One of my sharp eyed Twitter followers drew my attention to a piece of news visitors to Italy need to know.
From now on, according to the CoopCulture organisation, visitors to Italian archeological sites such as the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill, the excavations of Pompeii, Herculaneum , Oplonti, Stabia and the Museum of Boscoreale will not be allowed entry if they are in possession of bulky handbags, backpacks, and luggage.
What is not clear is exactly what will be considered “bulky”. However, the Pompeii CoopCulture website states that if a bag is over 30 x 30 x 15 cm (around 12 x 12 x 6 inches), it cannot be taken into Pompeii.
Note that while Pompeii has lockers where you can leave luggage, other sites may not have.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
To avoid potential problems, keep what you take on visits to the sites listed to a minimum – or check what you can take first. That rucksack crammed full of, expensive, camera gear, for example, may not be acceptable.
Note that some hotels in Italy might be prepared to keep your luggage in a safe place for a few hours after you have checked out. This means you can visit Italy’s sites without having to worry about being turned back on the last day of your vacation in Italy.
Italy’s main rail stations often have left-luggage areas – which is something to bear in mind.
Big bags have apparently been banned on the grounds of security – possibly as a result of the Charlie Hebdo incident which has sparked fear of terrorist attacks in Italy and throughout Europe. Big bags could contain big bombs.
Please help spread the word – if you hear that someone you know is visiting Italy – tell them about this ban – it might help them avoid problems. Forewarned is forearmed.