bandeira da italia

Geography

Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The time difference between Italy and some major cities is as follows:

  • London: -1 hour
  • New York: -6 hours
  • Chicago: -7 hours
  • Denver: -8 hours
  • San Francisco: -9 hours

Holidays

The following are national holidays. Most offices, banks and many stores close on these days; museums in the major tourist cities are open on holidays with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s Day.

  • January 1st: New Year’s Day
  • January 6th: Epiphany
  • April 25th: Liberation Day
  • May 1st: Labor Day
  • June 2nd: Festa della Repubblica
  • August 15th: Ferragosto
  • November 1st: All Saint’s Day
  • December 8th: Immaculate Conception
  • December 25th: Christmas Day
  • December 26th: Santo StefanoFirenze

Customs Regulations – Exports from Italy

There are no restrictions on gifts purchased in Italy except for antiques and works of art more than 100 years old. These require the authorization of the Ministero dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali, which the antiques dealer from which you purchase them can help you obtain. FOOD PRODUCTS Italian wine is one of the most popular things for tourists to bring back with them. US law permits 1 liter of alcohol to be imported without paying customs tax on it. There are also many food items that cannot be brought back from Italy, such as meats and fruits. CANADIAN REGULATIONS ON PURCHASES ABROAD Any person residing in Canada returning from a trip abroad can qualify for personal exemption. All articles acquired abroad, whether purchased, received as gifts or purchased at a duty free shop, either abroad or in Canada, must be declared by the traveler on return to Canada. US REGULATIONS ON PURCHASES ABROAD Each US tourist may bring back to the US duty-free $400 worth of goods purchased abroad. The goods must accompany the traveler. A flat rate of 10% is assessed on the next $1,000 worth of goods purchased. Parcels containing gifts may be sent from abroad to the US duty-free, providing the total value of such parcels received by one person in one day does not exceed $50. Each package should be marked “Unsolicited Gift.” The amount paid and the contents of the package should be declared on the outside of the package .

Emergency Numbers

  • 12 Operator
  • 112 Police
  • 113 Emergency
  • 115 Firefighters

ATM’s – Debit Cards

Most reputable establishments accept major credit/debit cards. Those establishments accepting credit cards will post the logos in their front windows. ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) are known in Italy as Bancomats. They can be found everywhere in the major cities and in the main piazza of small towns. The machines in Italy operate the same as they do in North America; however, before putting your card in the machine, make sure that it is compatible.

Driving in Italy

It is a legal requirement for all foreigners driving in Italy to obtain an International Driver’s Permit IDP; not to be confused with the International Drivers License) and many rental car companies are now starting to require it. Only two organizations are authorized by the US State Department to issue an IDP: AAA and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (through the National Automobile Club). To obtain a permit that is good for one year, you must show up at one of their offices with a valid state-issued driver’s license, $10 and two passport-size photographs. For more information see the National Automobile Club’s website. Besides having an international driver’s permit, it is helpful to be aware of local driving restrictions. Please see our traffic sign guide for a few of the standard signs. Take special note of the sign marked “ZTL.” This stands for “Zona Traffico Limitato” or Limited Traffic Area. Only locals with special permits are allowed to drive in these areas. This is usually controlled using police cameras which will take a picture of your car and mail the bill at a later date (as much as 6 months to 2 years after the fact). Most rental companies will have your credit card on file and charge as soon as the ticket is sent.