Travelling to Rome during Covid
Updated: Jan 29
Last year in June I went to Rome during the Covid pandemic, although it’s a crazy time and a situation none of us had expected, there are some benefits whilst t traveling during a global pandemic.
Disclaimer: although we highlight the positives in this article, we want to make sure that we all take Covid-19 very seriously, therefore make sure you put your safety and health as a priority while traveling.
I booked the trip in May. I didn’t cancel the trip because it had been a while since I went on vacation, I felt safe because we had to wear masks everywhere and the safety precautions were in place. I flew with a friend who was flying for the first time, so for him flying with these measures felt normal because he didn’t know better.
First of all, the flight
I’ve been to Rome by plane and one of the benefits was that there are less people, at the airfield there barely any people so I didn’t have to wait in line and only had to be there 1 hour in advance. I also ended up with an empty seat next to me. It was ideal because I was able to sleep. In the whole airplane there were empty places and everyone had their own spot which means we were able to keep distance. We also had a free lunch package with a bottle of water and two sandwiches with cheese on it. Our suitcase was allowed as hand baggage, which meant that we were allowed to take more stuff with us.
One of the big benefits while traveling during the Covid pandemic is that you don’t have all the tourism. The subway and busses were also very empty which meant easy traveling. Since we all have smartphones or cameras we have embraced travel photography. Instagram provides a place for us to share our travel photos with the rest of the world. You can easily take pictures at the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum or the Spanish Steps without feeling pressure from other people who want to shoot their shot also. There are no waiting lines at the Forum Romana or the Vatican City which gives you freedom to choose whenever you want to go. We bought our tickets for Vatican City online and before entering you had to be properly dressed, no bare knees and shoulders. If you would like to visit the Dome or St. Peter’s Basilica (which I really recommend) you have to pay 8,- to go on foot or 10,- if you want to use the elevator + 320 steps, but even if you don’t pay there are many things to see.
When you take the stairs to The Dome you will find a narrow staircase that slowly spirals up as the wall is further coming up, you almost walk diagonally. So if you have claustrophobia I would say take the elevator and go see the inside of St. Peter’s Basilica from above. At this level you can also check the roof of the Basilica, it’s unbelievable. At 11am we entered the Vatican Museum, we walked there for 2,5 hours because there was so much to see and even when we were going to the exit we felt like we didn’t see everything because it was so big. My favourite thing about Vatican city was definitely the view from The Dome.
Another benefit of traveling during the Covid pandemic is that plane tickets and hotels are much cheaper, I booked a 4 day trip and I only spent about €240 (Flight, hotel and taxi).
This trip was so special because I have wanted to go to Rome since I was a little kid. I’ve always loved the Roman Empire and wanted to see the buildings and architecture in real life. Rome left a great impression and did a great job of making it feel normal during the pandemic.
In Rome all the shops were open the only thing we had to do was wear a mask and sanitize our hands before entering. Because there weren’t many people it was a nice experience and I felt safe because you had to wear a mask, which wasn’t necessary in my country (The Netherlands). I prefer traveling during this time because it’s a different experience seeing the city without all the tourism. Masks were required in most places and they were strict about it: the airports, public transport, hotels and some restaurants before being seated at your table, all shops and public attractions (like museums).
My experience at the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain was beautiful to see, it was surrounded by a bunch of bars and restaurants and I sat down at a table with a great view and ordered a cocktail, the cocktail had vodka, red bull and lemon in it, IT WAS AMAZING. After I had the cocktail I took a bus north thinking I was going to my hotel. After 15 minutes I found out I took the wrong bus so I had to take a different bus which took 45 minutes to get to our hotel. Classic tourist things.
The only thing that was stressful on the trip is that the taxi came an hour late when picking us up at the airport, thankfully he let us know when we were waiting for him.
Overall, it was such a wonderful experience and the perfect way to experience Rome for the first time.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to experience such a popular destination this way again, so I can’t help but be thankful. Will I travel again during this pandemic? YES! I just hope I will feel as safe as I did in Italy. I would highly recommend traveling to Rome even when Covid is not around because of the great architecture and history the city has. Everything about it is simply beautiful there’s so much to see. I recommend traveling in months like June or September because there’s less tourists and it’s not as hot as in midsummer. When I was in Rome the average temperature was about 27 C, which is hot but not unbearable.
My plan is to travel to Athens this spring, but I will be looking at the measures they take before going. I’m not sure which measures I have to take myself, but if it’s required to take the Covid vaccine, I will probably take it.
Thank you so much Laura for sharing your travel story about what it's like to travel to one of the most popular tourist destinations ever - Rome, during a time when not many can travel.
Please go check out her Instagram, she has some cool pictures up there, and we are sure there will be plenty more to come from all over the world !