Q – 3.1.22 –  My wife and I have a wonderful Tauck itinerary booked for this summer in Italy. As this would be our first trip to Italy, we are very excited, or at least we were. The war in Ukraine has really scared my wife off because she feels that it would be better to postpone to next when, we hope, the fighting will die down. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Our tour was taking us to Lake Como, Venice, Florence, and Rome. We wonder if Italy could become involved in the war since it is so close. 

A – We think this is a head/heart issue. If you look at it rationally, travel to Europe is likely safer than remaining in most urban areas of the United States. But if your wife feels uncomfortable going – that’s enough for us. Do postpone the trip. Anticipation is such a critical part of any journey that we think that any feelings that interfere with it should take precedence. 

Here is how we look at it:

01 – The world will not become a kinder, gentler place in 2023. There are autocratic governments in portions of Europe (Hungary, which supports Putin’s invasion is one example) and no one is getting rid of their nuclear weapons. Russia has over 6,000 nukes. North Korea about 60. So do other countries like France, India, and Pakistan. Putin has a huge army attaching Europe’s largest standing army in Europe’s second-largest country. 

But this will be an invasion limited to one country which is not a signatory to the NATO Treaty. Should the war extend to any NATO country, such as Italy, you would likely be witnessing the start of World War Three as the United States and most of Europe are pledged to protect one another if one of them is attacked. This is just not going to happen. 

So let’s look at a few realities:

  • The war is not affecting life in Italy in any major way although the country is supporting the Ukrainian resistance with non-military support.
  • Italy is far safer statistically than we are in the United States. Currently, there are 121 countries around the world that are safer than the United States. Your life expectancy, as an American, actually goes up when you travel to Europe.
  • George Clooney has not sold his Villa on Lake Como