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Piazza Navona_Rome Opens after Covid-19 Lockdown_May 4 2020_RomeCabs_Italy Travel Blog

ROME REOPENS – May 4, 2020 – Rome without Tourists

Date 2020.05.05 by romecabs in Rome, Travel Tips and Advice

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Buon giorno and welcome to Stefano’s RomeCabs!

After 7 weeks of national lock-down due to Covid-19, Italy has entered its first re-opening phase on May 4.

 

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And on this day, Rome reopens – slowly, and with many restrictions still in place.

Nothing in Italy is rushed, including this very important period of opening the country, the economy, and its doors to visitors – safely for everyone.

On May 4, Romans had the opportunity to once again venture into our beloved city, and what we found is a sight that we never seen before: Rome with Zero Tourists.     

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Colosseum -  Rome Reopens after Covid-19 Quarantine, May 4 2020

Colosseum – Rome Reopens after Covid-19 Quarantine, May 4 2020

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To say it was a surreal experience for us to walk through the streets and squares once bustling with visitors and commercial activities is an understatement.

The clock of time wound back to a nostalgic yet magical time of the 50’s and 60’s (of the era of La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday / Vacanze Romane classic films) when Rome belonged to the Romans, with few tourists around.

This time, not even Italian tourists from other parts of Italy were in Rome. Only locals.  And “local tourists” who had the chance, probably for the first time, to really experience and discover their own city that we’ve always shared with our millions visitors.  Imagine if you will – having the house to yourself for the very first time.

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TREVI FOUNTAIN_Rome Reopens after Coronavirus_May 4 2020_Italy Travel Blog

TREVI FOUNTAIN – May 4 2020 Rome Reopens after Covid-19 Lockdown

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CAFES, BAKERIES, GELATERIA, RESTAURANTS OPENED IN ROME  – with restrictions

Most of the shops are still closed until a further date following this initial step of reopening Italy. 

However, many cafes, bakeries, gelato shops, and some restaurants and eateries opened for take-out only (home deliveries are still possible for restaurants and cafes).  Restaurants are not yet open for sit down meals.

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Rome Bakery, and gelateria in Trastevere

Rome Bakery, and gelateria in Trastevere

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For us locals, these few small establishments that opened up are a welcoming “sign of life” resuming in Italy. 

As we entered with big smiles (hidden behind masks),  we were met by equally smiling eyes of the baristas also wearing masks and gloves.  Counters and cashiers were protected by a plexiglass partition.

There was a profound mutual gratitude between customer and business owner…. a sign of our city’s resurrection from its long slumber.

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Cafes Open in Rome with Takeout_Post Covid-19 Quarantine

Cafes Open in Rome with Takeout

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OUTDOOR FARMERS MARKETS REOPENED IN ROME – with social distancing measures

Another Italian tradition (and a near daily ritual for many locals) are the daily outdoor farmers’ markets.

The outdoor market in Campo dei Fiori is the most famous outdoor market that many visitors are familiar with.  Throughout the city in many neighborhoods you would find outdoor markets where locals shop for fresh produce and knick-knacks.   During the national lock-down, these outdoor markets were also closed.

These staples in Italian culture have also reopened on May 4 – albeit reduced in number as only a limited number of vendors have opened their stands.  To maintain social distancing requirements, outdoor markets also require limited number of shoppers at a time.

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Outdoor Farmers' Market in Rome reopens after Covid-19 lockdown

Outdoor Farmers’ Market in Rome reopens after Covid-19 lockdown

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CHURCHES REOPENED IN ROME – with seating restrictions
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Some churches also opened in Rome, however mass is not scheduled to resume until May 18, the next phase of lifting restrictions when more businesses will be able to reopen.

In Trastevere, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere reopened. Instead of rows of pews, chairs about 1.5 meters apart were placed throughout the church.

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SANTA MARIA IN TRASTEVERE CHURCH_ROME AFTER CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE

Santa Maria in Trastevere Church reopened with chairs separated to comply with social distancing

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Our industry (tourism) is suffering the longest while the world heals and recovers from Covid-19, and travel (especially international travel) will take much longer to resume.  However, we do our part the best we can to support our local businesses that have now slowly reopened which in Italy.  They are primarily small mom and pop establishments that are grateful for any business they receive from the locals with tourism currently on hold and with other restrictions still in place.
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PARKS REOPENED IN ROME
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Parks also opened in Rome. One of Rome’s most popular parks is Borghese Gardens (Borghese Gallery is not yet open as museums will open on a later date)

Although masks are not required outdoors in Rome (masks are only required indoors inside stores, cafes, supermarkets and public transportation), many Italians came out wearing masks, and some also wearing gloves.  Having the opportunity to once again enjoy a stroll, a jog, a bicycle ride, or have a picnic inside Borghese Gardens is a huge treat for the locals.

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We ventured into the historic center of Rome for a walk, equipped with our curiosity and an iPhone to once again see our favorite places in Rome that for many years we have shared with our wonderful clients on our Rome Day Tours and Shore Excursions: Colosseum Square, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, The Spanish Steps and the world famous Trevi Fountain.

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The Pantheon - Rome Reopens after Coronavirus Lockdown  RomeCabs Italy Blog

The Pantheon – Rome Reopens after Coronavirus Lockdown

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We would like to share with you (our past and future travelers) a rare glimpse of Rome without any visitors as we experienced on May 4, the beginning of Rome’s (and Italy’s) revival.

 If you plan to visit Italy in 2021, or as soon as safe international travel resumes again, be among the first to come to Italy and experience the magic of Rome (and Italy) without the usual millions of tourists. Even for a brief moment, you can experience the magic of Rome as if you had it  all to yourself.

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The Spanish Steps - May 4, 2020 Rome Reopens after Covid-19 Quarantine

The Spanish Steps – May 4, 2020 Rome Reopens after Covid-19 Quarantine

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We are delighted to inform that we are making the most of this downtime by revamping our website (as well as our sister company Stefano Rome Tours), creating new and exciting Day Tours in Rome, Day Tours from Rome, Private Shore Excursions and adding new Driver Services to make your visit to Italy much more exciting, convenient, and comfortable. 

Our tours are always private, in your private deluxe vehicle and personal English speaking Driver for optimal convenience and maximum sightseeing opportunities.

We are also creating new Tour Videos and  Italy Travel Videos to help, inform, and inspire our future travelers and clients.

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When travel to Italy resumes… we invite you to join us in rediscovering Italy in ways you never imagined!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and follow our blog and FaceBook Page for Italy Travel Inspiration to satisfy your Italy travel wanderlust.

We look forward to welcoming you to Italy!

Stefano’s RomeCabs Team

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ADDITIONAL ITALY LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS INFORMATION

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WHAT ELSE IS OPEN AND PERMITTED IN ROME

Bookshop, newspaper shops, children’s clothing stores, flower shops, hardware and housewares shops, and soon bicycle shops.

Italians such as students and workers may now travel across provinces to return home / domicile.

Visiting families (visiting families and friends was not previously permitted during lockdown in order to prevent spreading the virus, especially to those who may be vulnerable)

Manufacturing resumed in Italy.

Workers in some sectors may return to work. These include: accountants, engineers, architects, real estate, construction, wholesale retailers, attorneys.

Public transportation with limited passengers per bus and train/metro car, obligatory face masks, and social distancing rules respected.

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WHAT WILL REOPEN IN ROME AT A LATER DATE:

Monuments, museums, retail shops are currently scheduled to reopen on May 18.

Schools remain closed.

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WHAT IS STILL CURRENTLY FORBIDDEN DURING LOCKDOWN PHASES

Parties, gatherings, picnics, children’s parks.

Weddings, baptisms will require postponement when large gatherings are once again safe

Traveling through Italy outside of one’s region of residence. For example, Rome residents cannot travel to the region of Tuscany.

Italians returning to Italy from abroad are required to self quarantine for 14 days

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STEFANO'S ROMECABS www.RomeCabs.com

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