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flag Italy Italy: In the Country

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



There are about 40,000 hotels, with rates varying according to class, season, service and location. There are many hotels in Rome, but it is still advisable to book in advance. Rates are often high and there are a lot of supplements.
See the National association of hotels website (Federalberghi)
Rental of villas, apartments and chalets in most holiday resorts.
Rentals with local people
A room to rent in an apartment. A good way to get to know life in an Italian home.
Camping and caravanning
Camping is very popular. The local tourist office in the nearest town can supply details on the best sites. Big campsites rent out tents and caravans and there are more than 2,100 campsites to choose from across the country.
Look at the 'Azienda Autonoma Soggiorno e turismo' website in the location where you would like to go.
Youth Hostels
There are more than 100 youth hostels which are members of the Youth Hostel Association. During the summer you must book in advance.
Hotel Rules
The price is given per room, taxes included. VAT (IVA in Italy) is 10% (19% in luxury hotels) on the price of rooms only.

Price Indications

Economy Room about 40€
Medium Price Room about 60€
Good Quality Room over 80€

Source: Lonely Planet

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Eating Out

Categories of Restaurant
  • Restaurants
Restaurants can just as easily be quite economical as very expensive. Each one has its specialties according to region and type.
  • Restaurants - Trattorie
They are more typical and may be family- run.
  • Pizzerias
You can find pizzerias all over Italy; usually a pizza is cheap and satisfactory.
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.

Price Indications

Economy Meal about 10€
Medium Price Meal 15-20€
Good Quality Meal over 20€
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.
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

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

The metro is not extensive, even in large cities.

Taxis are expensive but they are readily available in the streets. If the light is green, they are free; if it is red, they are taken. Not all drivers speak English, so make sure to have the address you are going to written down in Italian on a piece of paper.

Maps of Urban Networks
Rome Metro Map
Bus and Metro Lines in Rome
Urban Transport Agencies
Transport Agency in Rome
ATM - Transport Agency in Milan
Find an Itinerary
Calculate your journey
Find an itinerary in Milan
Find an itinerary in Palermo
Taxi Companies
Italian taxi association

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






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

The train remains the easiest means of transport for travelling around the country and the tariffs per kilometer are more reasonably priced than in most European countries. The large cities are linked with each other: Turin-Milan-Venice, Milan-Bologna-Bari, Rome-Genoa-Turin and Rome-Naples-Palermo. It is important to note that outside of the 'Pendolini' and 'Euro star', trains do not always keep to the timetable.
Rail Companies
Italian Railway Company


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

Most of the road network is in good condition; however, lanes are very narrow and curves are very sharp on some motorways (Salerno-Reggio di Calabria for example). This can make the roads dangerous when driving at excessive speeds.
Driver's License
Tourists who have a driver's license from a European Union State can drive in Italy. People who have a license from outside the EU must have with their license an authorization issued by their country of origin translated into Italian. For further information, consult the Italian Ministry of Transport website.
Conditions For Renting a Vehicle
The minimum age is 18. Renting a car is not very expensive.
Rental Agencies
To rent a car in Italy
Tolls or Taxes
You can find motorway tariffs by clicking here.
Road Maps
Maps of Italian Motorways
Find an Itinerary
Traffic Conditions Online
Traffic conditions in Italy (in English)

Rules of the Road

Minimum Driving Age
Side of the Road For Driving
Speed Limits
130 km/h on motorways ; 110 km/h on roads outside towns ; 50 km/h in town.
Safety Belts
Permitted Amount of Alcohol in the Blood
0,5 grams per liter of blood
National Roads Organizations
Società autostrade per l'Italia (Italian motorway company)
Automobile Club of Italy

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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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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.
For Further Information
Italian Meteorological website

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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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.

  • 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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Domestic Currency
ISO Code
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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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.
Getting Some Knowledge
Use the travlang website.
Free Translation Tools
Evta website : To do on-line translations

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Emergency Numbers

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

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Quality of Communications
The communications network is extensive and Internet can be used everywhere. Mobile phones generally work quite well. To call abroad, you have to buy a telephone card at a tobacconist's or newsagent.
Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From Italy, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in Italy, Dial +39
Number of Digits of National Telephone Numbers
It begins with a 0 and the code for each town. The codes may be two, three or four numbers according to the size of the exchange.
Mobile Telephone Standards
The mobile phones used are GPRS.
National Mobile Phone Operators
Vodafone, Tim, WindTre.

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
National Internet Access Providers
Tim, Fastweb, Vodafone, Tiscali, Windtre
Access in Public Places
Internet points, in bars and libraries.
Access in Hotels
Yes, in most of them.

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Latest Update: June 2023