Updated: Feb 11, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we think about travel. Still, there’s nothing like a whole year of quarantine to make us absolutely yearn for adventure. Videos of Italians singing together from their windows at the height of lockdown may have charmed you into planning a visit as soon as you’re able, or maybe you just want to support the recovery of Italy’s tourism-based economy while indulging in amazing wine, handmade pasta, and endless gelato in the Italian countryside.
If you’re planning on traveling to Italy post-pandemic, it may be hard to know if you’re doing it safely and if you’re taking everything into consideration that you should be in order to stay healthy while traveling. It’s also hard to know what your financial risks are when travel restrictions in Italy are constantly fluctuating. There are some new precautions you should take before, during, and after you travel in a world that has now seen the effects of COVID-19 and hasn’t fully shaken them yet (as of the date of this article).
Even if you’re determined not to let fear squelch your curiosity and adventure, we know that planning a trip to Italy post-pandemic is overwhelming! We created the following guide to help you through planning a safe trip, from A-Z. Follow this list for advice and precautions for Italy, tips on how to travel safely in 2021, travel insurance guidance, and essentials to traveling to Italy post-pandemic.
BEFORE YOU GO TO ITALY
Get your doctor’s clearance.
Certain age groups and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for severe COVID-19. To be safe, talk to your doctor about your plans to travel to Italy and get their approval before proceeding. There may be certain things your doctor can help you consider, such as bringing extra medication in case of a necessary quarantine or knowing how to fill your prescription in a foreign country if need be.
Check official government and CDC travel advisories for Italy.
-Click here for the U.S. government’s travel advisory for Italy.
-Click here to check the current situation in Italy.
-Click here for entry requirements and click here for more information from Italy's Ministry of Health.
-Consider enrolling in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program), which can help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency.
Download the Re-Open EU app.
This platform gives you real-time information about COVID-19 travel restrictions in Italy, local border rules, the best ways to get there, and safety measures like mandatory face masks or social distancing requirements. They also provide links to other official sources outside of the app, including forms you may need to fill out to enter the country and ways to contact the local health authorities if you have further questions. This app is extremely helpful for staying current on where you can and can’t go within Italy and all of the various regional safety measures in place.
Plan your trip to avoid crowds.
Choose off-the-beaten-path destinations and look for safer activities like those that take place outdoors. Go to smaller, more obscure museums (as they will be less crowded) where you can look without touching anything, or museums with strict timed entry and capacity limits. Focus on visiting Italy’s many outdoor parks and gardens, book an outdoor meal at a farm or relax into true slow travel by staying at an agriturismo in the countryside. This sort of thing happens to be our specialty, so get in touch if you’d like some help planning your trip!
Think about what transportation you might need to use when choosing your destinations. If you’re planning on making day trips to different towns and will need to take the bus or train, consider renting a car instead to avoid the crowds. Booking a private driver for arrival and departure may be worth the extra dollars to avoid public transport to and from the airport. Ask that they disinfect the car before picking you up. Thinking carefully about how you’ll get around is an important piece of planning a trip to Italy post-pandemic!
Be strategic when choosing accommodations.
It’s great if you can book an agriturismo within walking distance from a small village. Many have individual, private-entrance apartments, which limits your contact with other guests, and you get the added bonus of staying in a beautiful, serene location away from the hordes of tourists. Most higher-end hotels have strict policies in place to keep guests safe, healthy, and comfortable during their stay, so if you’re looking to book a hotel room, be sure to ask them what cleaning and disinfecting procedures they have in place. It’s important to find out how they are keeping guests socially distanced in common hotel areas, if there are mask requirements, their restaurant’s policies, etc. There are lots of ways to limit your potential exposure to COVID-19 once you think about it and take the time to get all the necessary information!