Let’s travel again in 2021

Despite travel restrictions and social distancing, we can still travel with our minds. These are not normal times for all the people around the world, indeed travel and travel planning are being disrupted by the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. However, we will travel again. For this reason, I want to give my readers a piece of advice about 5 EU cities to visit in 2021, taking into consideration events, unmissable exhibitions, new openings, but also celebrations and special occasions: from art to music, from sport to literature.

1. One of the Italian cities which were hard hit by the coronavirus is Bergamo and it is undoubtedly to be included among the cities to be seen in 2021 (and will also be, together with Brescia, the Italian Capital of Culture in 2023).

It is a real-life tale of two cities: Città Bassa, the busy and modern lower city, and Città Alta, the upper city with its rich heritage of art and history.

Widely acclaimed as a city of rare beauty, Bergamo is famous for its wealth of artistic treasures and enchanting medieval atmosphere.

Piazza Vecchia is upper Bergamo’s vibrant center which is full of buildings and monuments of great importance including the church and mausoleum Cappella Colleoni. Then, reach the Venetian Walls, for a walk of about 5km which, at sunset, will surprise you.

2. Rotterdam will be the host city for the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. The Dutch City was due to host this year's contest before the event was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event will take place in May 2021.

About 40 minutes from the centre of Amsterdam, Rotterdam is a beautiful escape from the chaos of the capital of the Netherlands and a great destination for art and design lovers. At the beginning of February 2021, you can also set off to the Dutch city for the Art Rotterdam week, the week in which events, exhibitions and performances transform the city into a real mecca for art lovers.

3. Novi Sad will be the European Capital of Culture of 2021, together with the other two cities of Timișoara (Romania) and Eleusi (Greece). Novi Sad was going to be the first city outside the EU to be awarded that title.

The award comes after years of political and cultural integration and thanks to a series of works of artistic enhancement. Barely an hour out of Belgrade and small enough to navigate on foot, it’s a perfect add-on to your Serbia itinerary.

Novi Sad is a treasure chest of Baroque, Renaissance and Modern art, and churches, synagogues, fortresses and Art Nouveau villas surrounded by parks, forests and beaches along the banks of the Danube.

4. Another Italian must-see city is Modica. Italy will celebrate many of its greatest writers throughout 2021, from Dante Alighieri to Salvatore Quasimodo, who was born in Modica, in the Val di Noto. The Sicilian city will celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of its most illustrious citizen S. Quasimodo who won the Nobel Prize for Literature 60 years ago. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Modica, nominated for the Italian Capital of Culture in 2021, is ready to welcome onlookers and tourists with its baroque beauties.

5. The year of 2021 is going to be very special. Do you know why? Because the city of Florence and the whole of Italy will be celebrating the 700th death anniversary of the master Dante Alighieri, known as the Father of the Italian language. Dante is best known for his poetic trilogy La Divina Commedia, or The Divine Comedy, which made an indelible impression on both literature and theology. Dante's anniversary programme will take place mainly from March 12 until July 4 2021 in Florence, Ravenna and Verona. Other events are also expected to take place in 70 Italian towns and villages connected to the poet either through his writings or personal life.

We are ready… are you?