Tuscany landscape with cypress trees

3 Italian destinations in TIME’s ‘World’s Greatest Places’ 2021

Travel in Italy

Three Italian destinations make TIME’s World’s Greatest Places 2021 list. Compiled from nominations by TIME’s international network of correspondents and contributors, the list has an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences.

Travel is still not possible to many places around the world and is limited by restrictions. However, TIME’s World’s Greatest Places gives readers plenty to dream about.

Italy has three wonderful locations make the top 100 places.

Sicily – History by the seaside


TIME’s Brekke Fletcher promotes Sicily as a destination where you can mix the pleasures of a great climate with the seaside and history in abundance.

Sicily’s plentiful sights include Greek temples, Byzantine mosaics and one of Europe’s most active volcanoes.

Fletcher advocates the following hotels. Villa Igiea, housed in a historic villa overlooking the bay of Palermo with sea views and terraced gardens. The Verdura Resort with new villas and the San Domenico Palace, Taormina.  

ItalyNewsOnline thinks some of the key reasons to holiday on Sicily are:

  • Exquisite Sicilian cuisine made with locally sourced produce and benefiting from multicultural influences
  • Vibrant towns offering an authentic Sicilian experience
  • Some of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean
  • Activities and accommodation to suit all travellers from large families to couples
  • Pleasant Mediterranean climate with a long summer season
  • Lively and traditional festivals throughout the year
  • Accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets

Tuscany – Uffizi on tour

Siena, Tuscany

Julia Buckley feels much of Tuscany’s appeal is its timelessness. Therefore, when the Uffizi director came up with Uffizi Diffusi (Scattered Uffizi) project, she took note. It allows other areas of Tuscany to benefit from tourists and help prevent over-tourism in Florence.

Buckley also mentions Tuscany’s famous thermal waters and the reopening of the Grotta Giusti Thermal Spa Resort (now a Marriott property) just outside Monsummano Terme.  

We believe key reasons to holiday in Tuscany are:

  • The region’s historical, cultural and artistic heritage is immense. Wherever you go, you’ll dip into Italy’s past
  • Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa, just for towns/cities to indulge in everything Tuscan. Beautiful architecture (even if it leans) and great museums and galleries
  • Incredible landscapes – from the coast to mountains and the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia punctuated with cypress trees
  • Delicious food and its traditions dating back through millennia
  • Renowned wines which are popular across the world
  • Natural thermal springs with stylish spas attached

Venice – Future-proofing an icon

Carnival in Venice, woman holding a mask in costume

Venice has had a rough 18 months, not only the pandemic but the floods of winter 2019. But things are looking up for the ethereal city.

With the banning of cruise ships, proposed curbs on AirBnB lettings, the basilica reopening and a visitor tax from 2022 to relieve the crushing crowds, Venice will be able to breathe gain. There’s also a ban on new hotel developments in the city centre, meaning Julia Buckley’s recommended Ca’ di Dio, a five-star hotel opening this summer, will be one of the last grand additions.

Buckley also mentions Go Guide, a group of 19 local tour guides who created itineraries that take visitors beyond the popular sights to unknown corners.

These are ItalyNewsOnline‘s reasons to holiday in Venice:

  • The Gothic architecture is breath-taking. The influence of Byzantine and Ottoman cultures on Venetian buildings such as the Doge’s Palace and the Ca’ d’Oro
  • The feel of the place – avoid the crowded times of the year and you’ll hear the stones and lagoon speak to you. There’s nowhere quite like it
  • The food – if you love seafood, you’re in for a treat. However, if you don’t there’s still plenty to tantalise the tastebuds
  • Carnival and masks (not the covid type). There is a large variety of masks to choose from in the shops. It’s another piece of Venetian intrigue
  • Exhibitions and film festivals – the Biennale is one example.
  • The lagoon’s other islands – Murano, Burano, Lido, etc – are separate entities to Venice and like it when that’s recognised. They also have their own trades, glass, lace and so on
  • A great place to perfect the art of getting lost and finding treasures. Venice is like a jewellery box, open the lid and discover hidden gems in the labyrinthine alleyways.

Leave a Reply