Last weekend, I didn’t even have time to post a blog. It was a very busy weekend for the first time probably in 2020, because (also for the first time in 2020) we had visitors all the way from the Netherlands. And of course they were the priority.

Italy has been creeping back to life for a couple of weeks now, so it was probably the ideal time to come over. Very likely there aren’t going to be any big outbreaks soon and more and more is opening up. There is still enough to consider, though.

You need to bring a mask, because it’s obligatory to wear it indoors and in some regions (such as Lombardia), you even have to wear it outdoors. Properly washing hands remains important, just like the distance (at least 1 meter). If you want to visit something or want to go to a restaurant you need to make a reservation, officially. I say officially, because in the latter case it’s not always necessary. If you can sit outside there’s no reservation needed (it seems), and also when it’s empty inside and they don’t have many standing reservations, you can get a table. I’d suggest that when you have specific dietary requests, you book a table and otherwise you can also just risk it. There aren’t too many tourists around (relatively at least), so there are enough possibilities. (This is the case in Veneto, but this can be different in other regions).
Travelling by car is also not as simple as it may seem. If you’re from different households, you’re only allowed to be in the car with three people. Not more. Does this rule make sense? I don’t know honestly, but since I’ve not been advised by virologists and I’m not a doctor myself I suppose that I really don’t know and I should obey the rules. There are worse things.

This lack of tourists is particularly charming in Venice. I had never seen San Marco square this empty. The amount of people wandering the streets reminded me of Heerlen on a cloudy work day. I’m not now recommending that everybody go to Venice, that would ruin it, but if you’re already planning to go anyway, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The returned liveliness brings its risks of course. In Veneto wearing masks outdoors is no longer an obligation and when it does get crowded (it does sometimes in the evening), it’s uncomfortable and I would recommend wearing your mask then anyway, because there is not always the opportunity of keeping an appropriate distance. My other recommendation would be to avoid as many main squares in the evening as you can. Walk through smaller streets instead.

Is it wise to go to Italy? Yes and no. Not travelling too much (and especially not to different countries) is anyway a good decision during these times, but there are countries that are safer to go to if you really want to escape your home country. Is Italy one of them? Honestly, most of Italy is right now. I would avoid Lombardia, but most other regions are doing well and the IC is currently pretty empty, which is always a good sign. Besides, Naples has the best hospital in the world to deal with the virus at the moment. But it also depends on you. Did you keep to the rules in your own country? Were you extra careful or did you immediately run to the first terrace without keeping distance when they were opened again or did you join silly anti-lockdown protests. Because if that’s the case (especially when you’ve been protesting a barely existing quarantine in your country), I don’t even want you near Italy. I think you’d understand. Everybody else is of course very welcome.

From Italy with love,