Friday, September 3, 2021

Strangely enough, we did not need Covid tests—but our experience would be difficult to duplicate

After studying several documents and listening to advice from dozens of people about what we would need to travel to Italy this month, the answer is still a disappointing and inconclusive mystery. Sorry for those of you who were waiting to see a firm and final answer.

When United Airlines called a month ago to say our flight had to be changed, we opted for an overnight stay in Switzerland. While we enjoyed a nice afternoon in Zurich yesterday, I think it invalidated the chances of our situation serving as an example for other people. We were not asked to show our Covid vaccination cards when we boarded this morning in Switzerland, and to our surprise, we were not asked for ANYTHING at all when we landed in Florence. When we went to pick up our checked luggage, one piece was missing, and it took us about 40 minutes to fill out forms to have our luggage delivered to us later. By this time, all the other passengers had exited the airport, and thus we don’t know if they were asked for any documents. We just walked straight out of the airport and took the shuttle to the rental car offices.

Montecarlo, our Italian home town. It's about 20 minutes from Lucca.

It’s quite possible that the Florence airport is not following all the rules of protocol because of its small size. It only has a few direct flights from the United States, and our Swiss Airways flight was probably just considered a domestic flight from one European country to another. I really don’t know why it was all so easy, but you cannot compare our experience with other flights, especially those that are direct from the United States to one of Italy’s large airports. Don’t assume that our experience was in any way typical.

So in the end, we didn’t need Covid tests to enter, but the peace of mind we had knowing we had every document possibly required in hand outweighed any inconvenience we experienced to go get the tests. I am writing this from the sidewalk outside one of our favorite Montecarlo restaurants on a gorgeous sunny and mild Tuscan afternoon. Two months of “dolce far niente” await. Siamo contentissimi!

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