Our tour starts tomorrow with the group meeting at 4 pm, but so much has happened - and so many people seem to be anxious - or at least, concerned - about their upcoming trips that I thought I would post our experiences so far.
We had planned to spend 2 nights in Rome at the tour hotel acclimating, and then I was lucky enough to see a great airfare to Milan so we arrive in Milan 3 days early. No problems with the flight at all. Some wore masks, some didn’t, it was not a requirement on the flight to London, but masks were required on the flight to Milan. After staying in the Milan airport Sheraton, we took the train to Milano Centrale in the morning, arriving 2+ hours before our scheduled (fast) train to Rome. We found the Pharmacy in the train station, got our Covid tests (negative) and also got “green passes” (no extra charge). The tests were 15 euro each. Train to Rome was no problem, though some small percentage of the younger travelers feel like they only need to wear a “chin mask”. Very easy process to get the test. Fast and courteous.
Easy taxi from Rome Termini station to the hotel. We’ve adjusted to jet lag fairly quickly and so far have met 8 of our fellow tour mates. Everyone is friendly and easy to talk with.
I had been worried about the trip for so long, especially the “what if I test positive and can’t go?” But it’s all been smooth sailing so far.
So I’m posting this to share one experience of how easy it has all been. I hope this helps some of the “worriers” perhaps be a little more relaxed.
And if you are ever in Rome and you like chocolate gelato, I can enthusiastically recommend Come il Late gelato shop. Wow.
As for activities in Rome, we walked the neighborhood last night (Trastevere is a very nice neighborhood with lots of restaurants), today we walked about 6 miles (to see some tourist spots, such as the Spanish Steps, which currently have the “once a year” azaleas - and a very nice walk at the large park adjacent to the Borghese Gallery. We rented lime bikes and rode around too, and had a lovely dinner at a casual restaurant near the hotel. And did I mention the chocolate gelato? Oh, and a walk in the misty rain along the Tiber for 2 miles - oh, and getting to try real carbonara - oh, and…
I will post a “normal” trip report after the trip.