Is Italy really overrun with tourists?

There are 6 replies in this Thread which has previously been viewed 274 times. The latest Post () was by serafina.

  • Adri wants to go to Rome in August for a couple of nights during our UK tour and then I came across this BBC article which describes the place as if it's standing room only.

    I hate crowds at the best of times and the thought of being jam-sandwiched together with hordes of these people leaves me cold.

    Someone please tell me it's not like this in Rome.

    Italy takes aim at tourists with Airbnb crackdown and loudspeaker bans
    Italy's fight against overtourism now includes stopping tourists from lingering on bridges.

  • Yikes! I’ve never been to Rome during high tourist season, let alone in the past 2 years’ post-pandemic travel glut, so I can’t really guess. serafina , do you know if Rome is one of those European cities that essentially shut down in August so everyone can take their own vacations and escape the city heat?

  • I think Rome is the top tourist destination in Europe, probably close to Paris in terms of number of tourists. They are crowding Rome all days, so you can't really escape the crowd. But it is a beautiful city and one of a kind. I am sure Splinter can survive for a day there. Just book a place with aircon for the night.

    If your wife wants to see specific museums or attractions, make sure to check out their closing day (yes, they have a closing day...). To see the Sistine Chapel, you have to buy tickets online or queue for 3 hours.

  • Good advice, serafina . We haven’t been there since the bumper crop of tourists started to be year round, so I don’t know this: do you also have to buy tickets in advance to archaeological sites like the Roman Forum? Last time we went through, there was still no charge and we were allowed to wander freely through it. But for reasons as disparate as preservation and exploitation for money, I’m quite sure those days are over?

  • I've seen queues on Youtube to get in the Colliseum and it wasn't a pretty sight to be honest. You can pay to jump the queue at some extortionate cost plus there's a lot of unofficial tour guides hovering around outside promising to get you in with no queueing. I went in 1984 and walked straight in!

  • I've no idea why but I've never had any notion for visiting Rome. The only time I was there was when connecting on to the EZE flight at the airport.

    The missus has been when on a school trip to Europe many years ago. Which probably explains why she never dragged me there when we lived in the UK.

  • But for reasons as disparate as preservation and exploitation for money, I’m quite sure those days are over?

    I don't know, to be honest. Booking in advance has its perks if it allows you to avoid wasting hours standing in line.

    I think they also introduced a max occupancy/affluency per hour for safety and security reasons. Since the pandemics, I guess this has increased. And booking in advance is supposed to eliminate people selling fake tickets outside the premises.

    Last time I was in Rome was the week before Christmas 5 years ago and we didn't go to the main attractions as we all had seen them. My husband is a Roman history buff and narrated what we were seeing to me and my mother. I only insisted to go to see Caravaggio's painting at San Luigi dei Francesi Church and the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Bernini in the Cornaro Chapel.