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What It’s Like to Visit Italy for the First Time During COVID

For the last year and a half, I didn’t leave New Jersey due to the pandemic. This summer, I decided it was finally time and went to Italy. Although the trip took place a few months ago, the precautions and guidelines are still relevant at the time of writing.

Looking at the canal with gondolas in Venice, Italy.

The city of Venice, Italy, pictured on the writer’s trip this summer.

Rachel Dube


In May 2021, Italy announced it would open its doors to passengers from the United States without quarantine mandates.

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As someone who dreamt of traveling to Italy for years, I booked a flight to Milan with my mom and sister.

At the time, the only way to enter Italy was to quarantine for 14 days or take a government-approved COVID-free flight. I chose the latter, which required a negative test before departure, a self-declaration form, and another rapid test or proof of vaccination or antibodies upon arrival.

However, before our flight, the policy changed, and anyone from the US could enter Italy with proof of vaccination, antibodies, or a negative test.

Right now, as of publishing, US citizens may travel to Italy for any reason, as long as they present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test within 72 hours of arrival and proof of full vaccination or a medical certificate confirming recovery from COVID no more than six months before departure. Otherwise, they must self-isolate on arrival for five days and take a PCR or rapid antigen test. This policy, which is available here, is in effect until December 15, 2021, after which it is likely to change. 

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