Finally, after months of lockdown, which forced the tourism industry across Italy and the world to screech to a halt, the grand Colosseum and majority of other sites have opened back up to visitors and we were able to tour the city of Rome once again.
However, there was no one to opt for the best family tours in Rome for over three months and the Roman cityscape looked desolate and eerie with everyone in resta casa (stay at home) mode. It was only in June that restrictions were eased and people began travelling around the city for work. In such dire circumstances, Italy’s tourism industry is fast recalibrating to the demands of a post-Covid world.
Tourism in Italy
According to the New York Times, Italy’s national tourism body, the ENIT, has forecast a gradual increase in air travel to Italy from June to August this year. However, records of air travel remain painfully low as compared to the same time span last year. Around 3.5 million persons in Italy earn their living by working in the tourism industry. The tourism industry contributes around 13 percent to Italy’s GDP and roughly 63 million people from all corners of the world travel to Italy every year. But this year had been like no other.
While museums across Italy, especially those in Rome have re-opened, managements and authorities are ensuring very strict guidelines pertaining to social distancing. For instance, at the Vatican museums, at first not more than 10 persons per guided tour are permitted to enter, this has now been changed to 20. Floor stickers demarcate how queues must be maintained and how much distance each person should keep form the other. Fewer crowds add to better experiences and more engaging tours, and the joy of experiencing the grandeur of the Eternal City is probably at its height since the 70’s.
If you are a tourist travelling to Rome, expect your temperature to be checked with thermal scanners when entering all sites. Some other establishments such as bars and restaurants have also been authorized to screen guests before allowing them in to allow a safer experience for everyone. Also, wearing masks is an unwritten rule that one should adhere to when indoors or when it is not possible to social distance. Now many airports in Italy have Covid-19 testing stations at arrivals and departures. Hand sanitizer are available almost everywhere you enter and although not obligatory, it is highly advised that you clean your hands before entering.
Touring Rome will be a changed experience this year with establishments and managements enforcing the strictest measures of precaution. Moreover, because fewer people are allowed into museums, restaurants and theatres for the sake of social distancing, it is advised you make advanced reservations and bookings before you set out to tour the Eternal City. For more information on booking a guided tour of the city please visit www.vaticantour.com.