American tourists return to Rome

Rome airport greets US tourists with welcome gifts.

Rome's Fiumicino airport welcomed around 300 tourists and travellers from the USA who landed in the Italian capital on 28 May after taking covid-tested flights from New York and Atlanta.

After undergoing coronavirus screening on arrival, the tourists were greeted with gifts bags containing Made in Italy food and wine, souvenirs, tricolor bracelets and a duty free voucher to be used on departure, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The new arrivals, many of whom came to Rome to be reunited with their families, were welcomed by Aeroporti di Roma Business Unit Aviation director Ivan Bassato, the Lazio regional health councilor Alessio D'Amato, and the director of the Spallanzani hospital, Francesco Vaia.

"It is a sign of renewed welcome to the world while respecting rigid and safe health protocols, maintaining our strategy adopted from the beginning of the emergency," said Bassato, adding that covid-tested flights would begin soon from the United Arab Emirates and Canada, with Alitalia resuming flights to Tokyo.

The "wonderful" news was welcomed enthusiastically by Rome mayor Virginia Raggi who said it "gives hope to everyone" and is the result of "tireless and multi-level teamwork, which thanks to vaccination campaigns is giving excellent results."

The move comes as Italy continues to open up to international tourists, following the lifting of quarantine restrictions for travellers coming from European and Schengen zone countries, Israel and the UK.

Earlier this month Italian prime minister Mario Draghi announced that Italy would reopen to vaccinated, recovered or covid-negative tourists this summer.

"The time has come to book your holidays in Italy" - Draghi said - "Our mountains, our beaches, our cities are reopening.”

Photo ANSA