For members


What changes about life in Italy in January 2022

As a new year begins there are lots of changes in Italy in January, from sales to Covid rule changes and a new family allowance.

People walk past a shop advertising the winter sales in Italy.
The winter sales start this month across Italy. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Public holidays – Sadly we didn’t get an extra day off work for January 1st, New Year’s Day, this year as it fell on a Saturday and Italy doesn’t carry public holidays forward to weekdays. Monday, January 3rd, is a normal working day here.

But we do get a holiday on Thursday, January 6th, for Epiphany: this is a big day in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy. It means a day off work for adults and more presents for children, this time delivered by Befana, an old woman usually depicted as a friendly, broomstick-wielding witch, in a tradition similar to that in Spain where they go mad for the Three Kings.

Sales – If you’re waiting impatiently for Italy’s winter sales, you’ll need to check the rules on their start (and end) dates in your region of Italy. Every local authority restricts sales to certain periods of the year. 

This time, Sicily is first to begin the sales from January 2nd, and Valle d’Aosta starts on January 3rd. The rest of Italy allows sales to start on January 5th, and they go on until late February or early March in most parts of the country. Find more details here.

Schools go back – Italy’s school students go back to class on January 10th, with classes in  some regions resuming earlier, on the 7th.

There had been speculation that the return to school could be delayed in order to cut Covid infection rates, but the government has said it will do everything possible to prevent this from happening.

Further health measures for schools could be brought in by the 10th , however, as the Italian government is set to meet on Wednesday January 5th to discuss ways to combat the surging number of cases in Italy.

Keep up with the latest news on Italy’s coronavirus health measures here.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Green pass becomes vaccine passFrom January 10th, Italy will place more stringent restrictions on the unvaccinated, effectively barring them from hotels, gyms, restaurants and even public transport.

Italy’s ‘reinforced’ or ‘super’ green pass – which shows proof of vaccination status or recovery from Covid-19 – is already required to access many places previously accessible to the unvaccinated via a negative Covid test, but the upcoming change means it will be needed for many aspects of daily life.

So far the government has stopped short of mandating proof of vaccination for access to all workplaces, or for all over-18s, as has long been discussed.

CALENDAR: When do Italy’s Covid-19 rules change?

A mandate is still being discussed, however, as doctors continue to report that the majority of people in intensive care in Italy are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

The government is meeting in the first week of January to discuss further restrictions after already announcing two new decrees in as many weeks.

More ‘yellow’ zones – Italy began 2022 with coronavirus cases at an all-time high. As hospitals come under renewed pressure in many areas, the Italian government has now put a total of 11 regions and autonomous provinces on the moderate-risk ‘yellow’ list.

From Monday, January 3rd, this list includes the Lombardy (around Milan), Lazio (around Rome) Piedmont, and Sicily. Read more here.

Energy prices rise – There’s bad financial news at the start of 2022 as utility bills rise steeply again for families and businesses, despite government efforts to limit price increases

From January 1st electricity bills will be 55 percent higher and gas bills 41 percent, energy regulator Arera confirmed, even with the government allocating almost 4 billion euros in the new budget to soften the blow to consumers.

READ ALSO: Rising energy prices: How to save money on your bills in Italy

This is expected to mean the average household in Italy will see energy costs rise by at least 1,200 euros over the course of 2022, according to many estimates – and that’s without taking into account any future price rises, as Italy’s energy rates are reassessed every quarter.

Find our advice on keeping your bills down in Italy here. And if you’re looking at a switch to solar energy at home, here’s what you need to know about installing photovoltaic panels on your property in Italy.


Limit on cash payments – The latest of Italy’s measures to combat tax evasion, a new lower limit for cash payments comes in from January 1st. The maximum amount for cash payments made either to businesses or individuals is lowered from 2,000 euros to 1,000. 

Amounts higher than that must now legally be made by traceable means, such as by bank transfer or debit card.

Family allowance From January 1st, Italy’s various ‘baby bonuses’ will be replaced by a new single universal child benefit, known as L’assegno unico e universale.

Families in Italy can submit applications for the new single universal child benefit from this date, with payments to begin from March 1st 2022.

The measure was included in Italy’s 2022 budget alongside tax and pension reforms and tax break extensions.

Find out more about how people living in Italy are affected by the new budget in 2022 here.

Member comments

  1. Hello! We’re making plans…again…to get back to Italia in the spring.
    Will we (two Canadians) be able to get a super green pass? We’ll be triple vaccinated. Grazie!

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For members


What changes about life in Italy in March 2022?

From the gradual easing of Covid restrictions to the clocks jumping forward an hour, here's what to expect in Italy in March.

What changes about life in Italy in March 2022?

International travel rules change

From March 1st, Italy will allow all fully-vaccinated or recently-recovered travellers from non-EU countries to enter the country without the additional need for a negative Covid test.

Any of a vaccination certificate, certificate of recovery or a negative test result will allow extra-EU arrivals entry into Italy without any quarantine requirement – so unvaccinated travellers and those not recovered from Covid-19 will be able to enter the country with just proof of a negative test.

EXPLAINED: How Italy’s travel rules change in March

Passengers can present certificates of recovery, vaccination or testing in digital or paper format.

All arrivals will still need to complete a digital passenger locator form (dPLF) – find the instructions and download link here.

See further details of the upcoming changes to the travel restrictions here.

International Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day (la Giornata internazionale dei diritti della donna or simply la Festa della Donna in Italian) and while it’s not any kind of official holiday in Italy, it’s still widely recognised in the form of small-scale celebrations or marches and demonstrations.

You can expect to see bunches of feathery yellow mimosa flowers pop up in florists’ stalls, as it’s traditional in Italy to give these to a woman on International Women’s Day. 

According to Italian Marie Claire, the flower was chosen by early 20th century activists Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei both because it can readily be found flowering in the countryside in March, and because despite its delicate appearance, it’s deceptively strong and resilient.

Hospital visits for relatives and food and drink returns to cinemas

Following a unanimous vote by the Italian parliament’s Social Affairs Commission, March 10th is the date on which it will once again become possible for family members to visit their relatives in hospital.

READ ALSO: TIMELINE: When will Italy ease its coronavirus restrictions?

Those who are fully vaccinated and boosted will reportedly be able to access health facilities to visit their relatives without any further requirements, while people who haven’t received a booster shot will need a negative test to enter.

From the same date, it will also be possible to eat and drink in Italy’s cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports stadiums, Italian news media reports.

Italy’s government had banned the consumption of food and beverages in these venues last Christmas Eve in response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. 

Rome marathon

On March 27th, Rome will host its annual marathon once again.

Starting and ending by the Colosseum, the 26 mile course takes runners along the Tiber and past numerous historic sites including the ancient Roman Circo Massimo chariot race track, the Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s Basilica, to name a few.

That means if you’re planning on travelling around central Rome on this date, you should prepare for most of the roads to be cordoned off and for traffic to be significantly diverted.

The race starts at 8.30am, and the maximum completion time is six and a half hours. For those who aren’t fans of running, the event also welcomes power walkers, according to its official website.

The Rome marathon starts and ends at the Colosseum. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

The clocks go forward

March 27th is also the date Daylight Savings Time begins: the clocks jump forward at 2am, and everyone loses an hour of sleep.

While the EU voted in 2019 to scrap DST by 2021, a combination of Covid, Brexit, and an intra-EU stalemate (the EU Council and the EU Commission each insists the other needs to act first before anything can be done) has delayed putting a stop to the clock change, which means it will go ahead once again this March.

READ ALSO: Clocks go back in Italy despite EU deal on scrapping hour change

Italy, for one, is glad of the delays, having previously filed a formal request that the current system be kept in place.

That’s because in southern countries such as Italy or Spain daylight savings actually lengthens the days, helping people save on their energy bills – while in northern Europe the change doesn’t bring any such benefits.

Italy’s state of emergency ends

Italy’s current state of emergency or stato di emergenza, in place since January 31st, 2020, will end on March 31st, 2022, Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced at a business conference on February 23rd. 

The state of emergency is the condition which has allowed the Italian government to bring in emergency measures by decree over the past two years.

READ ALSO: Italy to end Covid state of emergency and cut ‘super green pass’, PM confirms

Bringing the state of emergency to an end doesn’t automatically mean that all current restrictions will be immediately dropped; however Draghi has already confirmed that after March 31st, some rules will be removed.

These include the abolition of Italy’s four-tiered colour coded system of Covid restrictions; the removal of outdoor mask mandates throughout Italy; and an end to the requirements for schoolchildren to wear high-grade FFP2 masks in the classroom or to quarantine if one of their classmates tests positive for the virus.