T+L's 2021 Destination of the Year: Italy

November 12, 2020

As we all sat home reeling this spring, videos began making the rounds: a rooftop DJ in Rome and a balcony accordionist in Sicily, nonnas teaching pasta-making from their small towns and widows in Siena starting singalongs from their windows. Amid the overwhelming emotions of the spring, a taste of that irrepressible Italian spirit was just what we all needed—a tonic for the soul. Italy has been a beloved destination for generations, and this year, we were reminded of why that is. It felt only right to name Italy our 2021 Destination of the Year. Here’s hoping we can all get there in 2021.

A new Italian renaissance is waiting in the wings, and there’s no better time to start planning your next visit.

From left: Cypress trees lining the roadside in Tuscany’s visually iconic Val d’Orcia; breakfast in the courtyard of Palazzo Daniele, a hotel in a former mansion in the Puglian town of Gagliano del Capo. | Credit: From left: Marilar Irastorza/Stocksy; Paola+Murray

Follow the winding roads of the Puglian coast — the heel of Italy’s boot — to hidden sea caves, cliff-top towns, and quaint masserie, or farmhouses. This four-day route hits all the highlights, but if you want to take it slow, allow for multiple nights at each stop.  

Credit: Eric Jeon

For a few golden weeks in autumn, the central Italian province of Umbria revolves around capturing and tasting a singular culinary delight: newly pressed olive oil. 

Credit: Eric Jeon