Italy. A place, a magic.
A holiday in Italy does not forget. From the North to the South, the historical, artistic and cultural heritage is truly impressive. A country full of history, full of testimonies of its glorious past. The Colosseum and the Capital: impossible to remain indifferent. Or the marvelous Pompeii, unique in the whole world.
History and wonderful cities. From large cities to small and charming villages. Italy has a lot to tell. But its beauties are not limited to this alone. Just think of Tuscany and its wonderful landscapes. And, of course, its beautiful sea. But this is also a country with a strong identity and tradition. Gastronomy is one of the strengths. But, there is also a lot of folklore with events that attract visitors from all over the world, such as the Palio di Siena.
The plane is undoubtedly the best solution to reach the splendid Italian peninsula. Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, have important international airports connected, with direct flights, with the main European capitals and cities. Rome and Milan also have direct connections to destinations outside Europe. Thanks to the presence of numerous low cost companies such as RyanAir, Wizz and Easyjet, it is possible to reach the country without economic efforts.
The train is an excellent alternative thanks to the high-speed network. From Swiss Zurich, it takes about 3 hours with the Eurocity Train to reach Milan. From Paris, during the night, you travel with the THELLO train that, without making stops, reaches Milan in about 10 hours.
NTrenitalia and Italo allow to move from north to south, within a few hours. For example, from Milan to Naples, it takes less than 5 hours. From the big cities, it is possible to reach other destinations with IC and Regional trains.
The car is, for many, the ideal way to get to Italy and move depending on your itinerary. Places like Tuscany and Liguria invite visitors to be explored on the road. Better still, during spring or summer, on two wheels, caressed by the wind. The motorway network is modern and efficient, and, almost everywhere, is subject to charges. Large cities and major cities are served by the motorway. From Geneva, to Florence, you have to travel a little more than 600 kilometers, passing through Milan. Similar distances, coming from Marseilles; in this case, we pass through the French Nice, then, Ventimiglia (at the border), Genoa and Pisa.
The ship is a solution that should not be underestimated. Ideal, coming from Valencia, Barcelona, Toulon, Croatia or Greece.
In large cities you move easily by public transport. Milan, Rome and Naples have a fairly extensive network, despite the many problems; especially in the case of the last two. The meter, where present, is the ideal solution. Buses are a good compromise, even to move from one city to another. The bike, however, has not yet had the right role as in Germany, Holland and other European countries.
To move from one city to another, the train is a great solution. As mentioned, high speed is one of the strengths of the country, especially up to Naples. It is in the South, on the other hand, that the infrastructures are more lacking. Those wishing to reach, for example, seaside destinations in Calabria, must absolutely discard the train and opt for a trip by car. We invite you to take a look at the individual destinations for more detailed information.
There is no obligation to produce documents at the border, but you are always required to bring an ID card or passport with you. It is recommended, above all, to bring the CI of their children under age, even if traveling by car or train. See our special section, about that.
Dogs and cats enter freely, provided they have a health certificate and a recent certificate from the veterinarian of the ASL of residence, attesting to good health. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies for at least 21 days.
Please note that the appropriate microchip must be applied to the animals.
To fly with animals, please refer to the individual section Airline companies.
From the 1 January 2002, the Euro has become the official currency of the country, supplanting the Lira. Almost everywhere, you can pay directly by credit card and withdraw cash at ATMs. Keep in mind, however, that in some small cities, and less touristy places, you may find it difficult to make credit card payments. A cash reserve is always recommended.
If you need to enter the bank, please note that it is generally open from Monday to Friday, from 08:30 to 13:15 and from 15:00 to 16:00. Schedules may vary depending on the credit institution. In general, the branches are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
In Italy, the clock hands are one hour ahead of the Greenwich meridian (UTC/GMT + 1 now). Daylight saving time starts from the 25 March at the 28 October with the hands forward by an additional hour compared to Greenwich.
Throughout the country, the tension is 230 volts. The most common electrical outlet is TYPE L, from 10 and 16A, 10 A nominal, which, although similar, are different in size and contact spacing (see picture above). It is not uncommon to find Schuko sockets, which are quite common in many European countries. We recommend always using a special adapter. To the most provident, we recommend taking a look at this link.
National mail is identified with the name Poste Italiane. Typically, the offices are identified by a blue writing on a yellow background. The counters are open on weekdays from 08:00 to 13:30; in the big cities, you can find the Post Office open until late evening, from Monday to Friday, and Saturday morning.
With PostaPrioritaria, send letters and loose correspondence all over the world. Registered Mail, provides the same service, with the certainty of shipping. Then there are solutions suitable for all needs. The Italian Post Office does not have a great reputation on the part of European users. By using tracking matching services, you will be free from any worries.
There are no regulated timetables, but much depends on the area and the period. Shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday, from 09 to 14 and from 16:30 to 20:30. Timetables may vary depending on the area and the period. Department stores and shopping centers are open all day. On Sundays you will find open shopping centers, outlets and shops in tourist destinations.
The Italian pharmacies are identified, on the outside, by the symbol of a cross, usually luminous. They are open on weekdays, almost everywhere, from 09:00 to 13:30 and 16:30 to 20:00; on Saturdays, from 09:00 to 13:00. The pharmacies on duty, outside the indicated hours. Almost impossible to find exercises open on Sundays, except for those on duty. In small cities, you might find pharmaceutical dispensaries.
In Italy, the system used is GSM 900/1800, the same of the main European countries. So you can easily use your Spanish, French smartphone ….
To call the phones in Italy, you need to enter the Italian international code 0039, followed by the telephone number.
With the reduction of roaming costs, you can easily call from Spain using your national rate. Alternatively, you can use the classic VoIP calls, or make video calls, using a free WI-FI line.
There is no fixed rule but, generally, museums observe very similar hours to stores. In winter, however, many buildings close before the 20. The closing day varies depending on the place. In most cases, the closing takes place on Monday, Tuesday or Sunday. It is advisable to check the visiting hours, on our guides to the individual Italian cities and destinations.
If you want to visit the religious sites, keep in mind the rule that applies all over the world. Maximum silence. Switch off the mobile phone. Dress in a decent way. During the hours of Holy Mass, visits are not possible.