Every year, 700,000+ euros worth of coins are tossed into Rome’s Trevi Fountain.
Italy is on Central European Time (CET) during most of the year, and Central European Summer Time (CET+1) during daylight savings time/the summer.
Italy is part of the Schengen Agreement, meaning that entering Italy from most other parts of the EU is pretty easy. There are no border checkpoints or customs. Document and customs checks remain standard if arriving from (or departing to) a non-Schengen country.
If you are an EU or Swiss citizen, you can travel to Italy with your national identity card alone. All other nationalities need a valid passport. Visas are not generally required if you are staying less than 90 days (or at all for EU citizens), for citizens of countries including, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA.
If you are entering Italy for more than 90 days or for any reason other than tourism (such as study or work) you may need a specific visa. See vistoperitalia.esteri.it or contact an Italian consulate for details.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your departure date from Italy.
Rome, in general, is a great destination all-year-round due to its lovely weather. But if you were to choose, April to June, and September to October are the best times to travel for the mild temperature and less tourists. June and July are when the heat really packs in, and landmarks are filled with tourists.
Florence is simply one of those places that’s lovely to visit pretty much all year round. Although July and August are extremely hot, meanwhile November through March can be on the colder side. The most popular months span from May through October. But if you REALLY want to save some cash, don’t go during summer time when prices are high. Spring and autumn are the best time for less tourists and cheaper accommodations.
Italian is the main language of Italy, although many Italians also understand and speak English well, especially in restaurants, shops, and hotels in large cities. Here are a few words to get you through a trip.
Hello/Goodbye = Ciao (informal)
Good morning/Hello = Buongiorno
Good afternoon/Good evening = Buonasera
Goodbye = Arriverderci
Goodnight = Buonanotte
Yes = Sì
No = No
Please = Per favore
Thank you = Grazie (grah-tsee-eh)
You’re welcome = Prego
I’m sorry = Mi dispiace
Excuse me/I’m sorry = Scusa
Do you speak English? = Parla inglese?
I don’t speak Italian = Non parlo italiano
Learning a few phrases in Italian is always a good idea, even in a major city like Rome. Other etiquette you should do your best to oblige are:
- Try not to eat on-the-go, the Romans will look down on you since eating is considered a meal shared with loved ones. Although gelatos are ok to eat and stroll.
- Don’t order your coffee with your meal, it’s considered a digestive here.
- Politely ask for your bill, rather than waiting for it to come because it never will. Politely is the keyword here.
- Follow local dress code when entering churches, don’t go in with shorts and mini skirts.
Italy uses Euros (€) as their currency. You’ll be able to find ATMs everywhere throughout the country. Most places will accept credit cards but prefer you pay with cash. They also don’t like splitting the bill with multiple cards so keep that in mind if you’re with a group.
Tipping! It’s not necessary, as many places have a service charge already included in the bill.
Like the rest of Europe, Italy uses one of the two European standard electrical socket types, with voltage of 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts.) Your converter should look like this:
Known for its 2,500 of Big Nose “Nasoni” cast iron fountains in the city, tap water is safe to drink in Rome. You’ll find many of these in old historic center of the city.
Rome has free Wi-Fi in all public places, and you can use up to 4 hours of free internet everyday. But in order to join, you’ll need an Italian SIM card to complete the registration process. Otherwise, in most restaurants and hotels, you’ll have free Wi-Fi.
Uber is currently operating in Rome but only with Uber Black and Uber vans because these drivers are obligated to have town car NCC license. Since there isn’t UberX or Pool, the ride-sharing app is typically more expensive than local taxis. Instead, you can use IT Taxi App.
Taxis within the city starts the meter at €2.80 from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. But at the same time on Sunday, the starting fare increases to €4 and €5.80 at night. From Termini, there’s an additional €2 charge, on top of €1 extra for every piece of luggage that goes inside the trunk.
In Rome, homosexuality is far more accepted than in other southern cities, but Milan is still far more gay-friendly than any other city in Italy. You can still find quite a few selections of gay bars, saunas, and clubs in this metropolis.
Public display of affection is acceptable in Rome, with several LGBTQ-oriented activities to check out: Gay Street (designated as a gay- and lesbian-friendly neighborhood), Gay Italian Fetish Community, Gay Vatican Tour, and of course, the Rome Gay Pride.