As is sometimes the case, the media isn’t 100% clear on travel requirements for Italy. So hopefully this helps…
Travel to Italy
Currently anyone from the US, Canada, EU, Japan, and Israel can visit Italy with proof of vaccine (a CDC card, for example), a negative test (rapid or PCR is accepted) taken within 48 hours of arrival, or a doctor’s note showing recovery within the last 6 months.
Follow your airline recommendations, but you will also need to fill out an EU Digital Passenger Locator Form. The airline should accept either the digital version, or a printed version.
All vaccine/test/recovery and EU Locator checks are done before you board the international portion of your flight. When you land in Rome, you simply go through Passport Control as usual.
Travel within Italy
Once in Italy the same is required to visit museums and to eat inside restaurants – most restaurants have outdoor seating with no required checks. I’ve seen a number of restaurants only serving outside to avoid these checks.
But again, you’ll need proof of vaccine, a negative test taken within the last 48 hours, or proof of recovery within the last 6 months. You do not need an app for any of this.
Your negative test is only valid for 48 hours, so plan accordingly. Most pharmacies have walk-up rapid tests for €19 with results in minutes. You’ll be given a slip of paper with (hopefully) the negative checkbox checked. This is all you need, no app.
Churches do not have any requirements to visit.
Papal events do not have any requirements to visit.
Masks are still required inside most places, regardless of vaccine/test/recovery status. But they are no longer required outside unless otherwise instructed – I think the Colosseum / Roman Forum still requires them.
Travel from Italy to the US
A negative test is required to board any flights to the US. Vaccination/recovery status does not matter. Tests are available all over Rome at pharmacies and also at the airport. To relieve some stress, I recommend getting tested the day before your flight at a pharmacy. If you do it at the airport, you need to arrive four hours early and the test is done before check-in, so you’ll have all your luggage. Your negative test may be checked at the door of the airport, again before check-in, and possibly once more at your gate.
***Of course this is all subject to change, but it’s how thing are as of today, August 17th, 2021.