travel information about Italy
116,000 square miles
230V, 50 Hz
A valid passport is sufficient for a 90-day stay. Italy, a member of the
EU, does not require visas for citizens of the United States. A valid passport
is sufficient for a 90-day stay.
As of 14-dic-2007: 1 Euro = ¤ 1,47 US Calculate
A value-added tax (VAT; IVA in Italian) of 20 percent is added to every
purchase you make in Italy, but non-EU residents can get refunds for high-ticket
items (€155 and up) purchased in shops with a "Tax-Free Shopping"
sticker in the window.
The shop will give you a special receipt that you should have stamped at
customs before leaving the EU.
For further information, see www.agenziadogane.it
Hotels and high-end restaurants generally include service charges in their
bills. Other restaurants don't, in which case a ten percent tip for good
service is appreciated.
calling to Italy
Telephone Calling Code from Europe: +39
Telephone Calling Code from USA & Canada: 0139
and then the desired number, including the local area code starting with
0. For example, if you want to call a number in Rome from abroad, dial:
00 39 06 +++++++
calling from Italy
dial 00 followed by the country code and the desired number. International
calls can also be made from public phones using a phone card. Phone cards
from Euro 1 to 10 can be purchased from cafés, tobacconist's, newsagents
and post offices.
Don't forget to check the expiry date on the back and to tear off the little
triangle on the top left edge of the card before you use it.
All the main cities in Italy also offer call centres, where you can make
international calls at a more convenient rate compared to public phones.
The local dialling codes always start with 0 and can have two, three or
even four digits. The phone number after the local dialling code varies
from four to eight digits depending on the location.
Freephone numbers, referred to in Italy as numeri verdi (literally green
numbers) have no dialling code and generally start with 800.
As for mobile phones, Italy uses a GSM 900/1800 system, compatible with
the rest of Europe and Australia, but not with North America.
Before you leave, do check with your mobile phone operator whether you will
be able to use your phone in Italy or whether you can insert a pre-paid
SIM card in it (your passport is usually requested to do this).
The four main mobile phone operators in Italy (TIM, Vodafone, Wind and Tre)
offer pre-paid SIM cards for as little as Euro 10 (sometimes on special
with Euro 10 credit top-up).
Italy is an hour ahead of the Greenwich zero meridian (GMT). In the early
hours of the morning on the last Sunday in March, clocks are set forward
An extra hour of sun and fun for inhabitants and visitors to the peninsula,
which ends in the early hours of the morning on the last Sunday in October,
when clocks are set back an hour.
There are just a few simple rules to keep in mind to travel freely on Italian
roads and motorways are contained in an amalgamated law (Codice della strada
or Highway Code) and have been standardised to comply with European regulations
on car and motor vehicle traffic.
Driving on the right-hand side of the road, overtaking on the left, wearing
seatbelts at all times and mandatory use of low beam headlights on motorways
and main roads outside built-up areas even during the day.
As in the rest of Europe, warning triangles and reflective vests (fluorescent
yellow or orange, to be worn as soon as you get out of the car) are compulsory
in the event of car breakdown and parking in dangerous areas or fast roads
The polizia stradale or highway police, or other law enforcement force are
authorised to run random breathalyser tests.
mopeds, motorcycle and motorbikes
You do not need to have a driving licence to ride small mopeds, up to 50
cc, but you do need to be at least 14 years old and you cannot carry passengers.
You need to be sixteen to drive a motorcycle up to 125 cc. For two-wheelers
above 125 cc, you need to be 18 or over and have a motorbike driving licence.
You cannot ride mopeds below 150 cc on motorways under any circumstances.
Helmets are compulsory for mopeds and motorcycles of any engine size. Legal
blood alcohol limit: 0.05%.
Speed limits on motorways: 130 kilometres per hour.
Speed limits on highways: 110 kilometres per hour or lower where specified
by signs (also on main roads outside towns).
To ensure speed limits are respected, a large number of Autovelox electronic
speed cameras have been installed throughout the entire network of Italian
roads and motorways.
The climate varies from North to South, from the coasts to the mountain
The temperatures at sea level tend to be the same in the surrounding towns
too, while there are unexpected climatic changes between summer and winter
at high altitude.
The winter season on the Alps is harsh, with permanent snow since mid September.
The northern regions are marked by cold winters, hot summers and rain well
distributed throughout the year, while the weather conditions become milder
as you move south.
Central Italy (between Liguria and Lazio) definitely benefits from a more
temperate climate than the northern regions.
In the southern regions, south of Rome, including the islands of Sicily
and Sardinia, the climate is hot and dry.
Here the sirocco, a hot and humid African wind, blows over all the South,
making the summer season extremely hot.
Nonetheless, the Apennine areas of central and southern Italy afford a harsh
climate, typical of Alpine mountain areas.
when to visit Italy
Always! Every season is suitable and every month is the most interesting
time depending on the region you choose to visit or what you want to do.
Winter: from December to February for those of you who are interested in
snow and the mountains.
Spring: between April and June, when the climate is mild and temperate everywhere,
the blooming countryside affords breathtaking landscapes and you can visit
the cities and enjoy the mild climate at the same time.
During this time, you will also find it easier to get around because the
great throngs of Italian tourists who mostly go on holiday in July and August
leaving the cities to enjoy popular seaside towns and holiday resorts haven't
set off on their journey yet.
Summer: along the coasts, or in the countryside to enjoy relaxing places.
Everyone's on holiday in August. This statement doesn't really make sense
anywhere else in the world, but it is an essential truth in Italy: the majority
of Italians go on holiday in August and, consequently, many shops and restaurants
in the large cities close for business for at least part of the month, although
there are some undoubted advantages in terms of accessibility to architectural
sites, monuments and museums, and the more convenient travel on public transport.
The calendar of religious festivals, of local and national festivals, of
cultural events and traditional performances is abundant and covers every
month in the year, to reach frenzied peaks between the Easter festivities
and the month of September.
from/to airports to your villa
* rent a car
The villas you can rent from US are locate in beautiful settino aut post
of them are not easily reached by pubblic transportation; therefore it is
advisable to make arrangements to rent a car before your arrival and pick
it at the airport.
We do not provide such a servic so we suggest you to contact directly the
major car rental company such as National, Avis, Herts.
We can organize a transfer from and to the airports to the villa by our
In this case it is not possible to have the rented car delivered to the
villa so the service we provide is to have a second chauffeur to drive your
car so you can just relax till you reach your property.
Please contact our office for further information.
* rent a car at Ischia island
With over 20 years of experience, Auto Di Meglio S.A.S. offers various cars
for rent (usually small cars because Ischia's streets are narrow).
They also offer a chauffer service from Naples airport to Ischia and vice
Bookings can be made through our office.
* hydrofoil by Ischia
capri 35 min, sorrento 50 min, naples 40 min.
* day tours
We can book a professional guide and private chauffeur for cultural or shopping
tours to discover the most enchanting places to visit in the area or find
a bargain in the several fashion outlets.
Check with the office for availability and costs.
* airports and trains
Italian Airports official site: www.aeroporti.com
Italian Trains official website: www.trenitalia.com
how to get to by plane
Ryanair now operates flights from London to Perugia Airport S. Egidio -
or www.ryanair.com From Perugia consider about 40 min drive to Todi area
and about 30 min to Umbertide/Cortona area. In alternative you could also
fly to Rome, then consider 1 hour and 30 min. drive to the South of Umbria
(eg Todi) and 2 hours drive to the North of Umbria (eg Perugia). You could
fly to Florence, then consider 2 hours drive to the South of Umbria (eg
Todi) and 1 hour and 30 min. drive to the North of Umbria (eg Perugia).
There are two International Airports: Pisa Galileo Galilei www.pisa-airport.com
and Florence Aeroporto di Firenze www.safnet.it
You could also fly to Milan www.sea-aeroportimilano.it and it takes about
3 hours to get to Florence by car. Pisa is only 1 hour far from Florence.
Siena and the Chianti area : 2 hours drive from Pisa and 1 hour drive from
There are two Airports near Rome: Ciampino and Fiumicino which called Leonardo
da Vinci www.adr.it
is the nearest one to Rome, it is just 15 km/ 9 miles far from the city
centre. There are shuttle buses or trains available to Rome. Fiumicino is
about 36 km/ 21 miles far from Rome city centre and there are trains available
every 30 min. to reach the main Railway Station: Roma Termini.
1 hour drive from the International Airport of Napoli www.naples-airport.com
Consider 2 hours drive from Rome.
Capri and ischia island
Hydrofoil and Ferry connection from
Naples: In Naples there are two ports: Mergellina port (hydrofoil for passengers)
or Molo Beverello or Pozzuoli (Ferry for passengers and cars). So if you
take your car with you, you have to go to Molo Beverello or Pozzuoli. www.alilauro.it
(only hydrofoil from Mergellina) or www.caremar.it
(also Ferry from Beverello). Consider about 1 hour and 30 min. by Ferry
and 50 min. by the Hydrofoil from Naples. From Pozzuoli about 1 hour (only
Ferry service available).
The fastest way to get there is from
Sorrento port taking a Hydrofoil which takes only 25 minutes. Otherwise
from Naples (Molo Beverello) 1 hour and 20 min. by Ferry or 40 min. by Hydrofoil
Urbino: about 1 hour drive from the Ancona-Falconara International Airport
monte Conero: about 20 min. drive from the Ancona-Falconara International
Fly to the Catania International Airport www.cormorano.net/aeroporto.catania
drive to Milazzo (about 1 and a half hour) and from there, there are frequent
daily connections by ferry and hydrofoil to Lipari's islands www.siremar.it
From July till the end of September the car access is limited to the Island,
unless you show your accommodation voucher when you arrive at the port.
Fly to Bari or Brindisi International airport www.seap-puglia.it/introie.htm
and drive for about 1 hour from Bari and about 30 min from Brindisi to the
"Trulli district". Ryanair operates flights from London to both
Fly to Olbia Airport and drive 20 min to Porto Rotondo. www.geasar.it
1st January: New Year Eve
6th January: Epiphany (or Befana)
March-April: Easter and Easter Monday (Sunday and Monday)
25th April: Liberation Day
1st May: May bank holiday (workers' holiday) concerts and events all over
Italy - the concert held in Rome every year in honour of Italian workers
is abounding in talent and completely packed.
2nd June: Festival of the Republic
15th August: The Assumption (Feast of the Assumption)
1st November: All Saints Day
8th December: Immaculate Conception Feast
25th December: Christmas
26th December: St. Stephen's Day
Shops and Supermarkets:
on working days and
Saturdays shops are generally open from 9 am to 1 pm in the morning and
then from 3/4 pm to 7/8 pm.
The majority of the supermarkets, department stores and hypermarkets are
open from 9 am to 7/8 pm, and are closed on Sundays.
During religious or pagan celebrations, shops remain closed.
the majority of chemists are closed
on Saturday afternoon, Sunday and on national holidays, but every municipal
administration organises a rota system to ensure a few chemists are open
at any time during the week.
Chemists that stay closed are forced to display a sign in the window indicating
the nearest open chemists.
open at around 8:30 am and close at
1:30 pm from Monday to Friday.
At the weekend, however, bureaux de change agents in all the major cities
and main tourist resorts are in full swing.
are open all day without a lunch
break from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm from Monday to Saturday. Some central offices
close at 1 pm on Saturday.
Cafés and bars:
open all day and some even
stay open until the early hours.
Nightclubs and other nightlife hotspots:
around 10 pm but things only really begin to get going at around midnight.
Italians looking for fun do so at their own pace, and they may only be ready
to actually go out the front door at around the time people in other countries
are going to sleep after a night out.
So don't rush to the nightclub entrance early: go out for dinner first at
about 9 or 10 pm (a normal dinner time, especially in the South of Italy)
and take your time.
· 113 Police.
National helpline for all emergencies,
to report robberies, thefts or assaults, accidents
and also health emergencies.
· 112 Carabinieri
fire, smoke or gas leaks
healthcare and ambulance network
Roadside assistance. For engine breaks down or in the event of another
problem with your
car that prevents you from travelling.
When you dial this number, a distress call will be routed to
the nearest ACI (the Italian Automobile
Association) office, who will send out mechanics to repair
or if necessary tow your car. The
service is available 24 hours a day, but it is not free of charge,
although ACI members are entitled
to large discounts.
State Forestry Corps environmental emergencies.
The Forestry corps is in charge of
safeguarding the environmental and
landscape heritage and, in particular, of forest fires, a
constant emergency especially during
the summer months.
Via Antonio Bosio 5, 00161 Rome -
Tel.: +39.06/852721 or the freephone emergency number
800877790 Website: www.australian-embassy.it
Via G.B. de Rossi 27, 00161 Rome -
Via Bruxelles 56, 00198 Rome - Tel.:
Piazza Farnese 67, 00186 Rome - Tel.:
Via San Martino della Battaglia 4,
00185 Rome - Tel.: +39.06/492131
Piazza Campitelli 3, 00186 Rome -
Via Quintino Sella 60, 00187 Rome
- Tel.: +39.06/487991
· The Netherlands
Via Michele Mercati 8, 00197 Rome
- Tel.: +39.06/3221141
Via Gaeta 5, 00185 Rome - Tel.: +39.06/4941680;
Via Barnaba Oriani 61, 00197 Rome
- Tel.: +39.06/809571
Via XX Settembre 80a, 00187 Rome -
Via Vittorio Veneto 119-121, 00187
Rome - Tel.: +39.06/46741