The capital, and at the same time largest city of Italy, is Rome (Italian: Roma) and lies on the banks of the river Tiber. The Vatican is located within the city limits. Because of its role in ancient times as the capital of the Roman Empire it is also called the "Eternal City".
U.S. Embassy Rome
via Vittorio Veneto 121
Phone: (+39) 06.46741
U.S. Consulate General Florence
Lungarno Vespucci, 38
Phone: (+39) 055.266.951
U.S. Consulate General Milan
via Principe Amedeo, 2/10
Phone: (+39) 02.290351
U.S. Consulate General in Naples
Piazza della Repubblica
Phone: (+39) 081.583.8111
If you become a victim of crime, or know of someone who is, please contact the American Citizen Services office nearest you. Please note the Embassy and consulates’ emergency contact information: https://it.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/emergency-contact/
British Embassy Rome
Via XX Settembre 80/a
British Consulate General Milan
Via S. Paolo, 7
If you’re in Italy and you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been attacked or arrested), call +39 06 4220 0001.
Police (Polizia di Stato): 113
Medical emergency from cell phone or landline (Numero unico emergenze): 112
Italy has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, dry summers. The farther south you go, the warmer the climate. Some warm clothing should be included on trips taken between October and mid-May.
Italy is located in the Central European Time Zone. European Summer Time is used between the end of March and the end of October, meaning clocks are moved forward an hour during that period.
UK: - 1 hour
East coast: - 6 hours
West coast: - 9 hours
Some cities and municipalities in Italy have introduced a tax on overnight stays (city tax). The amounts range from 0.50 euros to 5 euros per night per person. Unfortunately, the tax may not be transferred together with the costs of accommodation and is therefore due to be paid cash directly at the hotel.
Most outlets in Italy are 220 volt, although you will occasionally find 110-125 volt outlets. Most
appliances will require adapters, which can be purchased at airports and locally.
Long distances are measured in kilometers in Italy. A kilometer equals about 2/3 mile.
Shorter distances are measured in meters. A meter is 3.28 feet (1.09 yards).
Weights are measured in kilos. One kilo equals 2.20 pounds.
Stamps can be purchased in all post offices and kiosks (indicated by a “T” for “tobacco”).
Most public phones require telephone cards, which can be purchased at tabacci shops. The perforated corner of the card must be torn off before use.
Country codes for calls placed from Italy:
UK: 00 44 + phone number
USA/Canada: 00 1 + phone number
Country codes for placing calls to Italy:
UK: 00 39 + phone number
USA/Canada: 011 39 + phone number
For most international calls it is customary to leave out the 0 of the area code. This is not the case for Italian landlines. Italian cell phone numbers however do not start with a 0, therefore you don't dial a 0 when calling a cell phone.
Fuel costs, costs for fuel service (if applicable), costs for rental cars (see rental car conditions, e.g. one-way rental, permits, child seats, etc.), tolls, food, costs for excursions booked locally by yourself, private expenses (e.g. costs for souvenirs, medication, etc.), tips, entrance fees (if applicable), transport costs (e.g. taxi, bus, train, ferry), tourism levy (if applicable), parking fees (if applicable).
You can approach Italy by Air, Rail, Car and Ferry.
Italy’s numerous islands are connected to the mainland by a dense network of ferries. During the main season seats need to be booked early. Ferries to Sardinia and Sicily depart from Genoa, Livorno and Naples (among other places). For information on routes visit www.mobylines.it.
As a U.S. citizenship holder, you do not need to apply for an Italian Schengen Visa! You are allowed to travel to Italy and to all other members of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within 180 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa, as long as your U.S. passport is valid for at least 3 months after your planned return to the United States.
Documents to carry:
- Onward or return flight ticket
- Evidence Purpose of stay
- Proof of sufficient financial resources
If your passport describes you as a British Citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Italy. If you have another type of British nationality, check the current entry requirements with the Italian Embassy.
You may enter Italy with a passport, an ID card and a children’s passport.
The travel documents should be valid until after the trip.
In the event of changes to entry requirements after the UK leaves the EU, this page will be updated as soon as information is available (UK)
Please ask your airline company before you travel which documents you need to bring. Airline requirements differ from national regulations in certain cases.
Please note that entry regulations and visa requirements may change at short notice or may be dealt with individually. Only the responsible embassy or one of the responsible consulates general can provide legally binding information and advice and/or information and advice beyond this information. Please inform yourself in good time.
A valid drivers license, issued at least one year before the tour is required. An international driving license is required for all customers who are not resident in the European Union.
Headlights must be turned on at all times when driving on roadways outside of city limits.
All passengers must wear seatbelts in Italy, including passengers in the backseat.
A driver whose blood alcohol level exceeds 0.5 will be considered legally intoxicated.
A safety vest must be in the car at all times. Your car hire company will supply the vest, please check at time of pick up.
Within city limits: 50 km/h (30 mph)
On expressways: 130 km/h (80 mph)
On highways: 110km/h (70 mph)
When visiting the historical city centers you should park outside of the old city walls. Vehicle traffic in many (historic) downtown areas of cities and towns throughout Italy is limited by a system of permits (called “ZTL” and functioning the same way as an EasyPass system in the United States might on the freeway). Cameras record the license plates of cars driving in parts of the city that require a permit. Some of these cities are: Bologna, Florence, Milan, Rome, Arezzo, Pisa and Verona.
Especially in Rome and Florence cars are not allowed in the city center during the day. Some hotels are located in a restricted traffic zone. After passing the barrier you have 2 hours to register the car's license plate at the hotel reception. This information is passed on to the authorities. Without permission a penalty would be charged. Offenders face large fines.
When looking for a parking space always observe the markings along the side of the street. White stripes mean parking is allowed free of charge, blue stripes mean parking is allowed for a fee, and yellow and black stripes mean parking is prohibited.
An emergency telephone number will be included in the documents you receive from your rental car agency. Emergency phone calls can be made free of charge from any public telephone. Emergency phone numbers are:
Medical emergency: 112
Italian Automobile Club (ACI):
800 116 800 (in case of breakdown)
The main choices are super senza (super unleaded, can be used in all cars that burn regular gas) and gasolio (diesel). It is important to note that gasolio does not mean “gasoline”. Filling stations farther removed from the main motorways tend to be closed over the noon hour.
In Italy there is a petrol service called "servito". In contrast to this, there is also the self-service "fai da te" - "Do it yourself". With the self-service version, the fuel is usually cheaper. Sometimes up to 20 cents.
More and more often there are automated filling stations. These accept banknotes and credit cards as means of payment. You can recognize petrol stations with automated filling stations by the inscription "aperto 24 ore", i.e. open 24 hours. The credit card is first charged with the desired amount, then the petrol is released.
The use of the motorway (Autostrada) in Italy is usually subject to tolls (Peddagio). The toll can be paid either in cash or by credit card. For this purpose the white lane is provided at the toll stations, the yellow lane can only be used to drive through with an etoll device called Telepass. If you are interested you can find further information here: www.tolltickets.com.
Alternatively Viacards can be purchased at most service areas along the motorways for 20, 50 or 75 euros and are a good way to avoid long lines at the tollgates.Avoid traffic restricted zones. For access to restricted zones in the city centre, a "Ticket per l'accesso in ZTL" is required daily from 7 am to 8 pm. This is available in Tabacci shops and newspaper kiosks. The ticket costs 5 euros for one day.
Although geocoding is included in your travel documents, we recommend buying a good road atlas
Signs in Italy can be partly incomplete, misleading or chaotic. Accurate map reading and orientation by cardinal points can prove important. Especially towns often lack any form of signs in key areas. Locals usually like to give directions. The question: "Dove posso trovare la strada a ..." (How do I get to ...) is one of the most important in the country.
The best solution is always a GPS. While rented units are often available, downloading an offline software for your smartphone is a good alternative. Free service is available from "HERE Maps". Although you won't be able to search by coordinates when offline, you can do so while connected to WIFI in your hotel and save places to favorites. The directions from HERE are not very detailed. If you prefer a more detailed navigation, other products are available from TomTom or Navigon at an annual fee. Should you already own a GPS unit you can download the relevant maps prior to departure.
The check-in time is normally between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. unless otherwise stated in your travel documents. Earlier arrival can be arranged with your hosts. Please notify your hosts if you will be arriving after 8 p.m.
It is common practice to leave the room in the morning so it can be cleaned.
Umfulana uses guesthouses, B&Bs and small, privately owned hotels. Breakfast is usually included in the price of the room.
It is customary to keep dogs on Italian estates. Often they are not on a leash and can move around freely. Although some can be quite large, there is no reason to be afraid. The dogs are used to guests and are happy to meet you.
ATMs are widely available. All common international credit cards are accepted. Be careful not to select donazioni or donatio, which means “donation”. It’s best to look for an ATM with English instructions.
With the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), EU residents are also insured in Italy and throughout Europe and are entitled to medical treatment. However, some treatments must also be paid for on the spot and settled afterwards with the health insurance company.
You can use the card for doctor's, dentist's and hospital treatment.
As a non-EU resident you need to check to make sure your health insurance covers travel abroad. If not, you would be wise to take out travel insurance.
In Italy medical care is provided by a public health service and a private medical company.
Smoking is prohibited by law in all public buildings, shops (including tobacco shops), casinos, discos, cafés, hotels, restaurants and at the workplace.
The legal smoking ban in hotels / inns applies initially to the public areas, most hosts extend this to their rooms. Exceptions must be discussed in advance.
Be wary of “bargains” that appear too good to be true: the purchase of counterfeit goods bearing fake brand names is illegal and subject to large fines.
We recommend keeping the receipts after paying for shopping items or meals in restaurants.
A cover fee called coperto is added to restaurant checks. Nevertheless, it is common to leave a few extra euros (5%) as a tip, depending on the service. Always request a receipt (ricevuta fiscale) after paying for a meal.