What currency is used in Italy?

Since 2001, the currency used in Italy is the euro. One euro is divided up into 100 euro-cents. There are eight different coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro-cents) and seven notes (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros).

Credit cards

As well as in cash, purchases can be paid for using the most common credit cards. This payment system is common in Italian shops, which generally display the symbols of the credit cards they accept on the outside door. If you pay by credit card you will be asked
to show an identity document. Travellers cheques (in USD or Euros) can also be cashed in Italian banks.

Tips

Tips are not compulsory and in Italy there are no generally established rules, although it is common practice to leave a sum amounting to around 10% of the bill if you are satisfied with the service you have received.

Language

Italian is the official language of the country, although accents and dialects may vary widely from one region to another. A large number of local dialects are spoken in Italy.

Religions

The Italian Constitution guarantees freedom of worship. Most of the population is Catholic; there are also, however, a large number of minority religious communities.

Making calls to Italy

To call an Italian telephone number from outside Italy, either from a landline or a mobile phone, you will need to add the international dialling code for Italy, which is 0039 (+39), followed by the telephone number you require.
To call another country from Italy, you will need to add the international dialling code for the country you are calling, followed by the telephone number you require. To make calls within Italy, dial the number you require without adding the international country dialling code.

Internet and e-mail usage

There are numerous internet points and caf├ęs offering internet access. In many hotels a direct internet connection is provided in the rooms. In addition, in Italy you will find Wi-Fi access available in many airports, hotels, train stations and other public places where travellers pass through or stop off.

What time is it in Italy?

Italy is in the Central European Time (CET) Zone, 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and observes Daylight Saving Time: at the beginning of spring the clocks go forward an hour in order to take advantage of an extra hour of sunlight in the late afternoon/evening. At the beginning of autumn the clocks are shifted back an order to standard Central European Time.

What are the shop opening hours?

Shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 and from 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., although shopping centres and department stores often stay open all day, from 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 or 10.00 p.m. Shopping centres and stores are also open on several Sundays throughout the year. Pharmacies have the same opening hours as shops, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 and from 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.; in the larger cities, some pharmacies are open 24 hours. For
emergencies during the night, or when the pharmacies are normally closed, a number of them remain open, on a rotational basis.

National public holidays

There are 12 national holidays on the Italian calendar:

  • 1 January – New Year’s Day
  • 6 January – Epiphany,
  • Easter Sunday (date varies from year to year)
  • Easter Monday (the day after Easter Sunday)
  • 25 April – Anniversary of the Liberation
  • 1 May – Labour Day
  • 2 June -Republic Day
  • 15 August – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( Ferragosto )
  • 1 November – All Saints Day
  • 8 December – Immaculate Conception
  • 25 December – Christmas Day
  • 26 December – Boxing Day

What metric system is used in Italy?

In Italy, the basic unit of measurement is the metre. The International System of Units (SI), the standard metric system in use in the European Union, defines the seven fundamental units used (metre, kilogramme, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, candela)

What sizes are used in Italy?

Italian sizes are in centimetres, unlike US sizes, for example, which are in inches. Women’s clothing sizes generally range from about 38 to 56, men’s sizes from about 42 to 60. Adult shoe sizes generally go from about 35 to 46.

Emergency numbers Italy is a safe country.

However, should you find yourself in a difficult situation, it is best to turn to the police forces in charge of safety for Italian and foreign nationals residing in or visiting the country. An efficient, modern, integrated network, with the switchboards of the various police forces, emergency services, organisations and agencies is ready to respond to emergency calls from anywhere in Italy. Access to this network is simple and quick: all you have to do is call the national emergency numbers, which are well known and easy to remember.