Are We Open for Travel?

Not Quite!

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, it may not be a very good idea to schedule for the upcoming Spring/Summer season 2021.

A “third wave” of coronavirus infections has been spreading across Europe; although Venice is not the most COVID-infected area, but there have been plenty enough of COVID-19 cases, and deaths have occurred.

But, the last quarter of the year may be a more promising time, or so we all hope, and maybe it is a good idea to start planning for 2022.

Things to Know

Although Italy is nominally open to tourists from the EU and the Schengen Area, visitors from many other countries–including the United States–may have to wait for a while.  

The European Union’s Re-open EU Web site has up-to-date, country-by-country information in 24 languages. Also you may want to see the Italian government’s page about current travel restrictions for international visitors.

Another thing to keep in mind is the shortage of commercial flights and a “third wave” of COVID-19 infections in Europe will complicate matters in the next few months. 

During Easter Week, all of Italy was on Code Red, meaning very strict measures were applied.

As expected in the past year (2020 and 2021), tourist arrivals in Venice are lower than ever.


Nobody’s There Practically!

Perhaps in the Fall, could be a wonderful time to enjoy the city without having to bump shoulders with mass-market tourists (if one has a “vaccine passport” to show, and Italians reached “herd immunity“).

There is no denying that Venetians–who have been hit hard financially–will be very happy to welcome the tourists back. How can we blame them? Venice without tourists cannot survive.

A Bit of Advice

Watch the news media and Re-open EU for up-to-date information on infection rates, regional lockdowns. The pandemic isn’t likely to recede fully until vaccinations are widespread.

The Codes are by region, and are:

Yellow = Prohibition of circulation from 10 pm to 5 am, except for reasons of health, work needs or proven necessities

Prohibition of entry and exit from the region. Recommendation not to move from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., except for health reasons, work needs or proven needs.

Orange = Limitations of movements between regions and even municipalities, but restaurants and cafes are open, with limitations (social distancing). Stores are all open, without distinction or limitation.

Attention: on holidays and the day before holidays, shopping centers and markets are closed (with the exception of pharmacies, health centers, laundries and dry cleaners, food, agricultural products, florists, newsagents and bookstores). Hence, these essential businesses also work in markets and shopping malls.

Red = All retail stores are closed, except for food retailers, pharmacies, newsstands, laundries, hardware stores, opticians, florists, bookstores, stationeries, IT, children’s clothing and toy shops, funeral parlors. As for the shopping centers and Outlets, the only activities open inside them are the grocery stores, pharmacies, while all the other shops will be closed. Markets can only sell food.
From 5.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m., the sale (by take-away only), of food and drinks is allowed;

All activities of gyms, swimming pools, wellness and SPAs are suspended.

Masks are mandatory

Unfortunately Italy’s healthcare system is likely to remain under stress for some time. If you’re in a high-risk group (over 60, especially with underlying health problems), use common sense in deciding your trip. The coronavirus won’t disappear overnight.

When you book hotels, B&Bs, or apartments, make sure that your reservation can be canceled without penalty. It is a good idea to keep an eye on rate changes and be prepared to cancel and rebook if better deals come by.
Avoid prepaid sightseeing tours with less tourists in town it will be easier to book them on the spot. Likewise for Gondola rides don’t need to be booked ahead–just hire a gondola on the spot.

Gondoliers can’t wait to have you back!

If you need to cancel your trip because of coronavirus fears, do not expect refunds by the insurance. The COVID outbreak is a “known event” and Insurance companies are not honouring coronavirus-related claims.

I think that by the end of 2021 it may be a great time, and perhaps a unique opportunity to visit Venice without the usual crowd.

Museums Open
(as of April)

  • Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
    San Marco, 7
  • MUSEO of Natural History
    Fontego dei Turchi
    Santa Croce, 1730
  • Peggy Guggenheim Collection – Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.
    Dorsoduro, 701
  • Ca’ Rezzonico – Museum of the Venetian eighteenth century
    Dorsoduro 3136
  • Palazzo Ducale – the collections of the Doge’s Palace
    San Marco, Piazza San Marco, 1. Definitely a good time to visit both the Palazzo Ducale and the St. Mark Basilica without the crowds and the long lines. See here for a visit to St. Mark Basilica.
  • Galleria Giorgio Franchetti at Ca’ d’Oro
    Cannaregio, 3932
  • Museo Correr
    San Marco, Piazza San Marco, 52
  • Gallerie dell’Accademia
    Dorsoduro 1050, Campo della Carità

Cancellations and Postponements

The Biennale Architettura (previously scheduled for 2020) now has a tentative opening date of May 22, until November 21, 2021.

The Biennale Arte (previously scheduled for 2021) the 59th International Art Exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, which was to take place in 2021, has been postponed to 2022. It will last 7 months and will be held from Saturday April 23rd to Sunday November 27th 2022.

And talking about cancellation, the great news are that the big ships can no longer snoop up in Piazza Sam Marco. The large cruise ships will finally be removed from the historic center of Venice and will no longer pass in front of Piazza San Marco, but will have to dock in Porto Marghera.

That was just about time!

Posted by

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.

9 thoughts on “Are We Open for Travel?

      1. Yes, so true. In America, COVID cases are rising, people are getting vaccinated and TWO States (Texas & Indiana) are doing away with the masks. I think it is too soon for that. For sure, we all have cabin fever. Let’s hope for the best. My daughter has been invited to a wedding in Italy in August. She hopes to go, but as you know, not sure if American citizens will be able to travel to Italy that soon. Stay well!


  1. I’m currently free to roam around the US, and cannot wait to meet you in Europe! I think Croatia is open to me, now that I’ve been innoulcated!

    Liked by 1 person

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