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flag Italy Italy: In the Country

In this page: Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications

 

Eating Out

Rules For Eating Out
Restaurants generally open at 12 noon for lunch and at 7pm for dinner. You ask for the bill and pay after the meal.
 
Food Specialties
Italian cuisine is internationally renowned for its use of quality olive oil and for its pasta.

Antipasto is considered to be the traditional hors-d'oeuvre and means ‘before the meal’. The contents of antipasto vary considerably by region, but often include some of the following: cured meats, olives, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses, various cured meats and vegetables marinated in olive oil (aubergines, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.).
Some famous dishes include: marinated aubergines, aubergines parmigiana (aubergines baked with Parmesan and mozzarella), asparagus with Parmigiano Reggiano, broccoli alla romana, scalopina alla milanese, pizza, risotto alla Milanese or a wide variety of pasta dishes (lasagne, spaghetti, ravioli, etc.).

Desserts often vary by region, but some famous examples include: tiramisu, zabaione (or zabaglione), cassata, panna cotta and gelato.

There is a wide variety of quality cheeses to be found in Italy such as: Gorgonzola, Parmesan, mozzarella, mascarpone, ricotta and many others.
Drinks
Italian wines are well-known abroad. They are named according to region of origin and type of grape. Some famous examples include Chianti (Tuscany), Nobile di Montepulciano (Tuscany), Brunello (Tuscany), Frascati (Rome), Albano (Rome), Barolo (Valle d’Aosta), Valpolicella (Vento), Cabernet (Friuli-Venezia) and Pinot Nero (Friuli- Venezia).

The most well-known aperitifs are Campari and PunteMes. Among well-known Italian liqueurs, one can choose from Amaretto, Limoncello, Grappa and Strega.

Italians often enjoy drinking a coffee or a cappuccino in a bar, usually in a hurry. Young people like going to bars in the afternoon for a tea or an aperitif. You can find plenty of bars, wine bars, pubs, etc. ready to serve aperitifs from 6pm until dinner time.
Dietary Restrictions
There are no dietary restrictions in the country.
Table Manners
When you go into a restaurant, you must wait for the waiter (or waitress) to seat you. You sit at a table and you always eat with cutlery. You wait for the waiter to change the plates and ask if you want anything else. At the end of the meal, you ask for the bill, which you pay at the table or directly at the cash desk.

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Getting Around

 

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Roma - Ciampino (CIA) 15 km / 13 miles EUR 40 / 25-40 min EUR 8 / 40 min EUR 1 Available
Roma - Fiumicino (FCO) 30 km / 18 miles EUR 48 / 25-40 min EUR 8 / 45 min EUR 14 Available
Milano - Malpensa (MXP) 43 km / 27 miles EUR 70-90 / 45-60 min EUR 5 / 50 min EUR 11 / 30-40 min Available
Napoli - Capodichino (NAP) 6 km / 4 miles EUR 20 / 20-35 min EUR 18 / 20-25 min - Available
 

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Train reservation services
Italian Railway Company
 

Major airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
ITA Airways Major Yes Yes
Neos Air Low Cost Yes Yes
Ryanair Low Cost Yes Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

 
 
 

Travelling By Yourself

Car rental agencies
To rent a car in Italy
Real-time traffic conditions
Traffic conditions in Italy (in English)

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In Rome, Milan
Summer Time
Summer time is from March to October.
 

Map of the Time Zone

Fuseau(x) horaire

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Climate

 
Type of Climate
There is a mountain climate in the North, a continental climate in the plains and a Mediterranean climate in the coastal regions. On average, temperatures vary between 11°C and 19°C.
Hotel reservation websites
Italian Meteorological website
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

 

Climate

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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric system
Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degrees Celsius (°C)
 

Use our service Measurement Converter.

 
Electricity
 
  • Voltage
230 V
  • Frequency
50 Hz
Type of Electric Socket
C, F & L
Type of Telephone Socket
Italian (2 types), US RJ-11
DVD Zoning
Zone 2

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Paying

Domestic Currency
Euro
ISO Code
EUR
To Obtain Domestic Currency
There are no ATMs, but instead small bureaus with a sign saying 'change'. You can find these in all the larger towns, but they are not as common in small villages.
Possible Means of Payment
You can pay in cash or with a credit card (Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa). Checks are also taken, but they must be in EUR, GBP or USD.
 

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator

 

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Speaking

Official Language
Italian is the official language, but there are some regions with linguistic minority groups, including Alto Adige (German) and Aoste (French).
Other Languages Spoken
The use of dialects is very common in Italy. Albanian is spoken by approximately 120,000 people (80,000 of which reside in southern Italy). Approximately 1.2 million people in Sardinia speak Sardinian, with 20,000 in the northeast also speaking Gallurese.
Business Language
An increasing number of Italians have some knowledge of English, but it is advisable to correspond in Italian for initial contact. This could speed up communication and help avoid misunderstandings. In any case, most firms are able to communicate in English.

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Emergency Numbers

Police 113
Ambulance 118
Firemen 115
European Assistance 803803
Fire Prevention 1515

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Communications

Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From Italy, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in Italy, Dial +39
Mobile Telephone Standards
The mobile phones used are GPRS.
National Mobile Phone Operators
Vodafone, Tim, WindTre.
 

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
.it
National Internet Access Providers
Tim, Fastweb, Vodafone, Tiscali, Windtre

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Latest Update: March 2024