Italy

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

 

Currency - Business hours - Transportation - Internet - Basic conversation guide - Langages spoken


Currency

From january the 1st 2002, the currency in circulation is the euro. There are some notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. The nominal values of the coins are the following: 1 cent (or 1/100 of euro), 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 euro and 2 euros.

 

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)
To find out the locations of ATMs in Italy , click on the link to your credit card: Visa, Mastercard or American Express


Business hours

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 13.30 and from 15.00 to 16.00.



Transportation

Road
Throughout the country, the road network is in good condition. However, the narrowness of some roads and the meanders on certain highways (Salerne-Reggio de Calabria for example) can turn them into quite dangerous paths, in case of excessive speed. The secondary roads, which maintenance is far from being well ensured, may reserve some surprises. A sticker indicating the origin of the vehicle has to be fixed at the rear of the car. The "green card" (an international insurance) is compulsory. If you cannot pay a fine on the spot, after a traffic offence, a disqualification from driving can occur (the police officer will keep your license). Gas stations are easy to find. Italians drive quite fast but with a certain confidence. Accessing downtown Rome is forbidden to those who do not have a special pass enabling to drive within the limited traffic area (historic center) Monday to Friday from 6.30 am to 6.00 pm and on Saturday from 2 pm to 6 pm. This pass is issued to residents and to public authorities. For tourism buses, measures were taken during the Jubilee period, the 29 December 1999 Law, regarding the access, parking and traffic in the center of the town. The paragraph 11 of the law explains that the non respect of these access, parking and traffic regulations will lead to a 727,000 liras (2,463 FF) fine, reduced to a fifth, that is to say 581,760 liras (1,971 FF) if the fine is paid on the spot, or within the two following weeks. The seizure of the driving license is also possible according to the law. Some specific parking spots are reserved for tourism buses in several places of the town (for exemple, via Aurelia, next to the Aurelia train station). It is useful to get information at the Roman agency for the preparation of the Jubilee (tel: 0039 06 68.80.99.38 or 0039.06.48.90.56.03), at the Italian tourism offices (tel: 0039.06.68.13.60.61or 0039.06.48.90.63.00) and at police stations. In Naples, you have to be very careful in order to avoid accidents because of the density of the traffic, the narrowness of the streets and the different conception of respecting the traffic rules. In summertime, non resident vehicles are not allowed in the Naples surrounding islands (Capri, Ischia, Procida). Driving a camper car or a caravan along the amalfitan coast is not allowed. Driving may be banned on certain days in Naples and Palermo on pollution peaks days. This ban may be total or limited whether the vehicles have catalytic converter or not. Since 1999, the non-equiped vehicles are forbidden to circulate in Naples and suburbs on Mondays and Thursdays from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm.



Rail
Sometimes schedules are not respected except for trains with a "Pendolini" supplement and for the "Eurostar", that are both very punctual. Fares are calculated per kilometre and are more economical than in most European countries.


 


Internet

The Internet suffix is: .it



Basic conversation guide

Yes = Sė
No = No.
Thank you = Grazie
Hello = Salve
Goodbye = Arrivederci, Ciao
I do not understand = Non capisco
What is the price ? How much does it cost? = Quanto costa?
I would like to buy... = Me piacerebbe comprare...
Do you accept credit cards ? = Accettate carte di credito?
Where is? = Dove si trova?
Post office = Ufficio Postale, la Posta
The bank = la Banca
The police station, the police force = Polizia, i Carabinieri
The pharmacy = Farmacia
An airport = Aeroporto
The train station = Stazione (dei treni)
One ticket to..., please. = un biglietto per favore
Would you have any vacancies for tonight? = Ci sono posti liberi per questa notte?.

 


Languages spoken

Official language: Italian. Italian is spoken by the majority of the population, notwithstanding regional dialects. Albanian is spoken by more or less 80,000 people in the South and 50,000 people throughout the rest of the country. Approximately 20,000 inhabitants of the North-Eastern part of Sardinia speak Catalan. Moreover, the Sardinian language is also spoken in Sardinia by more or less 1.2 million people.


Last modified in January 2006
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