21 march 2020 – updates
Italy’s coronavirus lockdown will be extended beyond the current term of April 3. An official date hasn’t been provided yet.
09 march 2020 – updates
Colosseum and Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel, will remain closed until April 3 at least.
As a result of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 8 March 2020, valid until 3 April 2020, the opening of the museums and other cultural institutes and places referred to in Article 101 of the Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape, referred to in Legislative Decree No 42 of 22 January 2004, is suspended.
02 march 2020
The Coronavirus & Italy: Staying safe and aware while making the most of your Roman adventure
Traveling to Rome is a magical experience at all times of the year. But with the recent circulation of news concerning the coronavirus, many of us find ourselves questioning our next trip to the Eternal City. While the coronavirus has affected some parts of Italy, it is important to consider the facts related to the illness and how it has impacted Rome and the security of travel to this area.
What is the coronavirus?
The COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a respiratory disease which comes from a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from mild common colds to more severe respiratory syndromes. First detected in Wuhan City, China, COVID-19 is thought to have been initiated by human contact with infected livestock. Eventually, the virus continued to spread through human to human contact, infecting thousands of people in China and abroad.
The coronavirus in Italy.
On January 30th, authorities confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in Italy. Currently, the number of those infected sits just above 2,200, in a population of nearly 60 million people. With that said, the majority of cases are confined to two clusters of small cities in northern Italy, located nearly 500 kilometers to the north of Rome. However, the region of Lazio (where Rome is located) has confirmed 22 cases of the virus thus far, all of whom are in quarantine.
Currently, the government has issued a “Do Not Travel Notice” to the regions of Lombardy and Veneto and has restricted and/or suspended direct flights from Chinese points-of-origin. Authorities are also providing basic wellness checks to all people flying into Italy’s major airports to stop the entrance of infected individuals. However, there have been no travel restrictions placed on Rome or its surrounding areas. It is also important to note that Rome has not experienced a major closure of public spaces or touristic sites, nor a shortage of food during this period. Although, as a precaution, schools and universities throughout Italy have been closed until mid-March and one Roman historical site, the Catacombs, are closed due to their humid nature and potential to foster disease.
- Don’t travel if you are already feeling sick.
- Wash your hands often using sanitizing soap.
- Maintain distance from anyone exhibiting symptoms of the virus including a cough or fever.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing in public.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
Safety while you’re in Rome.
This virus may be leaving you with a sense of hesitation to visit Rome, but you know what they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do!” In this case, that means continuing on with life, plans and travel as usual, while maintaining healthy behaviors to prevent the spreading of disease.
What we want to say is… don’t panic! You can still create life-long memories and take in all the great ancient history Rome has to offer through Rome tours with your family and friends. Participate in Vatican tours and bask in the great marvels of the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more. Or decide to see Rome’s most iconic landmarks through Colosseum tours, where you can travel back nearly 2,000 years to a period of arena fighting, gladiators, and emperors. Whichever way you choose to enjoy the glory this unforgettable destination, consider the following suggestions to make your trip more pleasant and safe.
- Take private and small-group tours during off-peak hours (early morning or late afternoon)—in doing so, you can avoid the large crowds that tend to form near major tourist sites!
- Purchase skip-the-line entry passes—with these in hand, you can visit sites more quickly and avoid the lengthy lines at entrances, rendering your visit less tiresome and more enjoyable!
Stay informed by continuously checking for alerts with your government, airline, and embassy regarding the virus. Ultimately, the decision to travel is yours… but by taking the proper steps to prepare for your trip to Rome, you can help to keep yourself healthy and enjoy a beautiful journey to one of the oldest cities in history.