A New RENAISSANCE?

The coronavirus has really shaken Europe (and the world), testing the society we live in. 

The European Commission unveiled a package of aid to help the countries most affected and the EU in general. With this package we may be looking into a New Renaissance, as we are hoping to rebound stronger. 

Italy will benefit from a much needed share of €172.7 billion. Of these, €81.807 billion would be understood as aid and €90.938 as loans. This is the largest share of all those destined for the various European countries. Both in absolute terms and in terms of grants and loans.

This is Europe’s Moment

The recovery plan turns the immense challenge we face into an opportunity, not only by supporting the recovery but also by investing in our future: the European Green Deal and digitalization will boost jobs and growth, the resilience of our societies and the health of our environment. 

The program has a series of new Hashtags #REACT-EU to boost youth unemployment; #InvestEU, to boost investment in EU; #EU4Health, to improve the health system; #rescEU, to prepare for and respond to future crises; #forHorizon Europe, which will be reinforced to fund vital research in health, resilience and the green and digital transitions; and the European Green Deal as the EU’s recovery strategy:

• A massive renovation wave of our buildings and infrastructure and a more circular economy, bringing local jobs;

Rolling out renewable energy projects, especially wind, solar and kick-starting a clean hydrogen economy in Europe;

Cleaner transport and logistics, including the installation of one million charging points for electric vehicles and a boost for rail travel and clean mobility in our cities and regions;

• Strengthening the Just Transition Fund to support re-skilling, helping businesses create new economic opportunities.

Italian Tourism

Tourism was one of Italy’s fastest growing and most profitable industrial sectors, with an estimated revenue of €189.1 billion. People have visited Italy for centuries; the past years with about over 60 million tourists a year, Italy is the fifth most visited country in international tourism arrivals. 

People mainly visit Italy for its rich culture, cuisine, history, fashion and art, its beautiful coastline and beaches, its mountains, and priceless ancient monuments. Italy also contains more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world.

An Update After COVID

For citizens travelling within the Italian region of residence is now allowed, outside is allowed only for proven work needs, emergency situations, or health reasons.

BUT

From the 3rd of June it is possible to travel from one region to the other. YES!

As well as travelling to and from the following States: Member States of the European Union, States parties to the Schengen Agreement, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Andorra, Monaco.

Circulation restrictions for specific areas of the country can be restored at any time in the event of a worsening of the epidemiological situation.

Cruises by Italian flag passenger ships are suspended

Measures Applied on National Territory

A gradual reopening started on 18th of May

– The activities of accommodation facilities (hotels, B&B, etc.).

– The opening to the public of museums and other places of culture (libraries, archives, archaeological areas and parks, monumental complexes) is allowed. In all places of culture, meausres to avoid gatherings of people and to allow visitors to respect the social distancing should be in place. 

– The opening to the public of bars, pubs, restaurants, ice cream shops (how can we live without!), pastry shops and the like is allowed. 

– The activities of beach resorts are allowed, in compliance with the guidelines and protocols identified by the autonomous regions and provinces to prevent or reduce the risk of contagion.

– The opening to the public of all commercial activities is allowed, provided that the interpersonal distance of at least one metre is ensured. Customers should enter the shops a few (one or two) at a time.

– From the 15th of June, shows in theatres, concert halls, cinemas and other outdoor spaces are allowed. I do not yet know how places such as the Arena in verona will handle this, but we shall see.

– Access to parks, villas, playgrounds and public gardens is allowed. Outdoor recreational activities are allowed.

– It is allowed to do outdoor sports or physical activity, observing the distance of at least two meters for the sports activity and at least one meter for any other activity.

– From the 25th of May 2020, the opening to the public of public of gyms, swimming pools, sports centres and clubs is allowed, in compliance with the rules of social distancing and without any gathering.

– The opening of places of worship is conditioned by the adoption of organizational measures such as to avoid gathering of people, guaranteeing the possibility for visitors to observe the distance of at least one meter from one another. This should not be a problem, churches are pretty empty all the time.

Some Regions and autonomous provinces may anticipate or postpone the opening of different activities, taking into account their compatibility with the development of the contagion.

Transport

The Presidents of the regions decide on the planning of local public transport services (bus, metro, tram), to avoid overcrowding of the means of transport in the daily time slots with the greatest presence of passengers. The minister of infrastructure and transport, in agreement with the minister of health, may order reductions, suspensions or limitations in transport services, including international, automotive, rail, air, sea and inland waters transport.

Obligation to use masks

It is mandatory to wear masks in closed spaces, including means of transport, and in any situation where it’s not possible to guarantee the interpersonal safety distance. 

Oh tourist, tourist, where art thou tourist?

It seems pretty strange to see Italy without flocks of tourists wandering around town. I miss them dearly, I hope they will be back soon. Italy after this lockdown, and the deep clean up before reopening is more beautiful than ever.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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