Information on Italy
Comparison of temperatures
In Southern Europe, on the Apennine Peninsula; neighbouring countries: France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, Vatican City
Area: 301,277 square kilometres
Form of government:
Republic, parliamentary democracy with bicameral system. President Sergio Mattarella has been the head of state since February 2015. Minister President Matteo Renzi has been the head of government since February 2014.
Rome has been the capital of Italy since 1871 and has 2.7 million inhabitants.
Primarily Roman Catholic, plus approx. 1.3 million Muslims, around 550,000 Protestants, 230,000 Jehovah Witnesses, 200,000 Buddhists, 110,000 Hindus and 40,000 Jews
The national language is Italian. Friulian, Ladin, German, Slovenian, Occitan, French, Franco-Provencal, Albanian, Greek, Sardinian, Catalan and Croatian are also officially recognised minority languages.
In Italy, the climate varies significantly between the north and south. The north is governed by a harsh climate with very cold winters and very hot summers with high levels of humidity. In the centre, the climate is moderate while winters are always mild and summers very warm and sultry in the south and on the islands.
Electricity in Italy is supplied at a voltage of 230 V and in the form of alternating current with a frequency of 50 Hertz. Power outlets comply with European guidelines. You need an adapter in your hotel.
Italy is part of the Central European Time zone where GMT+1 applies, along with daylight saving time.
Making telephone calls:
To call an Italian phone number from abroad: international dialling code for Italy (+39), followed by the respective phone number. To make phone calls to the UK: pre-dial 0044 (+44).
Entry requirements for British citizens:
British nationals do not need a visa to enter Italy. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. Nationals of other countries are advised to enquire at the Italian Embassy about the entry requirements applicable to them. Passports must be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Italy. Customers are reminded that it is their sole responsibility to make sure that passport and visa entry requirements for the country or countries that they are visiting are satisfied and we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied. Regulations in respect of passport and visa requirements for Italy are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation whose Web site is
www.esteri.it/mae/en/. If you hold a different type of British nationality (BN(O), British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person or British Subject), check visa requirements with the Italian Embassy before you travel. However, passport and visa requirements change from time to time and are also dependent on the purpose of your visit and your nationality. Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary.
Your English-speaking tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information on the country, people, history, culture etc., and offer advice and assistance in organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information and a welcome drink. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Italy has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people. Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras on arrival.
“Gourmet” comfort package:
This package includes a 3-course evening meal each day featuring international specialties: only £80 per person.
“Explorer” cultural package:
This package includes excursions to “Ancient Rome” (Day 3) and “The Vatican, St. Peter‘s +the Sistine Chapel” (Day 4) for only £140 per person.
Currency in Italy:
The Euro has been the official currency in Italy since 2001. Exchange rate (August 2016): 1 GBP = 1.19 EUR; 1 EUR = 0.84 GBP.
Purchases can be paid for in cash and using the most popular credit cards. This payment system is typical in Italian shops; the symbols of credit cards accepted are usually displayed at the entrance to shops. ID cards are required when paying by credit card. Travellers’ cheques (in dollars or Euro) can also be cashed in banks. It is also possible to withdraw cash from ATMs using EC/Maestro cards but high fees may be charged by the respective bank. Cash payments exceeding €1,000 (790 GBP) are not possible in Italy. Sums exceeding €1,000 can only be paid for by credit card, EC card or by bank transfer.
ATTENTION: Caution is advised when paying with bank or credit cards as criminals may try to copy the traveller’s bank card and obtain the relevant PIN code without being noticed to then withdraw cash from cash machines using fake cards. Travellers are therefore advised to keep an eye on their bank card when paying with it and to enter their PIN number with discretion. Care should also be taken when using bank and credit cards with PIN code in exchange offices.
Customs regulations for travellers to Italy:
Sums exceeding €10,000 must be declared when entering or leaving Italy. Private persons travelling within the EU can purchase and export goods without limits on quantities if they are for personal use and not intended for resale. The customs regulations for the UK can be viewed on the British Customs Web site www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk. Information on customs regulations for importing products into the UK is found on the British Customs Web site: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.
Crime: Vigilance should be exercised regarding pickpockets and petty crime in tourist centres in particular, especially cases of fraud where tourists are distracted (e.g. by jostling etc.) and then stolen from by accomplices. As for any holiday trip, the rule is to only ever carry what is absolutely necessary. Large amounts of cash and original identification documents should always be deposited in the hotel safe. If necessary, only carry secure credit cards (protected by PIN) on your person. Take photocopies of your documents with you when you travel. Alternatively, you can save the files on a private e-mail account, enabling them to be accessed wherever you are in the world. When walking outside, do not wear bags or cameras on the side facing the street, making it more difficult for them to be stolen by thieves on motorbikes. In Naples, particular care should be exercised when wearing valuable watches and jewellery which are popular among thieves.
Vaccinations are not required for entering Italy. Every traveller should be sufficiently protected against tetanus and polio as well as hepatitis, if needs be. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Replacement Certificate must be presented as proof (both documents can be obtained from your health insurance company). Nonetheless, you are urgently recommended to take out travel health insurance for the duration of your holiday which covers risks not assumed by the statutory health insurance companies (e.g. repatriation to the UK in the event of illness, treatment by private doctors or in private hospitals). Such policies usually also offer benefits not covered by state health insurance companies, e.g. the costs of repatriation. Customers should ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit for undertaking the selected trip and make the necessary queries concerning the level of physical and psychological fitness required. Please observe that the excursions are accessible by foot only and that the buses used for the roundtrip are not customised to transport wheelchairs or similar devices.
All information is subject to change/Last updated: August 2016