If you stay away from traditional destinations, you’ll have the opportunity to make interesting discoveries. This is one of the many advantages the Italian peninsula offers. Covid-19, and the many restrictions we have experienced, between hopes and fears, in the past two years, taught us to slow down, to look at the world with a different spirit, to give new value to our daily activities, to reconsider our priorities and habits. We should always keep this lesson in mind and put it into practice even now, while we are getting back to normality: because this speed, the fast-paced way we live many things could take away from us many opportunities. Like discovering a place little by little, getting to know its habits and rhythms, listening to people chatting around us and meeting them, speaking to them, too. Like reveling in sweet idleness while surrounded by a relaxing landscape, or even changing our mind mid-trip, turn back and follow a less-trafficked, less popular road. These are all actions we shouldn’t underestimate because they’ll gift us not only with the inebriating sensation of feeling well but with that of feeling better.
Italy is, finally, again a tourist destination. Not only because it has never stopped waiting for visitors from across the ocean and Italophiles from all over the world, but because the health situation has been improving and, from the 31st of March, we will no longer be in a state of emergency. The incredibly high number of people who participated in the vaccination campaign and the wide use of personal protection measures enabled the country to tackle efficiently the Omicron variant wave. Easter and the coming of Spring may be the announcement of a slow return to normality.
To be fair, museums and places of culture never really closed their doors. Even during the darkest times, they kept their virtual doors open to the public, so that we could keep on enjoying art and beauty. Their websites let us discover cultural and natural locations, an infinity of destinations worthy to be visited.
If our art cities remain one of the strongest attractions, it’s time that fast tourism – tourism that doesn’t do any justice to the incredibly varied patrimony of our country – gives space to “slow travelers.” Filling your phone with photos without even knowing what you are photographing isn’t the best way to discover Italy. Also because m, when you think about it, it looks like a highly-programmed timetable where time to enjoy the trip is very little.
This is why choosing a low-profile destination can be very wise for a series of reasons. First, because wherever you go in Italy, you’ll never be disappointed. On the contrary, you’ll always find something to see, a corner of history or art to discover, a breathtaking landscape to take in.
Second, because hospitality is part of our genes and you’ll find it everywhere: so, even if you won’t stay in a spa or a five-star hotel, you’ll definitely get a warm welcome and a friendly smile. Third, because if you stay away from traditional destinations, following your instinct is going to be easier. You could enjoy waking up slowly in the morning, listening to old tales of local traditions, trying typical recipes, discovering traditions and habits that are just like a color palette you can use to create your own incredible and unique experiences.
Just to give you an example, you don’t need to wait for 2024. As you can read in our cover story, Pesaro is ready to welcome visitors now, its beauties ready to mesmerize everyone. When, in two years, it becomes Capital of Culture, it’ll be time to come back to enjoy an incredible calendar, filled with initiatives. But this town offers marvelous views already: from Villino Ruggeri, one of the most important examples of Liberty architecture in Italy, to the Sfera Grande, a bronze work by Arnaldo Pomodoro, one of the most appreciated contemporary sculptors in the world; from the archaeological park, where excavations brought to light a luxurious domus of imperial Rome, to the town’s cathedral and its gorgeous mosaics. Without forgetting Rocca Costanza, with its 14th-century towers and moat, and the Monte San Bartolo Natural Park where two beautiful historical villas lay in the green: Villa Caprile, with its Italian-style terraced gardens and fountains, and Villa Imperiale, a Renaissance jewel that once belonged to the Sforza family.
While you are leaving behind you Palazzo Ducale, and the fountain known as “Pesaro’s pupil,” you may not even notice to be in front of the home-museum of Pesaro’s most famous citizen, Gioacchino Rossini. In the air, you’ll hear the music of one of the greatest opera composers in history.
We’ve just taken the first steps through a very large artistic and cultural offer, which will open in front of you like a fan: first, Pesaro’s historical town center, then the beautiful territory of Le Marche, which is filled with marvels. We just need to mention Urbino, Fano, Jesi, Ascoli-Piceno, Macerata: only a handful of cities, bound to leave an indelible mark in your memory. You’ll feel like you are in a painting, between the emerald strokes of mountains that dive into the water, the crystal-clear blue of the Conero’s beaches, and the warm hues of squares, palaces, and historical centers.
Beauties for our eyes, which are the result of centuries of history: it’ll take them only one second to transform what you see in a place dear to your heart. This is why we need to take a step back from our most classical touristic destinations and give ourselves more time to listen, to discover, and to meet places filled with charm.
And because Italy, finally, is coming back on our radars, and we can travel “normally” again, we want to gift our readers, we want to meet their right desire to enjoy the extraordinary beauties of the Belpaese. For all of you, friends and readers of L’Italo-Americano, we are preparing a new raffle. Two lucky winners will stay in one of the most beautiful places in Italy. You only have to wait for April to find out all the details!