Catch up with the latest property, travel and Covid-19 news. This month, Italy’s mountain properties have been attracting buyers from around the world, a dozen villages have been added to Italy’s list of “most beautiful”, Christmas markets are back, and there are new rules for drivers.
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12 new beautiful villages
The list of the most beautiful villages in Italy is growing and welcoming new entries. Twelve charming places, have joined “Borghi piu belli italia” which since 2001 has been enhancing and protecting the great historical, artistic, cultural and landscape heritage of the small Italian municipalities.
From the small mountain village of Luserna, immersed in the nature of Alpe Cimbra, to the trulli town of Alberobello in sunny Puglia, all 12 villages have had to go through a strict evaluation process to join the list. There are a further 900 villages that have applied, and await evaluation. For the lesser known villages, it is a great way to become known to Italian and foreign visitors and property buyers.
Escape to the mountains
The desire to escape the city and breathe clean air has never been stronger. For some this has resulted in ‘smart working’ in the countryside. However, others have chosen to buy property in the mountains. Usually, it is the three-room apartments that sell well, as they are ideal for ski and hiking holidays, and are easy to rent out.
Although this year, with people considering spending more time in the mountains, larger properties are attracting greater interest. The ski resorts at Ponte di Legno and Asiago, have reported an increase in sales of over 4%. The Trentino-south Tyrol area is always popular. Take a look at some of the beautiful chalets for sale in Trentino-Alto Adige.
Christmas markets light up Italy
Craftspeople across Italy are hoping that this year they will be able to bring back the traditional splendour of the Christmas market. Bolzano and Merano in the Trentino- South Tyrol are particularly charming, especially in the snow.
In Piedmont children love Father Christmas’s Grotto in Stresa, near Lake Maggiore. This year ferries will also transport visitors to the Borromean Islands, where spectacular nativity scenes will be set up.
If you find yourself in Lombardy, discover the fairy-tale atmosphere of Como’s Christmas market as it becomes a city of toys. Families will also want to head to Cassino (Fr) to see “Il Magico Bosco del Natale”, which is the largest Santa Claus Village in Central Italy with Christmas market, shows, ice skating, lights, adventure park and lots of elf fun. However, The Italian city with the biggest Christmas traditions is Naples, where a street of Nativity scene shops can be visited all year round.
The seven-day averages of daily deaths in Italy have recently been under 56. However, the government are still concerned about the rise in daily new cases in recent weeks. It had been well below 7,000 since the end of August, but has recently crept up over 10,000. Which doesn’t sound so bad when compared to the UK where new cases are around 40,000 and there are an average of over a hundred deaths. However, the Italian government is looking at various ways to stop this rise, including speeding up the administration of the third doses of vaccine.
Check out some lovely and affordable and affordable Italian homes at our property pages.
A stronger Green Pass
In order to allow businesses to remain open through the winter the Italian government is preparing to make the Green Pass COVID-19-health-certificate system stricter, with more restrictions on those who choose not to be vaccinated.
A “super-green” pass will be for the vaccinated and those who recently recovered from the virus, who will continue to be able to access restaurants, cinemas, theatres, swimming pools, gyms, festivals and stadiums.
Non-EU citizens can present a COVID-19 Green Certificate, in paper or digital form, issued by the health authorities of Canada, Japan, Israel, the United Kingdom or the United States, certifying a vaccination recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Information for anyone visiting Italy can be found on the Italia Tourism website.
Those who have chosen not to get vaccinated, can only obtain a pass that shows they have had a covid test, which in the future may only allow access to workplaces and essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as trains and planes. This pass will only cover them for 48 hours if they have an antigen test, and 72 hours for a molecular test.
Changes to driving rules
If you do head into the mountains, don’t forget to check you have some snow chains for the wheels.
As well as phones, you can now be fined for using portable computers, tablets or similar devises while driving. If you commit a driving offence in a rental car, you will be served with a report and have to pay for the offence directly. The rental company must pass on your contact details.
On your next visit to Italy you may notice new pink parking bays in towns. These are only for pregnant women and parents with children up to two years old, that have first been authorised. Therefore, avoid these and bays marked for the disabled, as penalties are high.