For members


What changes about life in Italy in February 2022?

From Carnevale to Covid-19 restrictions, here's what to expect this month if you live in Italy.

People walk in central Florence.
Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Italy’s green pass rules tightened

Several of Italy’s rules around the use of health certificates change during February.

As of Tuesday, February 1st, customers must show a ‘basic’ version of Italy’s green pass to enter banks, post offices, public offices, tobacconists, bookshops, newsagents (except outdoor kiosks) and shopping malls, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Mario Draghi on January 21st.

The basic version of the pass is already a requirement for entry to hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons.

These rules are in addition to the existing requirement of a ‘super’ green pass on all forms of public transport, in bars and restaurants, gyms, hotels, cinemas, theatres and sports stadiums.

READ ALSO: How do Italy’s Covid-19 rules change from February 1st?

Italy currently has a two-tiered green pass system in place, with the basic version of the pass available to those who test negative, alongside the ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass which proves the bearer is vaccinated against or has recovered from Covid-19.

From February 1st, fines can also be issued to over-50s who refuse to be vaccinated following the introduction of a vaccine mandate for this age group in January.

Those who haven’t completed their primary vaccination cycle or received their booster within the requisite timeframes also face the “one-off” 100-euro fine, the health ministry has confirmed.

From February 15th, all over-50s and staff at universities will also need the ‘super green pass’ to access workplaces.

See further details of the changing Covid-19 restrictions in Italy this month here.

Vaccine pass validity reduced from nine to six months

February 1st also sees the validity of Italy’s ‘super’ or ‘reinforced’ green pass, which can be obtained only through vaccination or recovery from Covid, reduced from nine to six months.

While Italian media reports that the government is considering extending the validity of the pass indefinitely for those who have had a third or booster dose, this change has still not been confirmed as of February 1st, and the government has not made any official statement on the issue. 

Keep an eye on our Italian ‘green pass’ news section for updates.

READ ALSO: Q&A: How will Italy’s new six-month Covid vaccine pass validity work?

A bar owner uses the VerifyC19 mobile phone application to scan a customers 'green pass' in central Rome.
A bar owner uses the VerifyC19 mobile phone application to scan a customers ‘green pass’ in central Rome. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Changes to the international travel rules

Italy has confirmed travel restrictions will be simplified from the start of February for arrivals from within the European Union.

Travellers will now only need to show proof of a recent negative test result, vaccination or recovery under the EU-wide health pass scheme, rather than both proof of vaccination AND a recent negative test result to avoid a five-day quarantine on arrival.

For arrivals from non-EU countries, the existing rules will be extended another six weeks.

That means arrivals from countries on the government’s List D can continue to enter Italy without a quarantine requirement provided they can produce both a vaccination certificate and a recent negative test; while entry from countries on its more restricted List E is permitted only under specific circumstances, and comes with a ten day self-isolation requirement

READ ALSO: How do Italy’s international travel rules change from February 1st?

Non-reusable plastics banned

From February 14th, Italy will implement the EU’s ban on single-use plastics, passed in Brussels last July with the aim of reducing plastic and microplastic waste in the world’s oceans by 30 percent by 2050.

Biodegradable and compostable plastic is exempt from the ban, but companies caught selling other single use plastic products will be subject to fines of between 2,500 and 25,000 euros, according to online magazine Benessere Economico.

Carnevale celebrations – and school holidays

Like France’s Mardi Gras, Carnevale is traditionally the Christian celebration before the restrictions of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday (February 14th). Parades, festivals and events take place across Italy, bringing a burst of colour to the dull month of February. Check your local comune‘s website for details of events in your area.

Some lucky schoolchildren in Italy also enjoy a holiday for carnevale. In the northern regions of Piedmont and Veneto, for example, the break begins on the 26th and 28th of February respectively. Holidays vary by region – see a calendar with 2022 dates for each part of the country here.

Sanremo Music Festival

The 2022 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival kicks off on Tuesday, February 1st. Love it or hate it, this is Italy’s answer to Eurovision and a major date in the nation’s cultural calendar. Here are ten facts about Sanremo to impress your Italian friends with.

Member comments

  1. I haven’t seen any official news from the government related to nightclubs and dance venues, in a normal world this would likely mean the decree will not be extended but based on how they managed the ski resorts last year I think no news is bad news and the chances are we’ll be hearing this weekend that the decree will be extended another month – which is devastating for the night time economy and the ski resort hospitality.

  2. Just wondering if you know whether you will need the green pass to enter the Questura, to pick up a permesso di sorgiorno. My wife is waiting for her tessera, which has been processed. Until then she can’t get her third dose, thus her green pass expires 1February. Thank you.

    1. Hi, you will need a ‘basic’ version of a green pass to enter the Questura and other public offices from Feb 1st, but not for “essential” reasons. The relevant decree doesn’t specify whether picking up a residency permit is classed is essential, so we can only suggest checking with the Questura.

      In the meantime, it may be possible to book a third dose without the tessera – here are some more details:

      With best wishes,
      – Clare

      1. So in her case, since her original green expires February 1, she would need either her third dose thus resetting here green pass or a negative Covid test in the requisite timeframe 72/48 hours?

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For members


On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week

From mafia victims remembrance day to celebrations for the Florentine New Year, here's what to expect in Italy this week.

On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week


Start of spring

The spring equinox, which falls on March 20th this year, will mark the first day of astronomical spring in the northern hemisphere.

After the equinox – which, scientifically speaking, is the moment when the sun appears directly above the earth’s equator – daylight will gradually increase up until the summer solstice on June 21st.


Mafia victims remembrance day

Italy will commemorate the victims of mafia crimes on Tuesday, March 21st, which is known as National Remembrance Day for Innocent Mafia Victims (Giornata della Memoria delle Vittime Innocenti delle Mafie).

Anti-mafia organisation Libera created the event back in 1996, but it was only officially recognised by the Italian state in 2017. 

READ ALSO: ‘Very violent’: How Italy’s youngest mafia is terrorising the Puglia region

March held in memory of mafia victims

Italy will commemorate the victims of mafia crimes on Tuesday, March 21st. Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP

The day is not a national holiday, meaning public institutions and schools will remain open, but a number of events paying homage to mafia victims will take place around the country.

A march followed by guest talks and seminars on the history of the mafia will take place in Milan – the ‘capital’ of this year’s Remembrance Day – on Tuesday morning.


Surrealism in Milan

An exhibition exploring the relationship between surrealism and non-western cultures will open at Milan’s Mudec Museum on Wednesday, March 22nd. 

The show, titled ‘Dalì, Magritt, Man Ray and Surrealism’, will display over 180 items, including some lesser-known artworks and historical documents, that are expressive of the cultural syncretism lying at the heart of surrealist art. 

READ ALSO: Metro, bus or tram: How to use Milan’s public transport

The exhibition will remain open to the public until late July. Tickets can be bought here.


European Gelato Day

Friday, March 24th will be Europe’s Artisanal Gelato Day.

The event, which was first launched back in 2012, is to this day the only food-related recurrence recognised by the European parliament. 

Austria’s very own apfelstrudel ice cream will be the centrepiece this year, with gelato makers from all around Europe having a crack at producing the strudel-flavoured delicacy. The flavour will be on offer at artisanal gelaterie in Italy.

Gelato makers in Italy

The 11th edition of the European Artisanal Gelato Day will take place on Friday, March 24th. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP


Florentine New Year

Florence residents will be ringing in the Florentine New Year on Saturday, March 25th.

The Tuscan city marked the official start of its calendar year on March 25th – the day of the Annunciation of the Lord according to Catholic tradition – from the early Middle Ages right up to 1749, when it switched to the Gregorian calendar by order of Grand Duke Francis II.

 Florence residents have carried on holding celebrations on the day through the centuries, with the former capodanno being a beloved cultural event to this very day.

READ ALSO: What are the best Florence neighbourhoods for international residents?

As usual, this year’s celebration will be marked by a costume parade starting in Piazza di Parte Guelfa and ending before the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, where a solemn ceremony will be held.

A wealth of events (special art exhibitions, guest talks, conferences and so on) will take place in the days preceding and following March 25th. You can find out more about those here.


Clocks go forward

Italy will make the switch to Daylight Savings Time (also known as summer time, or ora legale in Italian) in the early hours of Sunday, March 26th.

READ ALSO: Whatever happened to the EU plan to ditch the changing of the clocks?

Clocks will jump forward by one hour at 2am, meaning a lost hour of sleep that night but one more hour of sunlight from then on.

While the EU voted in 2019 to scrap Daylight Savings Time (DST) by 2021, Covid, Brexit and an intra-EU stalemate all delayed the move, which means the switch will go ahead once again this March for all EU states.