Passport was not stamped on entering Italy

We flew from New York to Naples by way of Rome. On arriving in Rome on American Airlines,we went through a security line again, followed signs for "transit flights", got boarding passes at Alitalia for the flight to Naples, and then followed signs to the flight gate where we boarded a bus to our plane. On landing in Naples, we were bussed to the terminal, followed signs to baggage pick-up. After picking up our bag there was one door for those declaring items and for those not declaring items. On the other side of the door , all there was were a group of people waiting for passengers. our driver was there, took our bags, and we were off for our drive to Positano.
AT NO TIME DID WE SEE ANY SIGNS ABOUT PASSPORT OR BORDER CONTROL. It didn't hit us that we never had our passport stamped until we we re eating dinner in Positano! (Though airline and security pele at the airports looked at our passports at several points). ARE WE GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM WHEN WE LEAVE AGAIN FOR THE U.S. in 10 days?

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6826 posts

You should have gone through immigration at Rome. But once in a blue-moon sometimes that doesn't happen for what ever reason. Once I landed at Schipol Airport from a direct flight from Newark, and nobody was manning any of the desks. So myself and a few hundred other passengers proceed directly to the baggage carousels and into the public part of the airport. Haven't got a clue why????? Twice (once before 9/11, once after)I have even entered the US from transatlantic flights without my passport checked. On both occasions there were thunderstorms over the NYC area, flights were stacked up for a while. When it was safe to land the immigration halls were over fire-code capacity, so my flight and lots of others were treated as domestic flights. Baggage was sent to the domestic carrousels and that was that. You won't have any problems leaving the EU or entering the US on your return trip. Your itinerary is in their computer databases.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7953 posts

Are you sure nobody looked at your passport in Rome? No matter, the don't want your butt, so you can leave. Worst case, the computer as you exit (or one within a few yards) can tap into the arrival manifest and hive out the situation.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10845 posts

Consider yourself lucky. Have taken as long as an hour and a half to clear immigrations in Rome. Was the security line right after you got off the AA plane?

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7185 posts

True story: My wife missed the passport check entering Korea in Songtan. When we left out of Daegu, she had no entry stamp. Since Korea is technically at war, the punishment for being in the country illegally is up to one year in prison and one million won. They took us to an interrogation room for something that resembled the third degree (dark room, bright light on our faces). I was wondering if I was expected to pay a bribe/mordida (that's what you would do in Mexico). Fortunately, I was an Air Force officer so they accepted our story and let us go with no penalty. They simply stamped her in and out of Daegu - but not without a scare.

Posted by Leslie
Atlanta, Georgia
370 posts

You will be just fine. They didn't stamp mine coming or going a few months ago either at FCO. They did about 6 months prior to that and a little over a year ago, again no stamps. They probably looked at it at some point, you just may not remember. It's not the only place I haven't received a stamp, but so far it's the only one where I have noticed a pattern. Not sure why or why not but I find in Italy, questions are decadent. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3301 posts

My passport never gets stamped in Italy. I use my Italian passport to enter (to avoid the lines) and I don't even show my US passport. I then exit using my US Passport (I don't even show my Italian passport). All they ever tell me is: Arrivederci and Buon viaggio. Enjoy your 10 days in Italy and don't worry. You won't have a chance to share a jail cell with Berlusconi.

Posted by Larry
Carmel, CA, USA
199 posts

Hey Roberto, how can we all get one of those "skip the line" Italian passport things? Do we need to do that in advance, or can we just pick one up at any tobacco shop once we arrive in Italy? Do we save any euros if we do it advance?

Posted by George
Canada
815 posts

Italy has the slackest airport security and Passport Control of any EU country I've been in.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3301 posts

Larry: That is the beauty of dual citizenship. You get to choose the shorter lines. Unfortunately you can't get one at the tobacco shop, you must get it through ancestry, through marriage, or through residency. Just like the US passport, if you aren't born in the US. If you have none of the above, but you are a great soccer champion, the Italians soccer teams will find you an Italian ancestor, Im sure. Still trying to figure out how so many Brazilian players became Italian citizens, including Kaka'.

Posted by JR
texas, usa
108 posts

Hopefully not! Same just happened to us - they just waived us through. even went back and asked and they waved me through again with no stamp.

Posted by Ann
New York, NY, NY
57 posts

No stamps for us either! Four of us went to Italy this past June, we landed in Rome, lined up for passport control, put the passports on the counter and the guy pushed them back to us, didn't even open them! The kids were so disapointed. The only stanp we got was an entry stamp back into the US!

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2171 posts

Stamps are no longer compulsory on Schengen entry ports fit with the latest version of FRONTEX, entering on passports with RFID chips. Those passports can be read just by being taken to close proximity of a reader, even if the officer doesn't open and look at its pages in detail. Then FRONTEX registers the entry data there. Passport stamping is going to be phased out in the mid-term future as domestic police forces will use handheld devices to access FRONTEX data when they need to check visa status of bearers of non-EU passports for some reason.

Posted by Angela
Sammamish, WA
403 posts

Same here. Just returned from Italy this week. They didn't even look at my passport on entry. I offered my US passport; the guy just smiled at me and waved me past.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3301 posts

If you guys want the Italian police to look at your passport closely and even put a stamp on it, you'd better get a Pakistani or Iranian passport, because with a US or Canadian passport it's not gonna work.

Posted by George
Canada
815 posts

The largest (read busiest) airports in Europe still stamp passports on entry and exit - Italy is just plain sloppy - and it shows by the numbers of illegal immigrants that gain access through Italy and then freely disperse throughout Schengen. Ask Germany how they like the illegal funnel through Italy. Italy may be a great place to visit BUT they are a scourge in / on the EU.

Posted by Quirite
Rome, Lazio, Italy
99 posts

The "numbers of immigrants that gain access to Italy" come there by boat, certainly not by plane - and then, they're always intercepted by the Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) and are taken to the Centri di Identificazione ed Espulsione (places from where illegal immigrants are identified and repatriated). However, that scorge which is called EU is actually paying our government to keep all those immigrants on Italian soil! As for gypsies - they come from Romania, which is part of the Schengen area so we can't really do nothing about it. Ask us - and not Germany! - how we like all those people roaming within our borders...

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3301 posts

I must agree with Quirite. Also, the practice of not putting stamp (or even not looking at passports) is not applied to all people arriving in Italy. It's generally applied to citizens of rich countries, such as US, Canada, Australia etc. Those countries are not known for sending a lot of illegal aliens to Italy.
I can guarantee you, that if you arrive in Italy with a passport from an African or Middle Eastern country, they will open it, they will check it, and they will stamp it.

Posted by Larry
Carmel, CA, USA
199 posts

Just curious, if someone flies from the US through Germany, and then connects to Italy, do they go through customs and immigration in Germany, and go through nothing in Italy? Excuse me if I asked this question once before.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6826 posts

Immigration (passport check) will be in Germany, Customs (the stuff you are bringing in) will be in Italy.