Traveling to Italy and Sardinia: June 2021 Update

Like much of the world, Italy’s travel regulations are in constant flux due to the pandemic. For the most part, travel to Italy is restricted until July 31, 2021. Only travelers from certain countries (including the United States) can enter.

Currently, all travelers entering Italy must take a Covid test upon arrival and test negative in order to avoid a quarantine. This includes European Union (EU) citizens. Travelers from locations outside the EU must arrive on what are termed “Covid tested flights” and test negative in order to avoid the current 10-day quarantine. Each of the different arrival options requires you to provide and sign documentation attesting your health statements are truthful and that you will adhere to the required protocols. 

Covid Tested Flights

Italy permits travelers to enter on Covid tested flights departing from select airports in a handful of countries. Passengers on the Covid tested flights must complete certain paperwork and test negative for Covid before being permitted to enter and travel within Italy without undergoing a 10-day quarantine.

US travelers can book Covid tested flights on Delta or American Airlines. The Covid tested flights depart from New York (JFK) or Atlanta (ATL) and arrive in Milano (MXP) or Roma (FCO). Napoli (NAP) and Venezia (VCE) may be cleared to accept Covid tested flights at some point in the near future.

Travelers arriving on a Covid tested flight must meet these requirements:

  • Before the trip, provide a completed declaration form stating the reason for the trip, details about your prior travel, flight to Italy, Covid/vaccination status, and so forth (airlines generally provide this form)
  • Before boarding, complete and provide a Passenger Locator Form giving details about your itinerary
  • Upon boarding, provide a proof of a negative Covid swab test taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure (airlines may provide this as part of the trip fee)
  • Upon arrival at the destination airport, take another Covid swab test, which must test negative.

See detailed requirements and find updated information here.

Traveling to Sardinia

Each region within Italy has its own specific travel regulations. Sardegna Sicura has the latest information about requirements. In general, travelers to Sardinia must complete an additional self-declaration form.

If you happen to be going to Sardegna this summer and would like suggestions on where to go and what to do, contact me!

Vaccinated Travelers

Official information is still incomplete about plans to allow travelers vaccinated against Covid to enter Italy (and Europe) easily and move about freely. As of right now, it seems that vaccinated travelers from EU member states may be able to enter Italy and travel without tests or quarantines after July 1, 2021. 

While I had seen articles about vaccinated US citizens being able to enter freely after June 15, as of June 7, 2021, there’s no official information on the Italian websites about this. A digital health certificate (also called a “Green Passport”) confirming vaccination status appears to be close to launching for EU citizens, but there’s no official launch date or information about when such a digital app/Green Passport would be available for US and other non-European travelers. 

Helpful Websites and Smartphone Apps

The websites and smartphone apps below are updated on a regular basis. The information on the apps is generally updated more quickly and more frequently than the information on the websites. Find the smartphone apps on The App Store or GooglePlay. 

Seven Reasons Sardinia is a Healthy Place to Go for a Post-Lockdown Vacation

Why is Sardinia a great place to vacation after you emerge from lockdown?

Beyond the usual reasons people flock to Sardinia for vacations — the natural beauty of the island, with its indescribable mountains, sea, and beaches; the incredible food, hospitality, and people; the unique traditions, arts, and culture; the warm, strong, intrepid people; and so much more about which I write elsewhere — there are seven health-related reasons is this relatively unknown island in the Mediterranean a perfect place to go for a post-lockdown vacation.

I’ll try to keep my descriptions brief!

Sardinia’s Legacy of Health and Longevity

Sardinia has one of the highest percentages of centurions in the world. Many Sardinians live happily, healthfully, and actively into their 100s. This is due to many factors, from an isolated genetic pool to the next factors mentioned — all of which contribute to the health of Sardinians — and their visitors!

Sardinia’s Food

The food in Sardinia is locally grown and prepared in traditional ways. While you may recognize the names of some of the dishes and their ingredients, the freshness, purity (forget the terms genetically-modified and factory-farmed), and care put into food means that what you eat — cheese from Sardinian sheep and goats; island-raised meat, wheat, pasta, seafood, vegetables, wine, and more — taste nothing like what you expect, or may have ever tasted. 

My consistent experience of Sardinian food is that it’s delicious, and it makes my body (and tastebuds) happy — even when I eat things I would not/do not eat in the States. 

The quality of the food and the love put into its raising, cultivation, and preparation is undoubtedly one of the key factors to the longevity and health of Sardinians — and you’ll be eating this same food while you’re on the island. 

Sardinia’s Nature

Sardinian air is pure and carries the scent of whatever is in bloom at the season — the intoxicating scent of mirtillo is most associated with the island. If you are close enough to the sea, you’ll smell the Mediterranean; in the central part of the island; the air carries the clarity of the mountains, the high plains, or the valleys. 

The mountains across the island range from hills similar to those in coastal California to peaks like those found in Colorado, all packed into an area the size of Vermont. The sun is Mediterranean, beautiful and bold, often shining, yet not exhausting and brutal — even fair-skinned, blue-eyed people such as myself tan rather than burn when in Sardinia.

The Sardinian sea is beautiful beyond compare, and the beaches are pristine. Dozens if not hundreds of Sardinian beaches meet rigid quality, sustainability, and cleanliness standards required of the Bandiera Blu designation.

There’s more to Sardinia’s nature and outdoors than mountains, sun, sea, and beaches — but I promised to keep this article brief! The natural beauty and purity of the island most certainly contribute to the health of Sardinians — and those of us who visit. 

The Sardinian Way of Life

Sardinians love their island, one another, food, life, and living. They don’t hurry the minutes, hours, tasks, or pleasures of life. This is evident in everything they make and do, from their arts and festivals to their food and hospitality — and in their health and happiness. An unhurried life in which meals are prepared with love, eaten with family and friends, and the work one pursues is done with careful attention certainly contributes to the health and longevity of Sardinians — and influences our own for the better when we visit the island.

The Sardinian Mentality

The Sardinian mentality both manifests in and contributes to the Sardinian lifestyle. On one hand strong, stoic, and private, Sardinians are also warm, welcoming, and humorous. Patient, steadfast, and determined — sometimes called testardi, hard-headed — the Sardinians have maintained their ancient cultures, traditions, and ecosystems through centuries while still allowing select modern advantages to enhance their lives. Strength and persistence permeate Sardinia and are tangible in the nature, land, and lives of Sardinians — and rub off on those of us who visit.

Sardinia’s Isolation

As an island, Sardinia has been protected by the natural borders of the sea throughout history. While the island has been invaded at times by warring nations, the invaders have never persisted, and Sardinia has never really considered itself “conquered”. Even now, Sardinia is an independent region of Italy, much like Puerto Rico is to the United States. 

This isolation has protected the cultures of Sardinia — rather ironically, a mix of cultures associated with peoples who invaded or were invaded by Sardinia — as well as the gene pool within the island from outside influences that could weaken the social or physical health of the island and her people. 

During the pandemic, the island was relatively easy to isolate. Lockdown rules were very strictly enforced, both for residents and for those attempting to visit the island before and during the lockdown. The Polizia turned away planes and ferries full of visitors attempting to relocate to their second houses at the start of the lockdown and ticketed any locals violating isolation rules. The lockdown was so successful that Sardinia had relatively few cases of the virus. This has been good news to the Sardinians, as they wanted to ensure island would be be virus-free and support a 2020 tourist season — not just for the health of the Sardinian economy, but for the well-being of the visitors seeking relief from months of isolation.

Sardinia’s Sanitization Practices and Regulations

Even before the government issued regulations stating the regulations for restaurants, stores, beaches, hotels, and agriturismi (working farms that offer guest accommodations and restaurants serving their own home-made regional specialities), the proprietors were working to ensure facilities were cleaned and sanitized; staff would be trained in increased hygienic measures, and methods to maintain social distancing would be instituted. 

In addition, Sardinian government officials anticipate a tourist entry plan that will require visitors to obtain a “health passport”, a document that certifies each person entering Sardinia tests negative for the Cornavirus. The testing and health passport/certificate will eliminate any requirement for quarantine for incoming visitors.

The tourist’s cost for taking the test will reimbursed by giving them coupons for free or reduced-cost services, such as hotel stays, entry to museums, tourist attractions, and so forth.

These measures are an extension of the care and graciousness Sardinian hosts extend for their guests’ comfort, enjoyment, safety, and health.

Summary

All in all, if you want to take a healthful vacation to restore yourself in body, mind, and spirit, my recommendation is that you visit Sardinia. I’ve spent much time on the island, and could write much more than I have above — but you need to feel it for yourself. 

Here’s What YOU Can Do When You Visit

When you go to Sardinia, follow these guidelines for your own health, the health of others, and to be a conscientious traveler!

  • Before you go, maintain your health! Don’t even start your trip when ill, if you recently recovered from being ill, or you think you might be on the verge of becoming ill.
  • When traveling to Sardinia, maintain high preventative and cautionary health measures. Follow all airline, hotel, and other travel partner regulations. Wear masks, wash hands, don’t touch unnecessary objects, sanitize, dispose of trash responsibly, and so forth. 
  • When in Sardinia, follow all airport, hotel, restaurant, cafe, beach, travel, and local regulations. Be gracious when you’re stopped for spot-checks or asked to adhere to local regulations, health or otherwise. If you feel like you’re becoming ill, talk with your hosts, who can direct you to the local health providers and help you undertake any necessary testing and self-isolation. And remember that everyone, hosts and visitors alike, are working together to maintain health for everyone!
  • In general, travel with openness, patience, and a sense of adventure. Remember that as a visitor, you probably won’t know local customs, so listen, watch, and educate yourself a bit about Sardinia before you go and while you are there so you can experience and enjoy more of the island. 

I believe an open, positive mind supports a traveler, and most certainly supports our immune system and mental and physical health. Bring these qualities with you to Sardinia, and experience what the island offers in terms of health — and more!

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

Missing Sardinia: The Sardinian Sickness — Mi Manca Sardegna: Il Mal di Sardegna

“Sardinia is an island you cannot ignore. After visiting  it, you will carry a memory in your heart that leaves you with a nostalgia and a strange sensation, veiled with a sad yearning for something missing: It’s the Sardinia sickness.”

“La Sardegna è un’isola che non si può fare a meno di conoscere. Dopo che la si sarà visitata, si porterà nel cuore un ricordo che alimenta un sottile fil di nostalgia, e una strana sensazione, velata di struggente malinconia, di qualcosa che manca: è il mal di Sardegna.”

These are the famous words on the last page of the ubiquitous* Sardinian calendars published by R. Balzano Edizioni. 

The calendars are requisite items when you leave the island. 

And yes, the Sardinian sickness is real, affecting some of us exactly as described. 

Especially now.

#sardegnanelcuore #missingsardinia #mimancasardegna #vacaggisardegna #vacationsardinia

*Ubiquitous in the airports, bookstores, and tourist stores. Come to the center of the island and the lesser-known spots and you’ll see other sites!

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

The Gem of Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni

Gallura, the area of Sardinia of which I dreamt as a kid, is the place on this planet that feels like home to me. For me, Gallura embodies and expresses the beauty, the nature, the spirit, the heart of Sardinia in a way that’s beyond what words or even pictures can express. 

Within Gallura, the gem of Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni shines. 

Agriturismo is the Italian word for a working farm that has guest cottages/apartments, and usually a restaurant and shop offering their hand-made food. While abundant across Sardinia, not all agriturismi are equal. Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni is, in my experience, the diamond. Da non perdere, not to miss. 

Scroll down to see more, including contact information and a short video!

In the most beautiful of locations minutes from the sea, with the most wonderful hospitality, a restaurant, with their own and local wine and food beyond compare, comfortable rooms, and a truly embracing family-staff: I can’t even begin to describe. 

For a truly refined and magical experience of Gallurese country hospitality, food, beauty, and life — come!

Giovanna, Michela, Rosa, Angelo, Leo, and staff welcome you. 

Contact

Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni 

Località Portobello, Aglientu OL 07020 Sardegna, Italia

info@nuraghetuttusoni.it

www.nuraghetuttusoni.it

This clip shows a bit of the agriturismo in 2019.

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved

Tours of Artist Studios in Sardinia

As requested, I will be leading tours of artist studios in Sardinia. Of course, given the travel restrictions and complications of 2020 and 2021, the tours have been postponed until borders are open and travelers feel comfortable heading out on new adventures.

Tours will be semi-custom or custom, and include visits to the studios of the tessitrici artigianali featured here, Sardinia’s weaving museum, and time at beautiful beaches, meals at superb restaurants, and visiting other locations within Sardinia.

Having spent a good deal of time in Sardinia and with the weavers,  I can show you the island, introduce you to the women, explain the weaving techniques, and translate language and culture in a way that helps you best appreciate and most deeply connect with the weavers, Sardinia, and her culture.

If you’d like to join me in an upcoming tour, please contact me.

© 2013 – 2021 Kelly Manjula Koza | All Rights Reserved