Traveling during COVID presents some weird interpretations of the rules. As I arrived in Venice, I realized my CartaVenezia (it is the boat pass for locals that allows me to buy monthly passes) has expired about 10 days earlier. This card I have had since 1993, but you must renew every 5 years.
The short term result is that without the renewal I couldn’t buy my pass. So I grab a number at the local office of ACTV (the transportation system of Venice and the local area) and wait in line for my turn. They inform me they need a “Super Green Pass” which is 2 vaccines plus the booster. All good, so I hand them my card which has been accepted by Lufthansa, Germany Passport Control and Italy. They tell me that they cannot accept it and until I get the Super Green Pass with the QR code, I cannot renew my Carta Venezia. I am at a loss, but I know there is a tourist office nearby, so I go in there…..get a number and wait my turn. They tell me they think the Red Cross can help. It is not too far away, so I walk there (remember I can’t take the vaporetto because I do not have the Green Pass).
The Red Cross tells me they can only give me a COVID test which will be valid for 48 hours and that each 48 hours I must return and take another test. This still does not solve my problems of the vaporetto.
And here is where understanding life in Italy comes in handy. No is not a No. It is the beginning of a “discussion” a “negotiation”. So I call a friend here in Venice. He says the friend of one of his customers had the same problem. He calls his customer, his customer calls his friend and the friend calls me.
He tells me forget the office at Piazzale Roma, go to the office at the Rialto, but do NOT get in the line of the women, but only in the line of the man. It is about 2 miles, but I walk there. I get in the line of the only man behind the counter. I ask him if he can issue me the Carta Venezia. He says sure…..”ma” (but – there is always a but) the machine that prints them is not working and could I come back after 3 pm. Sure!
So I walk the 2 miles back to meet friends for lunch, not knowing if I will be walking for the next month or not. I walk back to the Rialto at 3 pm and wait in the line for this man.
I ask what documents he needs. He says only the passport…..Nothing else, not my “Super Green Pass” not my vaccine card, just the 100 Euro to get the 5 year card.
So if you are new to Italy (or possibly any other country) remember No is just the beginning of a negotiation. I prescribe the below to relieve the stress that goes along with anything dealing with the government.
And now all is good and I am back on the boat.