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Coronavirus numbers are still grim in Italy but archaeological and cultural sites are beginning to reopen this week in regions with lower infection rates, writes Nick Squires in Rome.

Italy’s 20 regions are colour-coded yellow, orange or red according to the number of deaths and infections from Covid-19, with red denoting the riskiest regions.

The ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum – which are in Campania, designated a yellow, low-risk region – will reopen today.

The ancient temples of Paestum, south of Naples, will also be reopened to visitors. The famous Boboli Gardens in Florence will reopen on Tuesday.

They come under the administration of the Uffizi Galleries, which for now remain closed.  The Leaning Tower of Pisa, in Tuscany, is also still closed.

Museums and archaeological sites are reopening in the lower-risk regions of Basilicata and Sardinia. The director of the Vatican Museums says she hopes to be able to reopen on Feb 1.

The Colosseum in Rome remains closed – Rome is part of Lazio region, which is an orange zone. Italy’s death toll from Covid-19 is around 82,000. More than a million people have so far been vaccinated.