Italy is loosening some of its restrictions on international travel and says it plans to open up to the world for tourism this summer.
Although the rules on getting into Italy will vary depending on the country you are travelling from, visitors from some countries can enjoy more relaxed rules.
With the vaccination campaign picking up pace and the planned introduction of a ‘green pass‘ to allow tourism to restart, the industry is awakening from its lockdown slumber and preparing to welcome tourists again.
Tourism in Italy is a source of much-needed income after last year’s hefty loss of more than €120 billion for the sector – more than a 60% drop compared to 2019.
The magical floating city is relaunching itself this month with the opening of the International Architecture Exhibition (Biennale Architettura) on 22nd May and the Venice Boat Show (Salone Nautico) on 29th May.
“We will be the first to resume with events in attendance, but we need clear indications from the government,” said Tourism Councillor Simone Venturini in an interview on the city’s website.
Other scheduled spectacles include the reopening of the art museum Punta della Dogana, and in September the Doge’s Palace will host the 1600th anniversary exhibition “Venice, Birth and Rebirth”.
This island in the Mediterranean has fluctuated during the pandemic, being at one time Italy’s only lowest-risk white zone, before plunging into the harshest red-zone restrictions.
Along with the rest of the country now, however, Sardinia is easing its restrictions and preparing for the tourists to arrive.
€1 million are being pumped into the coastal towns to ensure the beaches are of a high standard to attract potential travellers.
And the island is going ahead with more than just gorgeous beaches for people to relax on.
The tourism board is also planning the Rally Italia Sardegna, a car-racing event that “contributes to promoting tourism and the image of the island nationally and internationally”, said Gianni Chessa, Regional Councillor for Tourism, during a video meeting with the event organisers on Friday.
Italy’s ‘Covid-free islands’
Dozens of small islands around Italy are gearing up for tourists with complete vaccination rollouts.
Procida, in the Bay of Naples, became the first such island to administer shots to all its residents earlier in May.
Mass vaccinations are also underway at other islands close by, including Ischia and Capri, and at various islands off the coast of the country, such as the Pontine islands in Lazio, the Tremiti in Puglia, Capraia and Giglio in Tuscany, and the Maddalena archipelago off Sardinia.
It isn’t just a move to encourage tourists to visit. Procida’s mayor Dino Ambrosino said, “Small islands in Italy are fragile territories that often have limited health services.”
As Italy reopens as a whole, the plan is to “relaunch Italian tourism”, according to the president of Demoskopika, Raffaele Rio.
“They are encouraging estimates for the recovery but we need to play in advance with a recovery plan for 2022-2023… which fuels the restart and stimulates domestic and international demand for Italy,” he added.