The Italian government announced on May 14 that the country is reopening its borders to U.S. tourists who have either evidence of vaccine or antibodies or a 48-hour-old negative PCR test.
Maria Elena Rossi, director of marketing and promotion for the Italian National Tourist Office, recently confirmed in Rome that such travelers no longer need “a specific reason to travel into the country.” United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta and Alitalia run so-called “Covid-tested flights”, she explained, “the only way to enter the country (via Rome or Milan) from the US and not be quarantined.”
The whole country may be open, but only the islands of Capri and Ischia in Campania, where the entire population has been vaccinated, have been considered Covid-free. Hotels have had to adhere to strict protocols and restaurants have reopened for indoor dining with 50% capacity.
“There is a strong trend towards villa rentals in rural areas such as Tuscany and Umbria,” said Mrs Rossi. “They offer more privacy and an easier experience for families.”
TuscanDream co-founder Carolina Casini was in Los Angeles last March when the news of the pandemic surfaced. She was completing her summer reservations in 2020 including weddings, luxury villa rentals and personal tours, all within her native Tuscany. Suddenly, her flight back to Italy was canceled. It took her a week to find a way home.
Mrs. Casini was not in a panic. Not when a client called later in the month to postpone a wedding, and not when others asked for compensation. In the end, most reservations were postponed until 2021 and most recently until 2022. Since she knows each homeowner personally – she handles about 60 homes, she was able to communicate with them and secure credits for her clients.
I grew up in Tuscany and still live there, “she said,” so in 1999 when we founded the company, I decided to focus on what I knew best. “
At this time, she is busy booking travelers for August and fall. She launches a motorcycle training in October, but in 2022 she is planning a cooking class with Tuscan mamas and even a baseball training trip to take advantage of the fantastic baseball field in the Grosseto area.
“American travelers emailed as soon as the country opened,” Ms. Casini said, “but they needed some time to plan their trip.”
Mrs Casini is now making requests from August 2021 to the summer of 2023.
In Tuscany yesterday, curfews were moved to midnight and lifted on 21 JuneSt.. As the rules are updated regularly, it is best to check the website of the Italian Embassy in Washington before booking your trip and working with a travel agency.
Updated information here: