Monday, March 9, 2020


If you always dreamed of seeing Italy, now is the time to go. My sources on the ground in Tuscany report that they have the place to themselves. They go out and they're the only ones moving around. I wouldn't describe the younger one as healthy and the older one is, well, old but healthy. They went for a conference that was scheduled a year ago to be held this month outside Rome and have decided to just hang around and enjoy seeing the place without a zillion tourists getting in the way, not to mention the natives who are much thinner on the ground than is their usual practice.

Etruscan Museum in Tuscany and there is one person in the entire field of view

I have never really been interested in seeing Italy. All the reports I've had in the past indicate that it is either buried in garbage (Naples) or overrun by throngs of tourists and expats and most of the alleged government workers go on strike at the drop of a hat. You could find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere because the rail workers went out on strike or left at the airport for days waiting for a plane that will never come because the air traffic controllers went on strike and Europe doesn't have anybody of the calibre of a Ronald Reagan to bring them to heel so people just moan a little louder and have a little more espresso with their biscotti.

Our office manager in my Code at SPAWAR visited Italy with her family. She and her 24 year old daughter took advantage of an 8 hour delay of their flight out of Rome to jump on a bus and see everything in Rome. In 8 hours she saw everything. She had photo albums (!) to show us the pictures of her and her daughter everywhere in Rome. They were always surrounded by zillions of people.

When I travel I like to put my feet up and while I never used to make any plans at all, it was reassuring to know that I could jump on any train leaving the station and be somewhere else when I woke up. I would see the places I went to by walking. I walked everywhere. A day in Paris might start at the Arc de Triumph and mosey down the Champs Elysee to the Louvre and then over to Notre Dame followed by a nice walk down the river and incorporate Les Invalides followed by a quick stroll to the Eiffel Tower and then a walk back over the river through Il Defense and back to the hotel. I saw the cities I stayed in. I couldn't imagine doing it all on a bus.

At any rate, this is a great time to visit Italy if you ever planned to see the Eternal City and other old stuff.


capt fast said...

at this point, getting there and back may be problematic. having been to northern norway and scotland in the dead of winter, sunny Italy may be next for me.

HMS Defiant said...

Looks like they finally clamped down. OTOH, maybe a nice walk through the Dolomites is a good alternative or the Amalfi coast.