CIS Abroad Blog

Day 7: LIVE from Italy – Reconnecting with Students & Travel

Travel with Scott Tayloe, Chief Strategy Officer, CIS Abroad, as he travels to welcome our students to Italy, January 12th – 22nd, 2022. Day 7 – Florence

Day 7: Florence

The Green Pass is Real!

Green Pass. Super Green Pass. They are all the rage here in Italy. Before departing I kept getting information from our field about these green passes that were needed to travel around Italy. It’s amazing how information will pass through multiple channels and often come out the other end slightly different than when it started. So it is true that in fact a Green Pass (Covid Vaccination Status) and now the Super Green Pass (Vaccination Status + Booster) is heavily enforced here in Italy. Getting on a train, walking into a restaurant, all require showing proof of your said “Green Pass”.

But I Can’t Get One!

So as a US citizen, how do we get said Green Pass or now the newest model, the Super Green Pass? Simple, we don’t. In order to get one you must be a resident. All residents are provided with a system to log into where you will obtain a QR code that you can pull up for businesses to scan when you enter. Most now have scanners at the cash register. You walk in, put your QR code under it, and just like that you are given clearance to dine at their fine establishment. If only balloons would fall from the ceiling every time you are granted access, then I would certainly eat out more. For us US citizens, we must simply hold up our CDC Covid Vaccine Card. They will look at it (some closer than others) and hand it back to you.

A Photo Is Worth A Thousand Touches

I’ve been here a week and my Covid Card is starting to get worn and torn. It’s been with me my entire journey, I’ve been carrying it and showing it everywhere, multiple times a day. After days of handing it over, I wondered how many people were now touching my Covid Card in the midst of a pandemic. I saw a student just hold up a photo of his card on his iPhone. They looked at it and he went in. It was simple. It was genius. I took a photo of my card, put it away in my backpack and haven’t taken it out since. Every restaurant, every train, every hotel, I’ve simply opened up the photo on my iPhone. I sort of feel like it’s a QR code now. It’s digital. It’s easy. I feel local.