Following, some very basic facts about Italy:
Population: 60.6 million
Time Zone: EST plus 6 hours
Currency: Euro (€ or EUR)
Electricity: 220V. 50Hz
VISAS AND PASSPORTS
Visas to Italy are not required for U.S. citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, please check with your local consulate about the requirements for travel to Italy.
Please, carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or hotel room. European law requires you to carry your passport with you at all times.
The country code for Italy is +39. When calling Italy from overseas, you dial your international access code (011 from the U.S./Canada) followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Italy are eight digits in length. Dialing from the U.S./Canada: 011+39+X+XXX XXXX.
CURRENCY AND BUDGETING
The official currency is the Euro. Euro coins differ according to country, but they can be used in
any EU state. Banknotes are of uniform EU design (depicting European architectural styles throughout the seven ages, from Classical to Modern).
1 Euro (€) = 100 Cents (c)
• Banknote denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500
• Coin denominations: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, €2
Keep receipts until you have left restaurants or bars, as occasionally there are spot tax checks on
Credit cards are accepted in the larger Italian cities, and you should have no problems using them in
shops and restaurants. Visa and MasterCard are most accepted.
However, smaller shops, especially those in rural areas may ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit.
Italy has hot summers and cold winters. The south experiences mild, wet winters and very hot summers. Rain generally falls in October, January, and early spring.
Pack lightweight clothing with a few warm layers in spring and early fall, plus rain gear.
In winter, bring a jacket in the south and a warm overcoat in the north. Summers can be hot, so bring light summer clothes with a light jacket or sweater for the evening.
Regional pasta dishes and cheeses, salamis, and cured meats (ham and melon), veal escalopes, herb-flavored meat and sauces, stuffed vegetables, and fine wines. Eggs, bacon, steaks, and other meats may be cooked very lightly, as this is the way usually enjoyed locally; ask chefs to prepare them the way you prefer.