Italy: closed for months but locals became very innovative!


Italians Became Creative during the shut down

Italians have stoically followed the directives of their regional governments to stay at home since early March and finally have started to return to what will become the new normal.  

Some worker were able to tele-commute from home while 
non-essential businesses, hotels, restaurants, cafes, museums, historic sites and even the Vatican closed. 

Not a tourist in site, Florence Photo credit:  Sheila Ford

Photo by Sheila Ford
Photo by Sheila Ford

Businesses depending on tourism and critically hurt when the world stopped traveling, hotels closed, restaurants and cafes only offered take away.    

A substantial part of the Italian economy is dependent on visitors and even international students. Without the constant flow of travelers to fill hotels, enjoy the restaurants and cafes or book tours, it became financially difficult for businesses to remain open.

Italians have become very resourceful during the stay at home order, creating new ways to market their products, connect with clients and promote future projects.    Some of these new business ideas may become a permanent part of future marketing.

Zoom has quickly become the go-to method to remain relevant to clients and reach new prospects in the virtual classroom or showroom.    

Instead of a palazzo outside of Lecce, Cook in Puglia offers live interactive cooking lessons via zoom.  Students obtain all ingredients prior to the meeting and prepare dishes along with the instructor Yle Sambati from their home kitchens.  

Wine appreciation classes with Michele Passero offers 10 live zoom sessions   You can learn about wines and how to enjoy then, from the comfort of your home.  Register with Cook in Puglia.  

You can also register for Italian conversation classed the will cover travel, food, cinema, music and shopping.  The 60 minute classes are kept small, 10 per class and offered in morning or afternoons.  Private groups can also be arranged.  Contact Yle for all details.

The Beehive   in Rome has been welcoming visitors to the ancient city since 1992.  Expats Steve and Linda offer boutique hostel accommodations near the central train station.   This not the typical hostel and appeals to all ages.  

The in house cafe is often the site for cooking events and family style dinners during the week.  Pizza and Pasta making classes have been offered as well.  

Linda offers insider tours to share her in depth knowledge of Rome.    Ask a local if you want to know about a city, you can learn much more than a tour book ever offers. 

Due to the worldwide pandemic the Beehive temporarily closed, and offered Gift Cards for future stays.   unique program that some other hotels adopted. Guest would prepay for a future stay, helping the beehive with cash flow while the city was closed.  When travelers can return to Italy again guests will enjoy a stay during a future stay.

During the closure of the Beehive you could follow cooking lessons by Steve on You Tube.    

The cafe at the Beehive serves meals and often does cooking classes.

MailboxEtc #212 is accustom to tourists dropping in to ship their treasures home as well as the countless students who study in Florence each year.    With the closure of most if not all international study programs in March quickly followed by the suspension of most travel to Italy, the partners found new ways to
 keep shipping packages.

Collaborating with other stores in Florence, Mailbox Etc will pick up the items you select from the online offerings of olive oil, cookies, candies, pasta and other treats package your items and ship them direct to your or as a gift.

If you cannot visit Italy now, you can easily have your favorite treats shipped direct.  Contact via email:  

Do you miss any of your favorite Italian products?

Italian Storiesarranges visits with artisans throughout Italy for visitors to experience how Italian fine products are created.  Experiencing Italy through her crafts and art takes you beyond a tourist.

While Italy was closed, Italian Stories brought craftsmen and artisans to world wide audiences through a series of online 

video visits shared by Eleanor Odorzzi .  

You can tour many studios and learn about the people who create fine Italian products on the Face Book feature:
Il Caffe in Laboratorio


Large numbers of travelers may not return to Italy until later this year.   Until we can return to Italy, we can find innovative ways to assist their recovery.    This may be the perfect time to shop online for an authentic Italian product, take an online virtual tour or book a future stay with a local business.  

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s