Covid-19 is deeply transforming our lives and we do not know when we will get back to our pre-pandemic lives. As like a rollercoaster, we are also experiencing first hand how the epidemic curve goes up and down, with the results that it is not always possible to travel. And when we can move, we have to be extremely cautious and aware that Covid-19 hasn’t been defeated yet.
So, when the pandemic allows us to move, there are some expedients to consider. This will not include recommendation like wearing a mask or washing our hands regularly, as this must be part of our “normal habit”. For doubts and updates on what you can do, where you can go and all the quarantine related issues, remember to check the Foreign Affairs website, La Farnesina.
Ok, so provided that you can book a holiday, and you can enter Italy, here are my suggestions to enjoy your holiday without getting crazy, or risking to contract Covid-19.
1. Choose less exploited destinations.
Avoid the most popular destinations, like Capri in August or Cortina in winter. Choose these places during their “low season” and opt for less known villages. 2020 was not the right year to go to the most renowned Sicilian isles, but in winter, with their mild weather, they could be a great discovery.
2. Travel by car, avoid planes and boats
Trains, boats and planes can be good all year long, but during holidays, rent a car. You won’t be packed with other people in a closed and restricted environment.
3. Travel with few family and friends
This is not the right time to travel in big groups with friends of friends or, worse, with people you do not know. Choose quality time with your family and dearest friends. Avoid organized group travels with people you have never seen.
4. Rent a house instead of a hotel
During summer or winter holidays, prefer a house or small B&B to big hotels, which will be good all the rest of the year.
5. If you chose a hotel, check their breakfast room
Stay away from all those hotels with an open buffet breakfast. Prefer those who put extra care in serving food protected by proper containers. Or with “à la carte” menu.
6. Choose restaurants where the staff constantly wear a mask.
At the moment I am writing, in Italy, wearing a mask in a restaurant is mandatory. I also recommend to choose restaurants who make sure that not only staff but also customers follow the rules. If they do not protect themselves, they are unlikely to protect you or the food they will serve.
7. Check the public transport timetable….
In this way, you will not be stuck at a bus stop waiting, maybe with a lot of other people with the result of not being able to do social distancing and losing precious time.
8… and museum opening hours
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, tourist attractions can be closed, have limited opening hours or even limit the number of people, with the result that the line to enter can be longer than usual. You do not want to find yourself in front of a closed door after driving or walking for hours before reaching a destination.
9. Book anything you can book, better if online
Not only restaurants or hotels, book anything you can book, from museums to churches (yes, some might have an entry ticket) or experiences. In this case you will again avoid waiting long hours or risking not to enter because of Covid-19 restrictions.
10. But avoid rush hours
Go to museums early in the morning (on holiday people like to sleep). And take a walk in a park when all the others are visiting art galleries. The same applies to public transports. Choose to travel when all the others eat or rest is a great way to avoid crowded places.
11. Do not be caught wandering during a curfew
Check possible lockdown, quarantine or curfew in the official websites of the place you are going to visit. You do not want to get fined while taking a romantic stroll in the middle of the night.
11. Choose unconventional destinations.
How about visiting a vineyard in September or discovering less known art cities? What about a holiday at Circeo or a visit to Certosa di Pavia? Check this blog for interesting alternatives to Venice, Rome or Florence.
You can also find ideas on non mainstream destinations by subscribing the newsletter.
12. Travel with a book
We have to master the capacity of being patient. Make sure you have a book to read when you are waiting to enter a tourist attraction. I love reading poems set in the place I am visiting. In seems I get to know better people, corners, atmosphere of that place with the double benefit that time seems to pass much faster.