I’m sure you have heard by now that the Italian government has placed their citizens under a nationwide quarantine. This is very somber news.
I have an insider look into this because my team, my family, and all of our Italy-based friends are directly affected by these measures right now.
We’ve been able to talk to them, text, get photos, and hear the news on the ground in real time.
Our VP of Operations, Kiiri, who is Canadian but lives in a small village in the Cinque Terre, reports on the mood and the happenings in our daily meetings.
She told us today that, after the initial shock wore off, the mood in Italy has been optimistic. Unified. Everyone is banding together to get rid of this thing.
There is a feeling of camaraderie, and a sense of duty to protect the more vulnerable. She sees the people in the villages following the rules and being respectful.
The whole country is really knuckling down. Everyone has the same goal — to get this under control as soon as humanly possible.
That Italy has taken such drastic measures is particularly commendable, since the country’s economy relies so much on tourism. A move like this, with the whole world watching, is already doing major, unprecedented damage to that industry, at least in the short term.
But the safety of their own citizens and indeed the citizens of the world is at stake, so Italians are determined to do what they have to do.
They are hopeful that following these strict orders will slow the spread of the virus.
The hashtag that is trending there now is #iorestoacasa, which means “I’m staying at home.”
Yes, grocery stores are open, pharmacies and banks are open. People have access to necessary services. But the Italian government is fighting this seriously, with strict ordinances and controls.
As for its citizens, at least the ones we know, the feeling is that this is temporary, so right now we need to think of our fellow humans, the weak, the compromised and the elderly. Unless it’s for groceries or work, io resto a casa.
Still, this comes at a very steep price. I don’t know a single person in Italy whose livelihood has not been affected.
And of course, we’ve been hit hard too. Obviously having a business that revolves 100% around travel to Italy is going to be hurt by this.
We’ve already processed a slew of cancellation requests. And we have slower new booking requests as well.
BUT we are here to fight the battle, like everyone in tourism right now. As long as they are not deemed unsafe and as long as travel is not restricted months from now, we are still running our mid- and late-season scheduled tours.
Like I said in last week’s post, we’re not going anywhere!
I’m here to serve our clients, and I intend to serve them well.
And as we say in Italy, “Tieni duro!”
Hoping you and your loved ones stay safe, as we’re all in this together.