Travel Briefs

A barrier has been set up around Rome’s Trevi Fountain to stop people from sitting along its rim. As described by Rome’s mayor, the barrier will neither block views of the fountain nor prevent people from throwing coins.

Sitting on the fountain was made illegal in 2019, but the city had not enforced that law by erecting a fence until now. The barrier will also help obstruct the occasional visitor who illegally climbs into the fountain.


In order to help meet the needs of people with autism and other sensory sensitivities, Carnival Cruise Line (800/764-7419, worked with the nonprofit organization KultureCity (, which advocates for people with sensory disabilities, and became the first cruise line to be certified by the group as “sensory inclusive.”

The certification process included training for the ships’ entire staffs on how to meet the sensory needs of adults and children with sensitivities. In addition, each ship will have a “sensory bag”...


The London Metropolitan Police announced on Jan. 24 that parts of the city would be outfitted with facial-recognition cameras, with rollout expected to be completed by the end of February.

According to the police, signs will be posted at all cameras indicating that they are facial-recognition cameras, and they will be operated five to six hours at a time. The software used compares the faces on camera only with faces of wanted criminals; it does not identify all individuals scanned.

An official report on trial runs suggested that the system accurately identified 70% of...


On Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, visitors can take a round-trip journey from Lucerne (Luzern) to Flüelen aboard one of four steam-powered paddleboats, each with a restaurant.

Available only at the docks, a round-trip ticket of the full route costs CHF77 (near $80), second class, or CHF115, first class, and allows for hop-on, hop-off privileges (on both paddleboats and modern ferries) at any of the route’s 12 stops.

On the timetables posted at press time, valid until May 20, 2020, one paddleboat was running daily, leaving Luzern at 11:12 a.m. and returning at 4:47 p.m. On...


The “Jing-Zhang” high-speed rail system, with trains reaching speeds of up to 217 mph, began operation in northeastern China on Dec. 30. Traveling 108 miles between Beijing and Zhang­jiakou (two cities that will be hosting Winter Olympics events in 2022), the train makes 10 stops, with a total travel time of 47 minutes.

The trains traveling on the Jing-Zhang route are the world’s first auto-driving “smart” trains, which navigate via satellite positioning. (A “driver” is on board to monitor the systems and take over if needed.) Each train...


Transport for London (TfL), the board in charge of regulating taxis and ride-sharing services in the English capital, decided on Nov. 25 to not renew ride-share company Uber’s license to operate, citing “repeated safety failures.” These failures included the company’s allowing drivers to continue to drive for the company even after their licenses had been suspended or revoked. Uber is appealing the decision and will continue to operate during the appeal, but, should it lose, Uber drivers will no longer be available in London. The date for that decision was not known at press time. Other...


Visitors can tour the Corum watch factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. With audio guides in four languages, including English, the group of up to eight, led by a French-speaking guide, passes an exhibit on the art of watchmaking before entering the factory floor to see watches being made by hand. 

The 2-hour tour starts at 9:30 a.m. each Tuesday. CHF20 (near $20). Must book in advance through Tourisme Neuchâtelois (Hôtel des Postes, Neuchâtel; phone +41 32 889 68 90, ) or online at 


Visitors in Rome can book the 3-hour “Rome Catacombs Tour with Capuchin Crypts” with The Roman Guy (in the US, 888/290-5595,

The Domitilla Catacombs, relics of some of the earliest Christian traditions in Rome, contain skeletal remains of up to 150,000 people in tunnels built as early as the 2nd century AD, while the five Capuchin Crypts are elaborately decorated with the bones of about 3,700 friars. Tour members also walk part of the ancient Appian Way.

The group meets at the Piazza Barberini. About $81 per person includes transport and English-...