Rome's tourists are Italians right now

Rome residents have the city more or less to themselves.  

Rome's tourist sites have never looked so beautiful.

The lack of international visitors due to the fallout from the covid-19 crisis means that the Eternal City can currently be seen, and enjoyed, without the crowds.

This unprecedented situation is all the more pronounced as Rome greets the summer, a season when tourists normally throng the city centre and pack into the top visitor attractions.

For those living in Rome this period of relative tranquility offers a golden opportunity to visit museums they have never visited or to return to sites they have not seen in years.

Nowhere is this more spectacular than at the Colosseum where the usual masses of tourists and queues of people are nowhere to be seen.

Today, like every other museum and archaeological site in Rome, booking is done in advance.

Guests are given a specific time slot and must wear a mask and have their temperature scanned on arrival.

Once inside you have the thrill of joining a very small group of people who are led through a designated route, to avoid coming into contact with other visitors, giving the impression of almost having a very quiet amphitheatre all to yourself.

The same goes for the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, which can be accessed using the Colosseum ticket within 24 hours.

When Wanted in Rome visited the Forum in recent days there were more gardeners than tourists.

The city's stellar museums such as Galleria Borghese, the Capitoline Museums and the Vatican Museums are all open but the same visiting rules apply.

Not to mention a trip to a crowd-free Pantheon (which does not require advance booking), seeing an empty Spanish Steps or throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain without having to jostle for space.

On the Aventine hill there is rarely any queue at all to peep at St Peter's through the keyhole, while down the road the Mouth of Truth remains closed to visitors.

The Circus Maximus has been quiet for months, apart from occasional walkers and happy dogs, but it is now busy preparing the stage for this summer's outdoor opera festival.

Aside from a small trickle of international tourists, the first thing that is immediately obvious in Rome right now is that you will hear only Italian being spoken in the city's museums and heritage sites.

In a remarkable turnabout, the tourists are now Italians, keen to see a quiet capital, or Romans themselves, admiring their home city with new eyes.

Embrace this special time while you can because it won't last forever.

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Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome
Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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