The past weekend we decided to go to Italy for the first time after the Corona lock down. We observed the statistics, were thoughtful of what kind of accommodation to book and of course we took our masks (thank you Helen 😊 ) and disinfectant with us. Here I just want to tell you about the current situation in Venice, one of the most touristy cities in Italy in case you are thinking of going there as well.
First you have to check if you are allowed to enter Italy and how it is with going back to your country. In our case, Slovenia and Austria put Italy on a “green list” and Italy allows Slovenians and Austrians to enter. So no quarantine in any case. We went by car, crossing the border at Nova Gorica/Gorizia, where no one checked us at the border. On the way back to Slovenia we were just waved to drive on. So no problems at all.
In Venice we used public transport. We left the car in Mestre, drove by bus to Venice and in Venice we used the water bus vaporetto to get around the islands. It is mandatory to wear a mask on public transport, there is disinfectant on vaporettos and every second seat is marked so you can’t sit on it. At peak times there were many people on the buses; those standing were not always keeping distance (as it was not possible), but the workers were counting people and it was not nearly as crowded as bC (bC = before corona).
Many restaurants are open again. If you go inside, you have to wear a mask, but can put it down as soon as you are seated. The waiters wear masks and some also gloves. If you sit outside, you don’t need a mask. There was disinfectant at every entrance.
Many hotels are open as well. We decided for a small guest house with only 3 rooms. We had self check in and check out, so we never saw anyone at our accommodation. We saw disinfectant at every hotel entrance. Unfortunately some hotels didn’t survive that long without guest and are closed now.
Many shops are open again. You have to wear a mask to enter and all the workers have masks as well. You can buy souvenirs and all the other touristy stuff, right now we saw many shops with discounts up to 50%.
Currently many museums are free (Lace museum, Glass museum) and the Doge’s palace is reduced. We bought tickets for the Doge’s palace online with a time slot, but still had to wait for about 40 min in line to get in. They measure the body temperature of everyone entering, there is disinfectant in every room in the museum and there are limited number of people allowed in each room. That means waiting lines to enter some exhibitions. Also: the museums are now “one way” – you shouldn’t go back to previous exhibitions rooms.
In public places you don’t have to wear a mask, but you can see many people wearing it. But you should still maintain 1m distance. There are way less people on the streets and on squares, it’s not crowded at all.
Never before we had such a welcoming feeling in Venice like this time. The locals were greeting us, in shops some had time to chit chat with us. The gondoliers offer discounts and the waiters seem relaxed and were very friendly.
Before we decided to go, we were thinking if it was a good idea to go to Italy so soon after (or even in between) the pandemic as we all know how badly Italy was hit by the virus. But then I read an article on an Austrian website “Standard” where they said “if you behave cautiously, it doesn’t matter if you are in Italy, Croatia or just stay in Austria”. So we decided to go. And honestly – it was one of the best decisions of this year so far, as we got to know Venice in an entirely new unknown and beautiful light. ❤
In the next days I will also publish a guide with tips where to leave the car, what to see and do and of course with photos of empty Venice. Stay tuned 😉