“Come and visit our beaches, our sea, our mountain villages, enjoy our cuisine,” Di Maio said in an interview with Germany’s leading daily, Bild, published on Wednesday.

“We are ready to welcome you with a smile.

“We are all the same European people.”

Italy is planning to reopen its borders to European tourists from early June and scrap a 14-day mandatory quarantine period as it continues to ease its drastic coronavirus restrictions.

The government enforced an economically crippling lockdown in early March in a bid to contain a pandemic that has killed more than 32,000 people in Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries in the world.

The lockdown saw Italy’s borders close and halted all holidaymaking in a country heavily dependent on its tourism industry.

Di Maio said Italy was “ready to receive tourists from Europe with the necessary security”, citing a significant drop in its infection rate.

“From mid-June to September it will be possible to travel in Italy without any problems,” he said, adding that “clear health protocols are in place in the accommodation facilities”.

Germany still has a warning in force until mid-June against overseas holidays despite the easing of restrictions among European partners.

But Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has indicated Germany will be prepared to ease the travel warning sooner for Europe than for other countries.  

With the tourism sector reeling, the European Commission last week urged EU countries to gradually reopen shuttered internal borders and to treat each member state according to the same criteria.