Q – We have just heard that Italy’s Prime Minister, Berlusconi, iks resigning. Italy’s debt crisis dwarfs that of Greece. We’re doing a cruise out of Rome in July on Celebrity Cruises , booked with Celebrity, and we are both extremely worried about possible riots related to the new cuts the new government will have to impose. Are our fears justified and what would you advise we do? Should we change to a Baltic Cruise?

A – We do believe that the potential exists for widespread protests, even violent protests, in Italy during the next six to eight months. But the fact is that there have already been numerous street demonstrations and even some riots in every major Italian city. You know, kind of like what we saw in our own Oakland. Our feeling about your cruise is that you should change nothing. Austerity measures in this country and certainly in Europe will produce some civil discord. But at least in Italy you can dine well while watching the  demonstrations.

You have some options. Note that Civitavecchia, where the ship actually docks, is some 90 minutes away from Roma Centrale. So you can skip Rome. This is nothing we would recommend. If Rome was burning and Emperor Nero came back to run the city, we would still be tempted to go to the Eternal city just for the crispy cured pork cheeks and pasta served at Glass Hosteria in Trastevere. But, OK, you’re not us and you have concerns. Rome resident anarchists seem to be a rather mobile lot but they also like cameras. Look for demonstrations to center around the Campo di Fiore, the Piazza Navona or somewhere near base of the Spanish Steps. Choose a hotel that is away from these areas.

As to just how much Celebrity will update you on the political situation in Italy – we can only say, dream on. You have, unfortunately, paid the travel agent commission by booking directly but you will receive none of the counseling services represented by that fee. You have made an extra “donation” to Celebrity’s bottom line. You are going to have to do your own research and be your own consultant for this trip. But we’ll do all we can to help in this space. Always remember, “Italy is too big to fail – at feeding you extremely well”.