On a visit to Rome this month, at the airport:
- They immediately stamped my Canadian passport, and I could stay for up to 90 days without a tourist visa
- No questioning
- They didn’t mention anything about liquids
- No full body scan
- Customs declaration appears to work on the honour system
Returning to Canada through the U.S., at JFK airport:
- Required to take off my shoes
- Required to separately x-ray my laptop
- Required to put 100 mL or less of liquids in a plastic re-sealable bag
- Questioned for a minute about customs and what my intentions were
- Passport stamped for connecting flight only
This, despite Canada and the U.S. sharing the longest undefended land border in the world, and being parties to NAFTA, the largest trade union in the world as of 2010, and most Canadians being exempt from US-VISIT fingerprinting and photographing procedures, unlike U.S. green card holders.
Indeed, the U.S. was attacked on 9/11 and Italy and Canada weren’t. However, the disparity in security checks for Canadians at the airport in Italy’s largest city versus the United States is vast.
This, despite Italy having been a member of the Iraq War coalition, all three countries with troops in Afghanistan, and Italy’s longest-serving and current Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, having been the most pro-Bush foreign leader aside from UK prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.