Tuesday 30 May 2023

Viva l'Italia: the latest Italy travel news, openings and events


Birds-eye view to the old town of Bergamo, one of Italy's 2023 Capital of Cutlures


With the European summer just around the corner, Italy is heating up with a host of new travel experiences and events across the country. Beyond the typical sights and sounds of Italy, here's a wrap up of the latest happenings to include in your Italian travel plans.

World renowned events

The 2023 season of Arena di Verona celebrates 100 years. Except for two short breaks during the two World Wars, Verona's Roman amphitheatre, Arena di Verona, has been transforming into the world's largest open-air opera theatre for the iconic Opera Festival every summer since 1913. To celebrate the centenary, this year's program will feature the best works performed during the past 100 seasons, a total of 50 performances including eight operas (one being a completely new Aida) and gala music performances. Beginning in 1913, Opera Festival's first performance was Aida which was organised to commemorate the then centenary of the birth of Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi. The festival runs from now until 9 September.

Arena di Verona

Venice Architecture Biennale celebrates African design. For the first time in its history, the Venice Architecture Biennale will focus on Africa under the theme 'The Laboratory of the Future.' Curated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect and academic, Lesley Lokko, the exhibitions will delve into how the world's youngest and fastest urbanising continent is becoming a testing ground for innovative solutions to global issues such as climate change, equity, and resource management. The Biennale Architettura 2023 is open now until 26 November.

New travel experiences and places to stay

Built in 1822, Capri's first hotel is being transformed into an elegant and exclusive 50-room-and-suite hotel. Located only a few steps from the famous Piazzetta, Hotel La Palma is set to bring the island's iconic dolce vita lifestyle to life with a reimagined incarnation of Capri's original iconic hotel that has previously hosted notable artists, poets, writers and musicians. Hotel La Palma will have a rooftop restaurant and bar, its own beach club, a newly built pool deck, a spa, and a high-fashion boutique. The property is scheduled to open for the 2023 summer season.

Hotel La Palma, Capri

New hiking trail links 2023 Italian Capital of Cultures; Bergamo and Brescia. Two cities less than an hour apart — and around forty minutes by train from Milan — have been heralded as this year's dual capitals of culture. To mark the nod, a new hiking trail, Via delle Sorelle, has opened connecting the two cities. Along the way, trekkers will pass by UNESCO World Heritage Sites and gorgeous wine regions. The route connects the San Salvatore–Santa Giulia monastic complex in Brescia and the medieval Città Alta in Bergamo with its 16th-century Venetian walls.

Hotel Romeo Roma is set to arrive in the Eternal City. One of the last projects designed by the late Zaha Hadid, this 74-room hotel near Piazza del Popolo will draw architecture and design fans by the droves. Based on initial renderings and plans, it will be home to a Sisley Spa and the city's first restaurant by French chef, Alain Ducasse.

Trending travel experiences and destinations

One of Pompeii's grandest villas reopens for the first time in 20 years. After being buried under rubble for nearly two millennia, Pompeii's House of the Vettii has reopened to the public following 20 years of restoration work. Like most of Pompeii's townhouses, House of the Vettii was found in remarkably good condition, richly decorated with impeccably preserved frescoes. The house is considered one of the most outstanding examples of first-century Roman art.

New app promises to get kids learning and laughing their way around Rome. Trova has been launched with the aim of helping families explore Rome with a series of self-guided interactive 'detective' trails. The app has been designed to get children to engage with Rome's historic sites with fun facts, puzzles and humour. Trova aims to to get kids hooked on history with the founders describing the app as "part scavenger hunt, part escape room and part guide."

Italy gains 17 new 'Blue Flag' beaches. A total of 458 beaches across Italy have been awarded the 2023 Bandiera Blu (Blue Flag) status for excellent water quality and high environmental standards. The Italian region with the highest number of Bandiera Blu beaches is Liguria, once again in the top spot with 34 beaches including two new entries: Laigueglia and Sori.

Laigueglia, Province of Savona

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