VICENCE – A charming Renaissance town famous for its beautiful white villas, Vicenza is also a rich business center in northern Italy where travel is one of the passions of its inhabitants.
Many young couples, for example, like to spend their honeymoon in Southeast Asia.
“I would love to visit South East Asia, for the food, the culture, the natural beauty, the cities,” Marco Santelia, 28, told The Straits Times.
Singapore has opened up vaccinated traffic lanes (VTLs) for travelers from 10 countries, including Italy, the United States, Britain, Spain, Denmark and Brunei.
As all except Brunei have also opened up to those coming from Singapore, travelers can fly between countries without having to quarantine themselves on either side.
Laura, owner of a newsstand in Vicenza, said: âTourists from Asia and other parts of the world are a blessing for businesses. And they are welcome in Vicenza.
Not far from the newsstand, Ms. Valentina Casanova, art and new technologies student in Milan, said: âI would love to travel to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia to discover their culture, their gastronomy, their way of life, the nature. And of course I would visit museums and art galleries! “
After the long months of tourist blockade caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, cars with Swiss and German license plates now roam the city, and the chatter of French families invades the streets.
Mr Daniele Favaretto, owner of a tobacco shop in Venice, said that “at the moment there are only hit and run offenses”. These tourists arrive in the morning and usually leave before dark.
“We don’t see any more Asians, Arabs or Americans. Hopefully extra-EU tourism picks up in the coming months. Many Americans have booked hotels for November and haven’t canceled yet.” .
Tourists can now find hotels at lower prices than in pre-pandemic years, and all towns and places like restaurants and museums are much less crowded.
Most everything is open, noted Roland Margesin, general manager of Hotel Laurin in the popular town of Bolzano in the Alpine mountains.
“Singapore travelers can enjoy the city 100%. Museums, restaurants, shops await them. And they can come safely: almost everyone is vaccinated in Italy,” he said.
It is compulsory to wear masks indoors, and also outdoors if the places are very busy.
According to Ms Maddalena Monge, a communications expert based in Milan, âSingapore and Southeast Asia have so much to offer Italian travelers: culture, beautiful landscapes, gastronomy, nature.
She added: “I visited Singapore a lot when I lived in Doha. But Italy also has a lot to offer Singaporean travelers.”