958 as the first single-seater car in Europe. This car was the protagonist of the first sponsored single-racing car that took place in Monza, with Stirling Moss behind the wheel. Eldorado was an ice cream manufacturer who decided to sponsor the car, despite not being linked to the industry of motorsport. This is regarded as the first example of modern sponsorship and the whole issue was revolutionary.

Maserati was commissioned to build the car by Gino Zanetti, the entrepreneur who owned the ice-cream company and who saw the opportunity to promote his brand internationally. The choice of having Stirling Moss behind the wheels for the race was a strategic one: because of the driver’s popularity and skills, both Zanetti and Maserati were hoping to impress the public. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned as Moss slammed into the guard-rail in the final lap, finishing the race seventh. Fortunately, both the driver and the car did not suffer from any great damage, which proved the value of the solid structure of the car.

The car was then modified during the year, but the Eldorado sponsorship remained.

Today, you can admire a perfect restoration of the Maserati Eldorado in its original white livery in the famous Panini Collection, housed in Modena. Go and check it out!

The Maserati Showroom at Factory Tours


For those willing to learn more about the world of one of the most famous luxury and sport car brands, having a Maserati factory tour in Modena might be one interesting activity to do when in this part of Northern Italy.

With a factory tour, you’ll be able to learn more about the skills and processes involved in producing these prestigious sports cars. You’ll have the opportunity to walk around the plant and get a historical background of the car company while visiting the recently renovated showrooms and the interesting powertrain department. The tour lasts about one hour and you, of course, get the opportunity to also have a look at the Maserati store and at the car models showcased in the showroom. Keep in mind that you can also choose to make a shorter tour, lasting about 40 minutes with a briefer presentation over the heritage of Maserati.

Reserving the tour is pretty simple: you simply have to contact Maserati and book a tour through the email provided on the company’s website, under the section of “tours”. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Italian, the tour can be provided in English, German, French, and Spanish if you need so! The factory tours can be booked Monday to Friday from 9 AM until 3.30 PM and reservation is mandatory. Also, keep in mind that due to security policy, children under the age of 18 are not allowed to access the plant.

That said, if you have a passion for sports cars or if you are simply curious to learn more about this great company and see first hand how these prestigious cars are made, getting a tour at Maserati would be a wonderful way to get more information about the world of sports cars. And mind you we are not talking about simple sports cars, but one of the best brands in the world! Even if cars are not your thing, consider visiting the Maserati plant once in Modena. It is a great way to get a good insight not only into the current situation of this industry but also to learn more about the interesting and rich history of sports racing cars and their evolution throughout the years.

3 Italian Products That You Should Buy Despite Coronavirus Lockdown.

Parmigiano-Reggiano

The Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano is an Italian hard, granular cheese that is dubbed the King of Cheeses. The production process is time-intensive and takes between 12-36 months to fully age. As such, production must be done daily, all year. The recent hit of the Coronavirus pandemic on Italy has brought several of its top-grossing industries to their knees. The national football league, Serie A, for example, is one affected space. To mitigate the loss in those sectors, the food production division must be supported to remain at full operation. Parmigiano-Reggiano is an important export product enjoyed in France, The US, Canada, and Germany. This makes up to 40% of the total produced stash with the remaining 60% consumed locally. Halting the production process has some serious compounding effects on the supply chain sustainability and on the 2,820 milk producers who supply milk to the Parmigiano-Reggiano dairies. To get a good idea, approximately 1.92million tons of milk, equivalent to 15.9% of the entire Italian dairy production was used in these factories in 2018.

In response, the Parmigiano-Reggiano consortium has stepped in to ensure that this industry does not come to a halt. Nicola Bertinelli, the president of the consortium, placed an emergency rescue call upon the ministry of agriculture and on the EU policies to waiver the Parmigiano-Reggiano factories. He requested for the exemption of the Parmigiano-Reggiano workforce from the health emergency PDOs as required by the law in section 1151/2012. This is set to avoid closure of dairies and farms.

This move is timely as the consortium president brought to light the fact that EU nations and other countries outside the union are taking advantage of the crisis to deploy unhealthy competitive strategies. He adds that its unfair competition from both the legal and ethical point of view. Reggio, Parma, M0dena, and Mantua are some of the most affected provinces by COVID-19 and are home to 330 dairies. As such, it’s not possible to stay immune from the virus and operations must go on. Furthermore, the European Food Safety Authority has confirmed no evidence that food is a source or likely transmission path of COVID-19.

Bertinelli conveyed that all dairies have adopted government measures to limit contagion, especially the 1M social distancing requirement. Upon approval of the request, this will see a €1.4B, 50,000-player niche flourishing again.

Amarone della Valpolicella

As of 2019, Made in Italy wine had enjoyed growing success and popularity. A 3.4% increase in turnover equivalent to €5.3B was recorded in 2019. This corresponds to about 22 million hectoliters of marketed wine. The US, which is the main importer of Italian wine, contributed to this growth along with Russia and Latvia. This was heavily encouraged by the duty exemption on Italian products which allowed them to beat Spanish and French wines, which have additional fees tagged along. It was all bliss until the COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy, hard! The fear of contagion has posed a great threat to the industry as a whole. Home and away, logistics has been a huge challenge. The closure of areas of consumption of these wines such as bars and restaurants has further stagnated the industry. Important fairs and dedicated events have been canceled to contain the spread of the virus adding to the hit. The Chengdu wine fair in chine, vinexpo in Hongkong and Prowein in Dusseldorf are among the most potent clienteles who have been locked out. This is just to mention a few.

The Amarone della Valpolicella is a line of luxury Italian wines produced in the Valpolicella, a hilly area in the province of Verona, in Veneto. Its distinct “bitter” tastes available in dry and full-bodied red recipes, has won a top spot in the international market. In 2019, the sales of Amarone della Valpolicella to the USA, Germany, Canada, China, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland had seen a 4% growth. A compelling 6% growth was also witnessed in the local market. Combined, the annual turnover stood at about €350m.

Note that a huge number of families and workers depend on the production of this wine spread across 8,300 hectares and 19 municipalities. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has significantly slowed the consumption of the Amarone della Valpolicella. However, the world can and should continue to consume Made in Italy wine to help deal with the emergency. With hopes of a win over the virus, Amarone della Valpolicella may surpass its current top 5 best wines in the oriental market

Italian Salumi

This is a world-renowned Italian cold cut predominantly made from pork. With a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Italian products, the Salumi is completely safe and cannot be a transmission medium or cause of the COVID-19. The spread of the virus is mainly conveyed by respiratory secretions from affected persons. COVID-19 can propagate very quickly through the air. While that is certain, the amount of time the virus may last on surfaces is not known. Estimates suggest a few hours. This comes from a report that inbound parcels from china have been declared harmless as the virus does no survive the heat exposure during the duration of the journey.

For the Italian Salumi, safety is assured. Here’s why- the cured meat contains a microbial community such as the salumi molds which create a hostile habitat for the virus. Therefore, you can support the Italian people by buying the Salumi especially from the affected areas of Parma ham, Culatello, Salame Felino and San Daniele. This is much needed as slaughterhouses are working with about 20-25% fewer pigs, coupled with minimum labor and stringent logistics as reported by Claudio Veronesi, a pig farmer from Sustinente. According to Thomas Ronconi, the President of ANAS (National Association of Pig breeders), a wider policy needs to be enforced by collaborating with the EU. He proposes legislation and means that allow for the storage of fresh meat and thighs, which cannot make it to the market until a quick redesign of the supply chain is completed. Less than a week ago the market fell to €1,452 per kilogram resulting in a significant drop in consumption in the hotel, restaurants and catering segments. This is a result of the lockdown. As a result, there was a surplus of at least 2 million legs at the time of writing this article. While the ham boasts the largest consumption, the diminishing prices are closely tagged to the aforementioned thighs. To help support the players in this industry, the world is urged to choose Italian meat and PDO hams for their top-notch quality and careful preparation process.

Italian museums you can see without coming to Italy

We are living extraordinary times. With increasingly more countries and cities issuing lockdowns due to a situation that is becoming extremely serious, most of us find themselves confined at home, with limited possibilities to go out. Needless to say that non-essential travels are in most countries banned and punished.

In such conditions, it might be easy to get desperate, depressed or simply bored by the lack of activities. Nobody likes to be stuck at home, especially when the weather starts to get better and sunny.

That is why you should try to take your quarantine positively and use the enormous amount of time that is now at your disposal wisely. Indeed, it can get confusing and be slightly overwhelming at first to finally be able to administer our lives as we want and to have enough time to exercise, read or learn a new language. While these are some of the most classic activities to do during a quarantine, there are many other things made available to you due to this exceptional times.

For example, online tours and online classes have made available by many companies and museums. If you were planning a trip to Italy or you are simply curious to visit some of the best museums in the countries, you can now do so from the comfort of your home! Most Italian museums have adapted to the circumstances and are now offering virtual tours to anyone interested in visiting some of the most important museums in the world.

We put together a list of 5 museums you should pay a virtual visit to, hoping that you’ll soon be able to see the gorgeous collections with your own eyes.

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani (or Vatican Museums) is one of the main attractions driving millions of tourists each year to Vatican city. The collection is vast and its beauty and cultural weight simply breathtaking. Here, you can find some of the most important masterpieces of Renaissance art and the most renowned Roman sculptures. One of the most famous section of this immense museum is the Sistine Chapel, decorated by Michelangelo.

But being the 4th most visited museum in the world and one of the largest ones makes Musei Vaticani particularly crowded and difficult to access.

Today, you have the opportunity to admire the beauty of the art pieces of this museums directly from your home. On the official website of Musei Vaticani, you’ll find 7 virtual tours through which you’ll be able to explore Sistine Chapel, Raffaello’s Rooms, the Room of Chiaroscuri and other beautiful collections. The virtual tour will allow you to move around and to focus on every detail that catches your attention, thanks to the high definition and quality of the images. Appreciate the art and the beauty of the Vatican Museum’s masterpieces from your sofa!

Check their website here Musei Vaticani.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Pinacoteca di Brera, in Milan, contains some of the most famous masterpieces of Raphael and Caravaggio, but it also contains numerous pieces by some of the most renowned Italian artists such as Piero Della Francesca and Andrea Mantegna, among others. Considered one of the best art galleries in Milano and Italy, you can now enjoy the collection online. Despite being mostly of a religious character, the paintings are historically and culturally extremely important for Italian history and being able to admire them from the comfort of your home can be a great way to learn more about Italian history and its years of grandeur during the Renaissance. On Pinacoteca di Brera’s official website, you’ll be able to filter collections based on the material, data or era and artists: enjoy your virtual tour!

Galleria Degli Uffizi

If you know something about art and history, then you might know that Gallerie Degli Uffizi is one of the most prominent art museums located in Florence and one of the most visited and best known in the world. The collections are immense and rich in priceless works, mainly from the Renaissance period. It is one of the most popular touristic attractions in Florence and for how good the experience in real life is, the good news is that you can now have access to the museum’s collections with the IperVision project, created in the current exceptional circumstances.

The museum put at the disposal of those interests a vast assortment of virtual tours made of high-definition pictures of some of the most famous and important masterpieces in the collection, accompanied by some descriptions and interpretations by art experts. It is your chance to take your time and discover the famous and stunning collection of Galleria Degli Uffizi.

For a virtual tour of the Uffizi check their website here.

Musei Civici Di Venezia

Joining other museums that are now closed due to the Coronavirus crisis, Musei Civici di Venezia is now collaborating with Google Art Project. Today, everyone in the world is allowed to access the images in high definition and resolution of all of the masterpieces of the vast collection of this Museum. You’ll be able to explore the rooms and focus on the details that catch your attention thanks to the Street View feature. Simply access the official website and start your online tour!

Scuderie del Quirinale

Part of Palazzo del Quirinale, one of the official residences of the President of Italy, this museum is known to be hosting some of the most important art exhibitions in various themes. The good news is that today, you have access to more than 80 exhibitions online. Simply access the official website and select the virtual tour that most attracts you. You’ll be able to enjoy the exhibition through informative and high-quality videos accompanied by explanations and descriptions by some of the most experienced professionals in the art world.

The Bottomline

It is true, the current situation might be hard to take in. The good news is that technology is enabling us to satisfy our cravings for traveling, enjoying art and learn new things. Join the virtual tours and use them as a preparation for your next trip to Italy, where you’ll be able to see the masterpieces in real life!

5 Movies You Should Watch Before Coming To Italy

We are experiencing something that had never happened before. Currently, we are all stuck at home, traveling nor moving for leisure is not permitted during these extraordinary times. While this might be hard for many, we should all try to look at this situation from a positive point of view. We have become owners of our times, the stressful working routine taken away from us and we have more free time to do things we wouldn’t have time to do normally.

But let’s be honest. Even if most of us are trying to use their quarantine time wisely, getting organized, learning new languages, do some exercise at home, it is easy to get caught up by Netflix or watching movies and series.

After all, if you like to travel or you simply want to learn more about a country, movies can be a great way to “travel with your mind” and possibly practice foreign languages. We have prepared a list of movies to help you get inspired for your next trip to the wonderful and charming country that is Italy. If you are planning a trip to Italy or even just consider the idea of visiting it after the crisis, make sure you watch the following movies. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about a country that is currently being harshly hit by the Coronavirus but that has a lot to offer to its visitors, much more than you can expect.

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name“Call Me By Your Name” by lesmoughscft is licensed under CC0 1.0


Currently available on Netflix, Call me By Your Name is a recent movie directed by Luca Guadagnino based on the novel by the Egyptian-Italian-American author André Aciman. The story takes place in Northern Italy in the pretty town of Crema in the 1980s and it is part of a trilogy created by the director Luca Guadagnino on the theme of “desire”. Later on this list, you’ll find another movie that is part of the trilogy and that is worth watching.

The focus of the movie is the romantic relationship between the 17 years old boy Elio and the 24 years old Oliver, a graduate student’s assistant to Elio’s father who is an archeology professor.

The movie was positively received by critics and earned various awards for direction, acting, and music. If you are looking for a passionate, intimate and deep drama portraying a story of first love, you should consider watching this movie.

Crema

Suburra: Blood On Rome

Rome


This Italian crime drama set on Rome is a great way to get to know this eternal city and learn some Italian along the way. You can find the series on Netflix. This series is meant to be a prequel to the 2015 movie by the same name and it is based on the real-life events of the Mafia Capitale investigation. If you wish to learn more about the corruption and organized crime that involved churchmen as well as politicians in this national scandal that hit Italy in the 2010s, include Suburra in your “to watch” list.

A Bigger Splash

Old style“Old style” by passer8 is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Planning a beach holiday? Watch A Bigger Splash to get to know the charming island of Pantelleria, an island off the coast of Sicily that is geographically closer to Africa than to Italy but still influenced by the typical Italian culture. This drama, directed by Luca Guadagnino (the same director of Call me by your Name), takes place in an isolated villa on the island of Pantelleria and is centered around the rock-star Marianne on holiday with her lover Paul. Everything goes smoothly until Marinanne’s previous lover reaches the island accompanied by his daughter. While the movie is mainly in English, as it stars Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Dakota Johnson, it can help you learn more about the remote but beautiful island of Pantelleria. The movie has received several positive reviews and is a great drama that has a lot more to offer than what you might think.

The Passion Of Christ

Matera


You might have already heard of this biblical drama produced and directed by Mel Gibson. Even if you are not religious, watching this movie, that covers the final 12 hours before Jesus’ death will give you an idea of what the charming city of Matera looks like. The movie itself has made history: it is mostly in Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew and is the seventh-highest grossing movie of all times. Critics have been polarized: some praising the movie and others criticizing the violence and the antisemitic undertones. No matter what you’ll think in the end. this movie is a must-watch, even just to enrich your film culture and learn more about the popular biblical figure of Jesus.

But let’s go back to how this movie can inspire your trip to Italy. Shot primarily in the old city of Matera, chosen for its untouched looks and the ancient-looking landscapes, you’ll get to discover this Southern Italian city that has recently become a major touristic attraction, mainly because of its unique “Sassi” and its charming historical looks.

Il Postino

Sicily


This timeless classic shot in Procida, a beautiful island off the coast of Naples is another movie that will most probably make you fall in love with the gorgeous island. It tells the fictional story of poet Pablo Neruda creating a relationship with a simple postman from Procida who learns to appreciate poetry. Watching this movie is a great way for you to practice or brush up your Italian, as the language is pretty clear and easy to understand in the movie. It is a classic movie, which might not be of everyb0dy’s taste but that is worth considering for its poetic tone and beauty.

Set in the 1950s, the movie starts some popular Italian actors of the time, such as Massimo Troisi who was unfortunately weakened by his worsening heart condition during the production. Positively acclaimed and well received by the critics, this drama is a must-watch, especially if you are planning to visit Naples and its surroundings.

With these 5 movies to watch you now have no excuse to prepare your next trip to Italy! What are you waiting for? Get inspired and get ready for your next holiday to experience first-hand the beautiful panoramas and to get to know the charming local culture of gorgeous Italy!

Travel restrictions in Italy during covid19 outbreak

It is hard not to open a news channel or some sort of social media platform without hearing or reading something related to the new outbreak that is shaking the world. In Italy, the situation has become surreal, something that was far from anybody’s imagination. While the virus initially seemed very far away, in a matter of weeks, Italy’s inhabitants found themselves confined in their homes, not allowed to leave without a valid (and certified) reason and living a situation that most of us only saw on TV or read in books. Suddenly, the presence of the virus is feeling real. The speed at which it spreads required immediate action, to avoid a catastrophe.

The decree of lockdown declared by the Italian government is asking Italians several sacrifices, all aimed at containing the virus as much as possible. While people are trying to adapt to this new lifestyle, working from home, getting used to not being able to leave their homes for a while, it can be hard for a visitor to get a clear picture of the situation in Italy. Indeed, news and social media tend to aliment citizen’s fear rather than giving clear information about the Coronavirus situation.

But what is allowed and what isn’t during the new covid19 outbreak in Italy? What are travel restrictions affecting the country and its visitors and what do they entail? Here’s everything you should know about the 11th March’s decree created to stop the outbreak and to limit the spread of the disease.

Stay At Home


The basic rule of this decree is “Stay at home”. Many Italians are following it, aid by a massive social media campaign incentivizing people to stay at home and organizing alternative activities to deal with this new situation (such as free online courses, for instance). Leaving one’s home is allowed only for health reasons, to go to work (if working from home is not possible) and for other kinds of necessities, which include the purchase of food or medicines.

Self certification.

Those that have a reason to move should compile a document referred to as “self certification” (autocertificazione) that certifies the presence of a good reason to be leaving one’s home, despite the limitations. Such a document’s validity might be checked by the police (and controls are rising), with strict consequences for falsifying such documents. Indeed, the work needs have to be “certified” by a valid proof.

What Is Open In Italy?


While the whole country is in lockdown, some activities are still open to the public. Finding information might be hard, so here you can find what you need to know about shops and other kinds of services and their availability during this situation.

Supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount stores will be open, but some restrictions apply. For example, only a limited amount of people is allowed to enter at the same time, meaning that people usually wait outside and will be called by the staff when the time comes. When entering a store, it is essential to respect the 1-meter distancing rule. Penalties apply to those not complying with the new decree. Local markets, including food markets, are suspended, but the direct selling of fruits and vegetables is still allowed, as long as the safety regulations are followed.

Shops selling personal hygiene items, including perfumes and cosmetics are still open, as well as small stores selling pet food and technology. However, all restaurants, pubs, and bars are closed. To supply the lack of restoration, food deliveries are allowed, as long as the sanitary requirements are followed both concerning the transportation and for the packaging.

Beauty centers and barbershops are closed.

What Is Allowed to Do?


Only necessary movements, defined as the need to shop for food and to go to work are allowed. However, citizens are also allowed to exercise outdoors and to take their pets for a stroll, as long as social distancing rules are respected. They are advised to do so when not many people are around. Parks and public gardens are open, for allowing citizens to take short walks and exercise outdoors. No groups are allowed to train together.

Can I Return to My Home Country During the Lockdown?


It is allowed to return to one’s home country or city. After all, returning home is considered an essential region. However, you should be aware that the majority of countries are restricting entrance from Europe and Italy in particular. Some flights are being canceled and travelers should check flight details with their airlines. Most airlines might offer you a refund or arrange a rebooking.

Keep in mind that you might be required to isolate yourself temporarily when entering another country from Italy. Usually, the isolation needs to last 14 days. You are not advised to travel if you present some symptoms of the coronavirus. Even if you don’t present any symptom, you might be subjected to controls both when leaving Italy and at arrival, so be prepared.

What Airports Are Open In Italy?


In such a weird time, your traveling plans might be disrupted. Today, only 18 airports are open in Italy, including Palermo, Rome, and Milano. However, most services are limited to state flights, emergencies, and transport. Some connection flights are still operating. The open airports have been selected for their geographic location and their capacity and because considered essential. Many airlines have stopped operating flights in Italy. Reducing mobility and transports is one of the main measures taking by the Italian government to stop the spread of covid19 in Italy. In total, 23 airports have been closed in Italy. The open airports will be, after the 13th of March, only dedicated to essential movements.

The Bottomline


In such an unrealistic situation, it is normal to feel scared or uncertain. However, it is important to try to respect the limitations, follow the regulation and limit one’s movements. By working collectively towards the goal of reducing the number of contagions, it will be easier to put a stop to the outbreak and to give the sanitary system enough time to deal with the current situation.

Coronavirus situation in Bologna? March 2020 update

None saw it coming. When the infections started in China, it sounded worrisome, but, still, not a lot of people paid attention to this new virus, as everything was happening “far away”, and it did not seem that severe anyways. But then, all of a sudden, almost out of the blue, Italy found itself being one of the countries most hit by the Coronavirus. Even then, with the first positive cases being uncovered in the country, neither the population or the government made a big deal out of it. Everybody kept repeating “it’s just a cold, nothing to worry about”. And while it is true that the Coronavirus is harshest on the elderly, it soon became clear that the main problem with this virus is the facility and speed at which it spreads.

Italy had to be quick at taking action, which is why the government, decided to lock down the entire country, with the hope that it would help to contain the infections. While the measures the government took to try to reduce the contagion sound strict or exaggerated at first, now many more countries in Europe are following the example. But that doesn’t make it any easier to adapt to this new lifestyle that Italians and inhabitants of this beautiful country are obliged to follow, at least for a couple of weeks. Being confined at home is surely a situation that none would have imagined.

Today, the news make their main focus the “Coronavirus”, but sometimes getting accurate information can be hard, especially when most of the media seem to have decided to spread “terror” over the covid19. But what is the situation in Bologna? How is the capital of Emilia-Romagna dealing with the disease and what is it doing to stop it? Is everything suspended in the city? And for how long? If you are interested to learn more about it, here is some updated information over the Coronavirus situation in Bologna.

How Is Bologna Dealing With Coronavirus?

Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, that counts 2263 positive cases, has become some kind of ghost city over the past day. Parks, restaurants, museums, and bars are all closed. Supermarkets and pharmacies are open, with people queuing up outside the stores, as only a limited number of people are allowed to enter the building at once. On the streets, police controls’ get stricter and fees higher for those who leave their homes without a valid reason to do so. This is not a joke anymore.

In terms of tourist attractions, all visitors Centers and museums will be closed until the 3rd of April. That includes Bologna Welcome in Piazza Maggiore and the center at the arrivals in the Bologna’s international airport, as well as the eXtraBo in Piazza Nettuno.

Also, all the events that were supposed to take place in the city are suspended, as well as the guided tours by Discover Bologna. As mentioned earlier, restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes will stay closed, as well as shops selling everything not considered as a necessity.

Events are suspended, both open-air and indoors. That includes religious events (no mass sessions are allowed), sports events (including football matches and training sessions) and cultural events. FICO Eataly World is suspended until the 3rd of April. Furthermore, libraries are also closed to the public.

If you are interested to learn more about the situation in Bologna as a tourist, Bologna Welcome has created a number specifically for foreigners and local tourists looking for information about their stay in Bologna, you can find the number or the email address on their website.

The Bottomline

Italy is tacking the situation by taking harsh decisions, that require some sacrifices by both citizens and tourists. While it is important to follow the right precautions and measures suggested by the government, it is also essential, in moments like that, not to panic. When the news and media spread terror, it is easy to start worrying too much. And while the situation is not as light as most of us would have expected or hope, by tackling the situation, following the guidelines and taking good care of ourselves, we will soon be able to come back to normal.