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When can I travel to Italy?

Are your itchy feet and eager taste buds longing for a trip to Italy? To stroll through the Greek temple ruins of Paestum, nosh on silky gelato, and sip an espresso at a small cafe. We’re all longing for a little adventure and a change of scenery, and many have their sights set on Italy for their next European getaway.

As an American, if you’re wondering, Can I travel to Italy?, the answer is: perhaps. Many European countries still remain closed to Americans, and they’ve been reevaluating restrictions regularly, making it difficult to keep tabs on whether the trip you hope to take in a few months will get the green light. 

Italy is no exception. Currently, Italy is in a state of emergency until January 2021, but there are new requirements that determine if someone can visit the country. Italy’s most recent Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (DPCM) was approved on November 3 to take effect until December 3, 2020, which had additional restrictions and requirements for travelers based on where they’re traveling from and through (not their nationality) to counteract the spread of COVID-19.

Let’s dive into the details of how–and who–can travel to Italy now. 

Please note: We know that travel is especially difficult right now. But alongside the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates, we want to continue to inspire you with new travel content so that when the world opens its doors again, you’ll be ready. As restrictions are constantly changing, make sure to check government advice before booking travel.

Jump to a section on traveling to Italy as a US citizen:

travel to Italy and enjoy the Italian countryside

Do U.S. citizens need a visa for Italy?

First thing’s first: Americans are not required to obtain a tourist visa for stays under 90 days. Your passport just needs to have at least six months’ validity remaining beyond your planned departure date from the Schengen Area, which Italy is a part of.

Traveling to a destination, like Italy, where you don’t need a visa is important right now because it adds flexibility to your trip. And if you do have to postpone or cancel your vacay, you won’t be irked by wasted time and money spent on obtaining a visa.

Can I travel to Italy from the U.S.?

The new DPCM categorizes countries into 6 groups: A, B, C, D, E and F. The United States currently falls into category E, “Rest of the world.” There are restrictions for those traveling to Italy from a country listed in category E, like the U.S., unless they and their family members are Italian, EU, and Schengen citizens, and those with residence permits. (There are other exceptions, like those who can prove they are in a “stable relationship” with a citizen, etc.)

What this means is that, technically, Italy is not open to tourism for Americans traveling directly from the USA. Visitors to Italy cannot leave from or pass through an E-list country within the 14 days prior to their trip to Italy. If you do travel to Italy, your reason must fall into at least one pre-approved reason, which includes but aren’t limited to:

  • proven work reasons
  • absolute urgency
  • health reasons
  • study
  • return to one’s home, domicile or residence

You’ll see that “tourism” is not an approved reason for U.S. citizens in this scenario. If you travel to Italy for one of the pre-approved reasons, you are required to fill out a self-declaration form prior to departure. You may also have to provide evidence of the reason you select and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, among other protocols.

travel to a colorful Italian street

Can Americans travel to Italy now via another country?

Here is where it gets interesting. Italy created designated lists of what it deems to be safe countries—within the EU and elsewhere. Travel to Italy is permitted from countries on certain lists are allowed “without the need for motivation.” In effect: for tourism! American tourists may be able to enter Italy now from one of these countries as long as they have been there in the 14 days prior to traveling to Italy. 

For this scenario, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s website states:

“Regardless of their nationality, people traveling to Italy from Countries included in List B, and who have not visited (or passed through) any other Countries in the previous 14 days, can enter Italy without restrictions. Nonetheless, you must fill out a mandatory self-declaration, as foreseen by Prime Ministerial Decree of November 3 2020 (in force until December 3).”

There aren’t many countries on Italy’s “safe” list that themselves are allowing Americans to enter for tourism, but there are a few. This includes countries such as Croatia (List B), Slovenia (List B), and the UK (List C). Although Americans are allowed to enter the aforementioned countries as of the update of this article, they may be required to quarantine upon arrival for a specific period of time. Be sure to check entry requirements to learn specific details.

How would this work in practice?

As an example, an American might fly to Croatia for the purpose of tourism, stay in the country for at least 14 days, and then continue onward to Italy. If you’re able to travel for at least a few weeks, this may be the perfect workaround option. (Not to mention being a great excuse to visit multiple amazing countries during the trip!)

Italy’s entry requirements vary by country. Before traveling onward to Italy, read what’s required of you based on the country you’ve been in for the last 14 days (e.g. Croatia, Slovenia, the UK). For example, you may need to present a negative molecular or antigenic test in addition to submitting the self-declaration form.

To plan out your go-to-Italy strategy, check this useful website set up by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The questionnaire takes less than a minute to answer a few questions. The tool will then determine your entry eligibility and requirements. 

The Italian Border Officers/Ministry of Interior ultimately makes the decision to allow entry into Italy. We strongly encourage you to contact the competent authorities and receive confirmation in writing that your travel plans meet Italy’s entry criteria.  

Aerial view of Florence, Italy

Will U.S. tourists arriving in Italy have to quarantine?

For tourists, the answer to this question is really dependent on which “safe country” you are driving or flying into Italy from. If you’re looking to travel to Italy from the UK, for example, you have to provide proof of “a molecular or antigenic test, carried out by means of a swab, with a negative result, within 72 hours prior to entering Italy.” Alternatively, you can test upon arrival in Italy at the airport, port, or border, where available. If you go that route, you will have to self-isolate until you receive results. Italy has also provided guidance on who is exempt from quarantine.

If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms during your trip, you must self-isolate immediately and report your symptoms to the local Health Authority. The Health Authority will guide you on the next steps.

Note that if you travel to Italy now, the country has imposed various restrictions to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Among other things, a night curfew has been set from 10 pm to 5 am until early December.

What else should I do or know before traveling to Italy?

  • Check what measures your destination region in Italy has in place to ensure you’re in compliance before booking your trip.
  • Keep an eye on the COVID-19 situation in Italy, especially before you book tickets and again before boarding your international flight(s).
  • Write, print, or add a list to your phone of domestic and international phone numbers for Italy’s Ministry of Health. This will prepare you in case you have a question or emergency.
  • Read Italy’s recent decree so you understand the nuances of the travel restrictions and measures in place.
  • FYI: The Italian government extended the nationwide state of emergency due to health risks posed by COVID-19 until January 31, 2021.
Travel to Italy and see the Colosseum in Rome

Vacation planning is certainly a bit trickier these days. Skyscanner is here to support you with new flight and hotel tools that help you book flexible travel with confidence, whether it’s to Italy or elsewhere. When you do hit the road, remember to take the same CDC-recommended safety precautions that you would at home. Wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, and stay six or more feet away from others whenever possible. If you have more questions, check out our in-depth COVID-19 FAQ resource.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I travel to Italy during COVID-19?

Italy’s most recent Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers is valid until December 3, 2020. Travel restrictions to Italy are based on where visitors are coming from and where they have been in the 14 days leading up to entering Italy (i.e. not nationality).

Should I avoid traveling to Italy and internationally?

Experts advise that non-essential travel should be avoided. However, international travel may be allowed based on country-specific restrictions. Check Skyscanner’s Where’s Open? map to see which countries you can visit.

What are the CDC recommendations after traveling to Italy?

The CDC travel guidelines recommend that whether traveling or not, individuals should wear a mask when outside your home, stay at least 6 feet away from others, wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer, and monitor your health, staying home if you suspect you are sick or have a fever.

We last updated this page on November 26, 2020. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication. Given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, information will vary by location and change at short notice and over time. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date; however, this cannot be guaranteed. Check our travel restrictions page for the latest information on where you can go.