With Italy's restrictions relaxing and borders reopening, everyone’s wondering what the new travel landscape will look like. So we’ve put out our feelers to all our sources throughout the country to get the most up-to-the-minute news on Italy’s Phase 2.
Italy began a gradual reopening on May 4, and many stores, restaurants and other activities are already up and running. The virus has been on a steady downward curve from March.
We know that on June 3, intra-Italy travel began and visitors from the European Union and Schengen countries were allowed to enter. We don’t know yet when international travel to Italy will begin, but we do know that it’s just around the corner.
And when it does, here’s a look at what to expect in Italy, Including museum and hotel reopenings, transport and safety measures.
Many of Italy’s fabulous hotels from the tip to the toe—from the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como to the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina—have already opened or will open through the summer and into the fall.
They are taking great care to keep up the level of their luxury service while making sure that guests wear masks and practice social distancing. This also holds true for beach clubs, gyms and pools.
Most of Italy’s great museums and monuments have reopened, but require visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing. Tickets must be pre-purchased, no lines or groups will be allowed, and the number of visitors at any one time will be limited. Museums will be regularly disinfected and museum shops require the wearing of single-use gloves.
For example, this is what the Vatican is doing:
Since it is reducing the number of guests at any one time, the Vatican has extended its opening hours and is now open Monday to Thursday from 10:00 am - 7:30 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am - 9:30 pm.
Tickets must be booked online in advance. Access is phased at 15-minute intervals and visitors who arrive late may be denied entrance. (Tickets are nonrefundable.) In addition, guided tours and group visits cannot exceed 10 people per guide.
Visitors are required to wear a mask for the entire duration of the visit and to observe 1 meter social distancing. Each visitor will be subject to a temperature check and anyone with a temperature over 99.5° F (37.5° C) will be denied entry.
These are a few of the changes to the number of visitors allowed at some of Italy’s most popular sites:
The Last Supper Milan
5-7 visitors, rather than 30, every 15 minutes
50-80 visitors rather than 350
450 visitors rather than 900
Brunelleschi Dome Florence
450 visitors rather than 2,600
Bell Tower Florence
80 visitors rather than 2,500
Villa Borghese Rome
80 visitors per shift
On airlines, all passengers and crew members must wear masks. Social distancing must be observed at gates, boarding, baggage claim and passport control, and the number of passengers are reduced on each flight. Self-check-in will be in effect.
In private cars, fewer passengers are allowed in each vehicle. Drivers must wear masks and gloves and have their temperature checked. Cars are regularly disinfected.
On trains, passengers are required to wear masks and gloves and use hand sanitizers. There are fewer seats occupied, tickets are checked by bar codes, and trains are sanitized daily.
Boats offer limited capacity. A list of passengers must be provided first, and all temperatures are checked before boarding
With all the uncertainly in the air, we at Perfetto are optimistic and forward-looking! This is what we see on the travel horizon:
We believe that more travelers will return to using travel agencies again as a way to plan their trips, needing the expertise and assistance to navigate this new environment. The first to begin traveling again will probably be medium to luxury travelers.
As far as destinations, lesser-known regions and towns will become more popular, and private villas and luxury apartments will become even more sought-after places to stay. And, while there will be fewer tourists from abroad, Italians will probably begin to do more vacationing in their own beautiful country!