Travel Briefs

In western France, a fire burned parts of Nantes Cathedral, or the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul of Nantes, on July 18, destroying its organ and the large, 17th-century stained-glass window on its façade. Firefighters put out the fire before any structural damage was done.

A volunteer warden of the cathedral admitted to starting the fire after being questioned by police. No motive was reported as of press time.

The fire occurred a little more than a year after a fire...


Many countries are restricting visits by US residents. However, employed Americans who can work remotely may apply for “nonpermanent resident” status in some countries, providing opportunities for them to then travel to countries closed to US residents.

• The Caucasus country of GEORGIA introduced a new entry visa in July that would allow foreigners who are employed outside of Georgia and working remotely to reside in that country.

According to the country...


France’s government announced a ban on outdoor heaters at restaurants, cafés and bars on July 27, citing their environmental impact. The order also includes a ban on restaurants keeping their doors open while using air-conditioning, another waste of energy.

A government official stated that the ban would not begin until after the winter of 2020-21 so that restaurants hurting during the COVID-19 pandemic can seat people outside with heat, to help those businesses recover.


On June 2, for a second time, the European Commission delayed the date for the implementation of the European Travel Information & Authorization System, or ETIAS (June ’20, pg. 4).

North Americans will need to apply for ETIAS authorization (and provide certain biographic information) before traveling to Europe. The starting date, originally delayed to mid-2021, has now been pushed back to “late 2022” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once it is required, an...


A new high-speed rail route in Italy, from Turin (Torino) in the north to Reggio Calabria, located on the “toe” in the south, began operation on June 4. Previously, Reggio Calabria was serviced only by non-high-speed trains, and anyone traveling between the two points by rail had to switch trains in Rome.

The southbound train leaves from Turin’s Porta Nuova station at 8 a.m. and arrives at Reggio Calabria’s Centrale station at 6:50 p.m. The northbound leaves at...


The UK’s National Trust, an organization that works to preserve historical places and which owns many sites of interest in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, began opening some gardens and parklands to visitors in June. At press time, 135 parks and gardens had reopened to limited numbers of visitors. At each site, every visitor must book a visit in advance.

For a list of open sites and instructions on purchasing tickets, visit


In Ferrara, northern Italy, more than 200 Jewish artifacts and documents from the Roman, Renaissance and modern periods are displayed at Museo Nazionale dell’Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah (Via Piangipane 81; phone +39 0532 769137,

Commemorating over 2,000 years of Jewish history and practice in Italy, up to the Shoah (Holocaust), the museum is housed in a former prison, near the Medieval Jewish ghetto, that housed Jews and political dissidents during WWII....


France’s original Lascaux cave, discovered in 1940 and famous for its prehistoric art, can be toured online. The virtual tour consists of detailed video of each of the cave’s nine sections. During the tour, the video can be paused, and each illustration on the wall can be viewed close up, with descriptions of what is depicted plus archaeological interpretations. Visit