Italy reopened to travellers from Europe on Wednesday, three months after the country went into coronavirus lockdown, with all hopes pinned on reviving the key tourism industry as the summer season begins.
Travelers walk across a terminal at Rome's Fiumicino airport on June 3, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
Gondolas were ready to punt along Venice's canals, lovers will be able to act out "Romeo and Juliet" on Verona's famed balcony, and gladiator fans can pose for selfies at Rome's Colosseum.
But there were fears many foreign tourists would be put off coming to a country still shaking off a vicious pandemic.
"We hoped to see some movement from today, but have no foreign tourists booked in for this week or next," said Alessandra Conti, a receptionist at the Albergo del Senato hotel which overlooks the Pantheon in Rome.
"We've got a few reservations from mid-June... (but) are still getting lots of cancellations for this summer".