happy holidays from a locked down rome
Hi! We’re here, alive and well in Rome. We were without the internet (and actually still kinda are) for the last three weeks. We caved and bought a hotspot today so we would be able to video chat with family over the holidays and actually be able to see more than a badly pixelated face. Since we finally have high-speed internet, the first thing I did was jump on my computer to write this post. The lack of urgency to fix our wifi has been the epitome of the “domani, domani” (tomorrow, tomorrow) attitude. There’s also a leak in the roof and the maintenance serviceman told us he’d be back on a dry day to fix it, but it’s been over a week of no rain and he hasn’t been back. He also showed up almost 3 hours late to the appointment. We have our pot on standby to catch drips from the next rainfall. We own a house in San Diego and can’t imagine our renters being left with either of these issues for any period of time, but this isn’t America so we curse under our breaths, shake our fists in the air, eventually shrug our shoulders, laugh about it, and move on. We’ve chalked things like this up to “life in Italy”.
When I updated the blog in the middle of November, we were anticipating a nationwide lockdown, but thankfully COVID numbers in Lazio never reached the point of forcing us into one. Tomorrow, December 21st kicks off Italy’s nationwide holiday restrictions. Italy is continuing to follow the three-tiered system. During the next two weeks, the country will ebb and flow between the different tiers, this time with the restrictions applying to the entire country instead of by regions. Here’s what restrictions look like under the three zones:
- Yellow zone: Curfew from 10 PM-5 AM; restaurants and bars have to stop dine-in service at 6 PM; museums, galleries, cinemas, theaters, gyms, and a few other establishments are closed; shopping centers are closed on the weekends.
- Orange zone: no traveling outside your city except for essential reasons; restaurants and bars are closed to the public all day, but can continue take-out service until curfew; shops can remain open until 9 PM; people can travel from small towns (5,000 people or less) to other towns within 30 kilometers (18.6 miles), but cannot travel to provincial capitals.
- Red zone: no traveling within your city, to other cities, or to other regions without essential reasons; individual outdoor exercise is permitted only near your home; everything is closed except grocery stores, pharmacies, newsagents, laundrettes, and hairdressers; basically, we’re on lockdown.
Here’s the timeline for the next two weeks of restrictions and lockdowns:
- December 21st: travel between regions is prohibited and international travelers have to quarantine for 14 days
- December 24th-27th: red zone
- December 28th-30th: orange zone
- December 31st-January 3rd: red zone
- January 4th: orange zone
- January 5th-6th: red zone
- January 7th: country returns to the three-tiered system by region
Thankfully, our holiday plan was to enjoy a holiday meal at home with our pups. Jaime will still be reporting to work on non-holiday weekdays and he’ll need to have a self-declaration form with him to avoid a fine of up to €1,000.
Since last month, we’ve spent most days at home. We’ve eaten lunch outdoors 2-3 times and we order in for dinner to support our beloved restaurants. We’ve been cooking and baking, hanging out with the dogs, taking them on walks, reading, and Jaime’s still working on his leather. His birthday was on the 10th and even though we couldn’t go out to dinner or take a weekend trip, we had a small celebration at home. It’s been really cold in Rome and the buildings here are not well insulated (it honestly feels like they’re not insulated at all), so we’ve all been cuddling and spending our days wrapped in blankets. We do have heat, but it always takes a while for the rooms to warm up.
We haven’t decided what we’re having for our holiday meal, but I plan to bake some holiday cookies and we’re making tamales sometime between Christmas and the new year. Wish us luck because this is the first time either of us will be making them without the help and guidance of our families.
It’s been a really weird year. That’s the understatement of 2020. Lots of friends and family had trips planned to Rome, so even though this isn’t our first year spending the holidays away from home, we were counting on their visits to hold us over until we were able to return to the states. With cases surging in California, a new strain announced in the UK, and waiting for more developments from the vaccines, we honestly don’t know when we’re returning home to see family. So much so, we haven’t even discussed it between the two of us. We’re leaving Italy at the beginning of 2022 and we hope to have at least one more visitor (hi mom, hopefully, it’s you!) and to be able to return to the states before we end up wherever the military sends us next.
How are you all doing? What are your holidays looking like this year? What are your holiday meals filled with? Sending you all of our love and holiday cheer. Keep up with us in real-time on our Instagram here.
From a soon-to-be locked down Rome,
Jordan & Jaime