Important updates for Italy Money
Tax refund for purchases made in Italy by non-resident visitors
According to the Italian law, based on the European Community provisions, as a non-resident visitor, you can claim a refund for goods and services tax paid for goods intended for personal or familiar use purchased in Italy. For more information see:
Agenzia delle Dogane [Italian Customs Agency] official web site
Companies specializing in refunding sales tax
Premier Tax Free
Will shops in Italy accept traveler's checks?
In major Italian cities and tourist areas traveler checks are accepted. The rate of exchange is calculated on the daily rate of exchange shown on the newspapers.
ATMs and Debit Cards
Can I use my Credit Card/Debit Card in Italy?
Yes. Most reputable establishments will accept major credit cards. Those establishments accepting credit cards will post the logos in their front windows, just as they do in the USA and Canada.
Are there ATMs in Italy? Will I need to know Italian to use the ATMs?
Yes. The ATM (Automatic Teller Machines) in Italy are known as Bancomat. There are many to be found in the large cities and even in small towns. The machines operate just as they do here; at the beginning of the transaction, it prompts the user for the preferred language.
Using a credit card, or even better, a debit card or your local bank ATM card is very easy. One must first locate either the Cirrus or BankMate symbol (on the Bancomat and on your card) to insure the card is usable on that particular unit. Cirrus and BankMate are the two most popular and widespread banking systems in the world so they are the best to have. If you are unsure about the compatibility or the banking systems, contact your credit card company or local bank.
After discovering the system is compatible, simply withdrawal money as you would at home. Of course, in Italy the money will be dispensed as Euros, but when you return home, your bank will have converted the Euros into dollars using the most beneficial exchange rate possible. Be careful though when using credit cards, as many banks are now charging large fees of 2.5% to 4% for cash advances which negate any advantage of using the Bancomat in the first place. One's best bet is to use your regular ATM card and simply withdraw money from your account just as you would do at your local bank.
Banks in Italy are open Monday through Friday from 8:35 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. and from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.; in many tourist areas they are open no-stop from 8.30 a.m. to 4p.m. and closed all day on Saturday and Sunday and on national holidays. The afternoon one hour opening may vary from city to city. Travelers checks can be exchanged for Italian currency at most hotels and shops and at the foreign exchange offices in main railway stations and at the airports.
European Union EURO €
The new monetary currency is the Euro which is divided as follows: bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500; coins of 1, 2, 5, 10 Euros, 20 and 50 cents.
Welcome to the Euro Official Site of of the European Union (EU)
What is the exchange rate?
To find the current exchange rate between US Dollars, Canadian Dollars and Euros, please visit
The Universal Currency Converter
How to Get Euro
Once in Italy, how do I convert my dollars in euros?
Tourists reaching Italy without foreign currency can obtain Euros through any bank, ATM machines, or exchange office (Ufficio di Cambio) at airports, seaports and railway stations in the main cities.
are imposed on Tourists purchasing counterfeit goods while visiting Italy
As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the safety and security of travelers, the Italian Government Tourist Board strongly recommends that tourists do not, under any circumstances, attempt to purchase any counterfeit items, as this may end up costing them well more than an authentic product.
As of May 2005 a new legislation was implemented (which carries fines of up to 10,000 Euros for people caught purchasing counterfeit products, and criminal charges for anyone caught selling counterfeit goods.) It aims at a national wide crackdown on the sellers and buyers of counterfeit items, i.e. purses, sunglasses, watches, belts, etc bearing luxury labels such as Prada, Gucci, Fendi only to name a few.
Luggage is examined on entering and leaving Italy. Free entry is allowed for personal effects: clothing (new and used), books, camping and household equipment, fishing tackle, 1 pair of skis, 2 tennis racquets, computer, CD player with 10 CD's, tape recorder or Dictaphone, baby carriage, 2 still cameras with 10 rolls of film for each camera, 1 movie camera, binoculars, personal jewelry, portable radio set (subject to a small license fee), 400 cigarettes and a quantity of cigars or pipe tobacco not exceeding 500 grams (1.1 lb).
All items mentioned above may be imported duty-free only on condition that they are for personal use and are not be sold, given away or traded. A maximum of two bottles of wine and one bottle of hard liquor per person may be brought in duty-free. The bottles must not be open. A maximum of 4.4 lbs. of coffee, 6.6 lbs. of sugar and 2.2 lbs. of cocoa are allowed duty-free.
Overseas tourists arriving in Italy after visiting other countries are allowed to carry with them souvenirs purchased in other countries up to a total value of $500 and only a verbal declaration is required. Purchases may include up to a half litre of perfume.
Exports from Italy
There are no restrictions on gifts purchased in Italy except for antiques and works of art. These require the authorization of the Ministero dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali.
Canadian Regulations on Purchases Abroad
Any person residing in Canada returning from a trip abroad can qualify for personal exemption. All articles acquired abroad, whether purchased or received as gifts, or purchased at a duty free shop, either abroad or in Canada, must be declared by the traveler on return to Canada.
U.S. Regulations on Purchases Abroad
Each U.S. tourist may bring back to the U.S. duty-free $400 worth of goods purchased abroad. The goods must accompany the traveler. A flat rate of 10% is assessed on the next $1,000 worth of goods purchased. Parcels containing gifts may be sent from abroad to the U.S. duty-free, providing the total value of such parcels received by one person, one day does not exceed $50. Each package should be marked "Unsolicited Gift". The amount paid and the contents of the package should be declared.
A visa is not required for a U.S. or Canadian citizens holding a valid passport unless they expect to stay in Italy more than 90 days.
N.B.: No visas (and no extension to previously issued visas) may be granted to tourists who are already on Italian territory.
For other questions on passport or visa regulations check the official websites:
Embassy of Italy - Washington, DC
Embassy of Italy - Ottawa
Italy Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Entrance and stay in Italy
Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Italian MFA - EN - Home
Registration for Tourists
The formality of registering with the police within 3 days of a tourist's arrival in Italy is attended to by the hotels one stays with. If staying with friends or in a private home, the visitor has to register in person at the nearest police station within a 3-day period. In Rome there is a special police information office to assist tourists.
Telephone & Mail
Italy operates on GSM technology on mobile phones, You must contact your carrier to get details and request the unlocking code. Note: Many US carriers will require 3-months ownership on your phone to prevent distribution overseas. You will need a converter to allow electrical plugs to operate on sockets between 100-220 V & 50-60 Hz. You will also need an adapter to fit in electrical socket to charge.
Many new SMART PHONES come from factory with the converter, you will find the information on your charger or owners manual.
You must get your phone unlocked using the European "SIM" card, this SIM card must be installed in your phone to unlock. Special note: using the internet site such as "JAIL BREAK" to obtain a unlock code is illegal with penalties from $200-$2,500. Congress passed BILL H.R. 1123 requiring a Commercial Mobile Radio Service/Data provider to unlock your phone providing it is initiated by the legal owner and allows your current provider to damages for using an unauthorized code.
If you don't want to unlock your phone and just use the WiFi to surf the web. you must go into settings and change settings "not allowing roaming & data service". you can go to YouTube and obtain video's of Tips & Tricks with most phones.
You can also set up your smart phone to make calls using the web from a FREE WiFi connection.
No matter how responsible you try to be with your phone card, you can run up quite a bill when you call your parents/ your kids/ your significant other.
E-mail may be an alternative and less expensive mean of communication.
Whatever e-mail service you use in your daily life, I would set up web-access mail for your trip (like the mail offered by Yahoo!, Hotmail, Google etc.). It is the easiest to use abroad since the only software and configuration you need are built right into the browser. Set this account up before you leave home, so you don't waste valuable time abroad.
It is getting easier and easier to find Internet cafes in Italy.
General Delivery Service
Mail can be addressed c/o Post Office by adding "FERMO POSTA" after the name of the town. The addressee can claim mail at the Central Post Office upon identification by passport.
Mr. Paul Motter
c/o Ufficio Postale Centrale
00187 Rome, Italy
Stamps may be purchased only at tobacco shops and at the Post Office. Always check at the counter for the exact fare to the country of destination
Post Office Hours
Post Offices are open Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
On Saturdays are open 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Closed on Sundays
Please note that in small town or villages the post offices are open
Mon-Fri from 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sat 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Validating Rail, Bus & Subway Tickets
Please note that in order to avoid heavy fines
, it is vitally important to remember to validate any rail, bus and subway tickets purchased for use on the Italian public transport system.
In the case of rail travel, machines for date-stamping
your ticket are located on station platforms and are usually yellow in color. It is extremely important to validate your ticket before boarding to avoid fines.
Tickets for buses and the subway tend to be time-limited (often one hour) and it is therefore necessary to complete your journey within the allotted time and purchase a new ticket for any additional travel. Machines for date-stamping your ticket are located in the foyers and beside barriers in the case of subway travel and on board buses. Daily, weekly and monthly passes are also available. Tickets for buses and the subway cannot be purchased on board and must be obtained prior to boarding from newsagents, tobacconists, ticket kiosks or bars.
No vaccinations are required to enter Italy or to reenter the U.S. and Canada.
Emergency Telephone Number
For Medical Emergency dial 118
Healthcare and Medical Assistance
Tourists requiring urgent medical care should go to the nearest hospital emergency room (airports and many train stations also have medical teams and first aid facilities). Those with serious illnesses or allergies should always carry a special note from their physicians certifying in detail the treatments in progress or that may be necessary.
Read the following posts below.
Pharmacies (Farmacia), generally follow shops times (approx. from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:00 to 7:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday, but in large cities many are open no-stop. Night-time service is provided on a shift basis. Business hours and night shifts are displayed outside of each chemist's (they are also published in local papers). Before departure, it is advisable to procure a document certifying coverage by the national health-care service.
Health Services and Insurance Policy
Italy has no medical program covering U.S. and Canada citizens
. Therefore, U.S. and Canadian tourists are advised to take out an insurance policy before traveling. First Aid Service (Pronto Soccorso) with a doctor on hand is found at airports, ports, railway stations and in all hospitals. Medicines can be obtained only from the pharmacy, whether they are on prescription or over the counter.
Follow post below for more information.