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The rebirth of tourism in Italy’s art cities
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The Rebirth of Tourism in Italy’s Art Cities

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2023 marked an important turning point for tourism in Italy’s art cities. According to the Centre for Tourism Studies in Florence, the year ended with a return to pre-Covid levels, recording 445.3 million stays in accommodation facilities, an increase of 8.1% compared to 2022. The hotel segment saw significant growth of 9.3%, while the non-hotel segment experienced a more gradual recovery.
Italian art cities recorded an online accommodation booking rate of 38.9%, ranking first in the European Union, ahead of countries such as Greece, France and Spain, and welcoming tourists mainly from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Ten must-visit art cities

Italy’s art cities continue to be a favourite destination for travellers from all over the world. Not only do they preserve centuries of history and art, but they can also be easily accessed thanks to the rail connections offered by Trenitalia. So what are the ten unmissable art cities? We discover them together with True Italian Experience, a hub offering travel experiences designed to capture Italy’s most authentic essence.

World-renowned as the city of Romeo and Juliet, Verona offers a romantic atmosphere framed by medieval and Renaissance architecture. Its Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, still hosts internationally renowned opera performances, attracting music fans from all over the world.

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The fashion and design capital, Milan is a dynamic, modern city that is also rich in history and art. Milan Cathedral, with its impressive Gothic spires, and Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’, conserved in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, are just some of the treasures on offer in this metropolis.

In addition to its famous Leaning Tower, Pisa boasts the extraordinary Piazza dei Miracoli, home to the Baptistery and the Cathedral, splendid examples of Romanesque architecture. It is also a vibrant university city with a history intertwined with scientific and cultural progress.

With its unforgettable waterfront and bustling atmosphere, Naples is a treasure trove of art, history and gastronomy. The city is a crossroads of civilisations that has left a legacy of historical monuments, such as the Castel dell’Ovo and the National Archaeological Museum, which houses some of the world’s most important collections of ancient art.

Unique in the world, Venice is famous for its picturesque canals, gondolas and extraordinary architecture. St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace testify to the Venetian Republic’s glorious past, while the Lido offers some tranquillity with a sea view.

The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is an open-air museum with masterpieces by artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo and Botticelli. The magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its Brunelleschi dome, dominates the skyline, while the Uffizi Gallery houses some of the world’s most famous works of art.

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Once a powerful maritime republic, Genoa preserves incredible heritage in its maze of alleyways. The historical centre is one of the largest in Europe, culminating in splendid Renaissance buildings along the ‘Strade Nuove’, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Siena is world-famous for its ‘Palio’, a horse race held in the Piazza del Campo, the city’s shell-shaped heart. This Tuscan city is renowned for its medieval architecture, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and the Palazzo Pubblico, which houses the Museo Civico with works of art from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Turin, the elegant capital of Piedmont, is a mix of Baroque architecture, Art Nouveau and modernism. It is home to the Egyptian Museum, one of the most important in the world. The Royal Palace and the Mole Antonelliana, the city’s symbol, are other iconic landmarks that tell the story of Turin’s political and cultural importance in Italy.

The capital of Italy is truly a stage for living history. From its ancient monuments such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon to its Baroque squares and the works in the Vatican, Rome offers a journey through different eras, making it one of the world’s most fascinating cities.

Extensive connections to art cities by train

Italy’s art cities are not only known for their beauty and cultural richness, but also for often being chaotic and busy. Getting around by car is complicated, and finding a parking space can be a challenge. This is why tourists increasingly choose to travel by public transport, and to reach Italian cities by train. This is a convenient and fast solution thanks to the extensive network of connections offered by Trenitalia, True Italian Experience’s main partner.

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Convenience and sustainability are also combined with affordability thanks to various promotions intended to make train travel even more accessible: the most attractive offers include the Trenitalia pass for foreign citizens wishing to visit Italy on board Frecce, FrecciaLink, Intercity, Intercity Notte and EuroCity Italia-Svizzera on Italy’s domestic routes, and Italia in Tour, a perfect option for those who want to explore different cities in a short time frame, enjoying unlimited travel for 3 or 5 consecutive days on all Trenitalia’s Regionale trains.

Constantly alert to the evolution of tourism and to travellers’ needs, the Passenger Business Unit of the Italian State Railways Group therefore continues to be a point of reference for those wishing to discover art cities in a comfortable and sustainable way. This is also the mission of True Italian Experience, whose main partner is Trenitalia.

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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