29 February 2020.

A lot of travellers planning to travel to Italy must be wondering whether to cancel or postpone their trips because of Coronavirus – and this applies to guests to my holiday homes. Please see further down for the situation concerning Capena and my policy for guests currently booked for 2020.

Lazio and Rome

At the moment, it’s business as usual in Lazio and Rome. The weather is beautiful and spring-like- even warm for the time of year.

There are no food shortages, no closures (except for the catacombs), no restrictions on public events, no quarantines and no active cases of coronavirus (there were three cases in total but all have recovered).

No-one is wearing face masks, although the pharmacies have sold out of masks and hand sanitizer.

The Italian Ministry of of Foreign Affairs has stated, “we are witnessing a worrying proliferation of inaccurate and alarming news, in some cases fake news, about the health situation in our country that does not reflect the reality of a contagion phenomenon that remains significantly limited to certain small and delimited areas within a few regions”.

It has published the following map to show that the current cases are only in Lombardy. You can read the full article in English here.


My travel plans

I’m planning to travel to Capena in April, and again in July. I’m adopting a wait-and-see attitude, i.e. monitoring the situation daily. I can’t see any reason not to travel to Lazio or Rome at the moment. Actually, I’m looking forward to some sunshine and fresh air after the incessant rain and storms we’ve been experiencing in the UK –  and some great food!!

Flying to Italy

No flights have been cancelled to Rome. All passengers arriving at Italian airports will have their temperature taken. This screening has been in place for about a month now.

Casa Capena’s cancellation policy

My guests this year have booked through a variety of channels including Homeaway, Owners’ Direct, VRBO, AirBnB and Booking.com – and directly with me. The cancellation policies differ slightly for each company, e.g. Homeaway will already have taken a non-refundable deposit.

Apart from situations where it is outside my control, I’ll do my best to refund you or rebook you at a later stage if you decide you don’t wish to travel to Italy at the moment. You can leave it as late as necessary to let me know. The situation is changing daily, so let’s be vigilant, adaptable and work together.


Capena is unaffected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Last week, Capena’s Mayor attended a meeting called by Rome’s Mayor to discuss sensible precautions. Upon his return he issued a statement to the public in Capena. Here’s the gist:


This morning the Municipality of Capena attended a meeting of all mayors from the metropolitan called by the Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi at the Metropolitan Council Hall for an update on measures to prevent and manage the epidemiological emergency due to Covid-19. The Prefect of Rome Gerarda Pantalone was present.
The absence of positive Coronavirus cases has been confirmed in the territory of the Lazio region, apart from two initial cases, which are on the mend, and a researcher who has already got better.
For this reason – at the moment – it is simply necessary to follow simple precautionary rules summarised in a list circulated by the Lazio Region.There is no need, at the moment, to close schools and to ban public demonstrations.

Remember that the Mayor is the local health authority. He is the only institutional entity in constant contact with the responsible authorities and able to provide the population with the best, clear information, and to prevent the spread of other sources of unofficial communication and fake news that are unfortunately circulating.

Preventive hygiene and health actions have been ordered, such as the sanitation of schools (tomorrow all the necessary sanitation products will be delivered to the school in Capena). The companies running local public transport and school transport services have been instructed to sanitise their vehicles.

Public offices, and businesses will provide information about prevention measures to be taken and offices open to the public have been provided with disinfectant.

We remind anyone with Coronavirus not to go in person to their GP or ER/A&E, but to call by phone or call the Ministry of Health freephone number 1500 or the 118 emergency number.

The proper public information channels are:

MINISTERY OF HEALTH: http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/homeNuovoCoronavirus.jsp
https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION WHO