There is still the cloud of COVID 19 floating over most of the world, and Italy has been pretty hard hit. Travel may or may not open up in the following months but just in case we thought to cover a few of the better social distancing travel options to consider as you plan your Italian vacation. As we mentioned in a previous option travel is changing and those who are more flexible and spend some time researching their destination will be safer and more relaxed as they explore. April is a great time to visit but you do need to understand the flow of the local tempo.
Dolomites and Alps: April is the closing weeks of the ski season for lower elevation and the peak period to upper elevation areas in Alps. Easter has been the traditional date of closure for resorts in the Dolomites and Prealps but when Easter falls with the month of March most resorts will stay open until 1 April. Sometimes depending on weather they will remain open a couple of weeks into April. This is a time period where you can ski in the morning and be on the beach in the afternoon working on an early season tan. This year there has been a large accumlation of snow thus far so it could keep the resorts open a week or to longer.
If you are looking for a ski vacation you will need to head to Cervina, Monte Rosa, Val Senales, or even Solda which all sit about 2000 meters. This is the best time to ski these locations for good weather and solid conditions. Most of these resorts can be skied until late May and even early June.
Hiking in the Mountains of either the Alps or Dolomites are nearly impossible about 1500 meters. On the northern slopes you will find snow fields and many couloirs will be filled with snow making most trails impassable without technical material. Plus many of the rifugio will close at the end of the ski resort closing to refit and vacation prior to the opening of the hiking season in the month of June.
Northern Cities: This is a great time to consider a bike tour thought the walled cities of the Veneto or perhaps a urban trek utilizing the train to move for destination to destination. The crowds are less and with the ever changing weather you would have plenty of flexibity thoughtout the day. Also this is not a bad time to visit the northern lakes of Lago di Garda, Lago di Como, and Lago Maggiore.
Climbing and Bouldering: If you are looking for a road trip to climb or mix a few days in during your adventure this is the prime time to visit Finale Liguria, Arco, Frentillo, Sperlonga and other southern sites. The temperature is good and the rock acts as a nice solarium making it a very enjoyable time. With less crowds in the towns there is plenty of time to climb and visit each day.
Central Italy: Again the upper elevations will still most likely have snow, especially Gran Sasso in Abruzzo, but the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria are starting to bloom and this is the time to see the green fields. Weather is good for biking and this is the time of year that made Tuscany a cycling destination years ago. Traffic is moderate and most of the towns are not over crowded, as in later months. Riding south of Siena or over in the Assisi and Belvanga area of Umbria is a great choice, the routes can be challenging for those in less fitness so consider an E bike. Along the coastline there are a few places that are popular for wind surfing, and although there are not a lot of climbing destinations there are a few worthwhile sites to visit.
Southern Italy: April is a quite time for most tourist destinations with many places still closed for the winter. It has gotten better over the past few years but I am not sure how COVID is going to impact hotels and other services. However, Sicily is always a great choice at this time of year especially the Aolie Islands. One of my favorite visits has been Salina and Lipari in April to bike or walk. Also exploring the southern area is very enjoying with warm but not to hot weather and smaller crowds. But as I said before services and support facilities are hit and miss.
Other active vacation spots to consider are: Sardinia, this is a great time to enjoy bouldering and climbing, mountain, and small boat sailing. There are also several coastline hikes to explore and you are apt to find small beaches void of tourist. If you are in Italy in the last part of the months consider a bike ride or walk in southern Marche and northern Abruzzo to visit Monti Sibillini. Or wind surfing in the Gargano area of Puglia the winds are good daily and the coastline line towns a hidden treat to explore.