*Important Updates:

June 2022 updates for travel to Italy and entry back into the United States:

screen shot of travel update
screen shot of travel update

I was going to delete the following article as much of it is now obsolete but decided I would leave it intact for awhile longer. (In case things should get crazy again) Just be aware much of the information below is, thankfully, no longer relevant.

Traveling overseas has never been without its hassles.  These days there just happen to be a few more hoops than usual to jump through. But as long as you’re prepared and stay informed the only real hassles will be the same ones as before… getting yourself and your carry-on through security and customs, sitting in cramped seats and standing in long lines 🙂

I just got back from spending a little over a month in Italy and in my opinion, as long as you’re not against getting vaccinated or if you’ve recently recovered from covid (because one or the other is a requirement for entry) it’s a great time to visit.

Hardly any lines anywhere 🙂

line at the Vatican museum
The Vatican Museum – You Basically Just Walk Right In

Traveling to Italy
Staying Informed & Being Prepared  

What You Need To Know For Entry Into Italy
(if your coming from the United States)

Current regulations for entry into Italy established by the ordinance of August 28, 2021 and then renewed on October 22, 2021 and currently valid until December 15, 2021. require:

  1.  A negative covid test (taken within 72 hours of arrival.)
  2. Either proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from covid.
  3. Filling out the EU online Passenger Locator Form.

First off, if you’re traveling from the United States you will need a negative covid test to enter Italy.   It’s therefore a good idea to make sure both hotel reservations and flights can be either canceled or changed.  If vaccinated the chances of testing positive may be slim but it could still happen. Luckily most airlines are currently, albeit temporarily, offering free flight changes and some even have free cancellation offers.  I flew to Italy with AirFrance and changed my flight home by three days. Not only did it not cost anything, it was so easy I was a little worried that maybe… somehow I hadn’t…actually done it 🙂

In addition to a negative covid test you also need proof of vaccination (or proof of recent recovery from covid.)  If coming from the U.S. the typical paper CDC vaccine card along with photo id is accepted.  (See further down for making sure the vaccine card is filled out completely.)

The third requirement of the Italian ordinance is to fill out the EU passenger locator form.  This is pretty basic and easy, it asks for details on your flight, such as airline and flight number. It asks for your country of origin and countries you might be transiting through.  
The form can be filled out at this website here: https://app.euplf.eu/#/

Other Important Websites
*Where to find nitty gritty specifics and look for reliable updates as they are released:

  What To Know While In Italy

1.) Proof of vaccination is needed for entry to just about everywhere; museums, tourist sites, trains transiting from one region to another, even to eat inside several restaurants.

If coming from the U.S. the typical paper cdc card is accepted everywhere, however you will almost always need to show photo id with it and the card must have all necessary information filled in, it will need to have the following: 

  • First and last name and date of birth.
  • Name and batch of the vaccine.
  • Date(s) of immunization(s).
  • Identifier of healthcare professional or clinic site that administered the vaccine.

After traveling all over Italy for a month and a half I found that some places will barely look at the card and other places will very seriously check to make sure all the details stated above are included.

2.)  Some sites that are considered too confined or small may be closed or they might have much smaller capacity limits than they had before.  

One example of this can be seen on the Palatine Hill in Rome; the ground floor of the Palatine Museum is closed as are several of the SUPER sites, such as the house of Livia and Augustus.  Another example, in Florence, is the tower and battlements of the Palazzo Vecchio and the magi chapel of the Riccardi Medici Palace. They have always had capacity limits only now they are even smaller.  If you want to do one or the other it might be a good idea to visit them first to make sure you get in.

view through window of House of Augustus
The House of Augustus: There are a couple windows which one can still look through but access to the inside is currently closed.

3.) Some museums may have certain floors open or closed  on different days or at different times of the day.  While this certainly isn’t new for Italy it does seem to be more common than before.  

sign of hours at Palazzo Massimo
The Palazzo Massimo Museum in Rome

For the most part all the places you’ll want to visit and see are all still open and if one place or exhibit does happen to be closed there are still so, so, so, so, soooo many other places to see 🙂   There are even sites which used to be closed off that have only just now opened.  For instance the Mausoleum of Augustus has been closed for yyyyears, since before I was born.  But it’s been recently restored and is now open!  There are capacity limitations, and you do have to book a time slot.   Keep in mind the time slots for the Mausoleum have been selling out. 

  What to know for entry back into the United States

The United States implemented a new global air travel policy effective November 8, 2021.  (See cdc.gov for more information)

If you’re from the United States the new policy is very similar to the previous January 26th mandate, it still requires:

1.) A Negative covid test 
The difference now is if you are a US citizen or lawful resident and are not fully vaccinated the test must now be taken one day before the flight.  But If you are a US citizen and fully vaccinated the test can still be taken up to 3 days before the flight. 

Bottom line, for entry back into the United States yet another covid test is required.  The good news is how easy this turned out to be. I used the BinaxNOW at home test by Abbott and it worked great.  I was apprehensive about possible problems but I didn’t encounter any.  I did it in my hotel room and it was not only easy and smooth but super fast.  

One can also find testing sites at several major train stations and at airports, but honestly after doing it, I recommend the home test… no lines, hassle free, just way less stress.  I ordered my tests on-line from a store I’d never heard of (which worried me a little), called Optum, (but it worked out just fine) they sold it in packs of two for $75.41 after tax (there was another store that sold it in packs of six, which was too many for me, but might be good if more than one is traveling.)  One should take two tests with them, to be safe, just in case something is wrong with the first one. If buying the BinaxNOW make sure it’s the home test with online eMed Telehealth Service, that’s the one accepted by the cdc. BinaxNOW also has a less expensive home test but it’s not a proctored test and isn’t accepted by the cdc.

taking test on ipad
Taking the test in my hotel room using my Ipad.