After being closed for almost three months, some of Italy’s most treasured cultural sites and tourism hot spots are beginning to reopen, in a bid to get back to some form of ‘normal’.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa welcomed visitors again for the first time on Saturday, with visitor numbers being restricted to 15 at any time. The much-loved monument usually attracts five million visitors a year. Guests are required to wear face masks and an electronic device that sends out signals if any others are within a metre distance.
Yesterday (1st June) the Colosseum and Vatican Museums welcomed guests once again, whilst Florence’s Uffizi Gallery will reopen from today (2nd June).
Visitors to the Colosseum will have to purchase tickets online, wear face masks, and will have their temperatures taken before entering. Group numbers are limited to 14, with each group required to wait 15 minutes after the party in front of them has been allowed in.
For now, the sites can only be enjoyed by local residents, with restrictions on inter-regional travel due to be lifted tomorrow, 3rd June. Italians will be allowed to freely move about the country and European Union visitors will be welcomed without quarantine requirements.
Speaking on the revival of the tourism attractions, Pierfrancesco Pacini, the president of the board of directors responsible for the tower and surrounding monuments, told the Italian news agency, Ansa: “Our budget will suffer heavy losses but we wanted to send a signal of confidence and hope.”