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Italy Travel Tips

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Weather

Mediterranean climate, which varies tremendously from region to region and from North to South. Some southern areas allow you to enjoy the mild temperatures by March and until late October, giving short winters; the Northern Plains have cold winters with more heavy rains in late spring and early autumn, with almost constant high humidity all year round. The Alpine region has very snowy winters, cool summers and sometimes frequent rainfall. The maximum temperatures recorded throughout the country are in July and August, with sunny periods interrupted by storms of high intensity.

 

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Entry requirements

US and Canada citizens don’t need Visas for travelling to Italy, but you will need a passport valid for six months beyond the completion of your journey for entry into Italy. If you hold a passport from another country, please check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to Italy. All passengers travelling internationally are required to have a passport. Please remember to carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or hotel room. It is advisable to carry your passport with you at all times.

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Currency

Official currency is the Euro. Bank hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15/30 p.m. and 3/3:30 p.m. to 4/4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Euro coins differ according to country, but they can be used in any Eurozone state. Banknotes are of uniform EU design. Keep receipts until you have left restaurants or bars, as there are occasional spot tax checks on owners. Credit cards are accepted in the larger Italian cities (mostly Visa and MasterCard), and you should have no problems using them in shops and restaurants. However, smaller shops, especially those in rural locations, may ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit card.

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Electricity

Voltage for outlets is 220V. North American voltage is generally 110V. Therefore, you will need a converter for your travels. Adapters will be necessary to adapt your plug into the outlet, but these may not convert the voltage, so both devices are necessary. Prior to using personal electrical appliances in Italian hotels, please check the suitability with Reception.

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Driving in Italy

It’s pointless renting a car for city travel – traffic is a nightmare and ZTLs (limited traffic zones) are in force – but if you want to head into the countryside, it’s worth considering. Italians tend to drive aggressively, but once you’ve got used to the tailgaters and honking, driving is not as nerve-wracking as it’s often made out to be. Italy’s roads are fine and outside the main urban centers, the scenery is often spectacular.

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Tips

A 10% tip is expected but not mandatory.

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Useful Knowledge

Unlike in the other parts of world, hand gestures and loud voices can be a way of expressing profound happiness in Italy.