Much has been made about how Venice has been allowed to breathe again.
As the crowds have eased with dolphins leaping in the Grand Canal and mermaids sitting by the Rialto Bridge.
Of course, in spite of what everyone says you can get away from the crowds in St Mark’s Square.
One obvious place to go is a church and don’t worry if you’re not religious you’ll be bowled over by the art.
While you can leave the young (and old) lovers on their gondolas while you retreat for a bit of history in the Jewish ghetto.
Although you won’t make the same mistake and turn up on their Sabbath, Saturday.
Anyhoos, while there is never a bad time to go to Venice, there are some great deals just now.
With Ireland’s national airline carrier Aer Lingus offering Dublin-Venice from €29.99 for travel until November 30. Book by September 14.
Hitting the slopes again
I can rarely be accused of not keeping my social distancing on the slopes… I’ve usually veered off piste, heading obviously for a fall.
But, of course, like everywhere and everything the ski industry has had to adapt to this virus, and they are.
And the good news for the punter is that they are bending over backwards (a bit like me in a heap on the snow) to lure us back on the slopes.
Pierre & Vacances have ‘a new flexible rate’ only requires a €1 deposit to book.
And you can cancel free of charge if you change your mind.
They also have an early booking offer with savings of up to 20% for all winter dates.
For bookings until September 23 while they pledge to refund the difference if you find it cheaper elsewhere.
You want a deal? Of course you do and this a Christmas one too.
You’ll get seven nights at the Residence Le Sequoia in Font-Romeu in the Pyrenees down from €609 to €488 from December 19-26.
That man Van again
The concerts will take place over three nights on October 29, 30 and 31.
Tickets which you can get from Ticketmaster will be sold in pairs or by tables of eight and the maximum number at each show will be 184.
You’ll get a drinks reception beforehand (remember them!) and a two-course supper.
Prices for the first two rows are available at £250pp, or £2,000 for a table of eight.
And all other tickets are £150pp or £1,2000 per table of eight.
8And there are a host of attractions on the doorstep.
If you can pull yourself away from the nearby Crown Bar such as the excellent Ulster Museum, Grand Opera House and Titanic Belfast.