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Italy: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Italy. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need to get a visa?

A valid passport for 6 months beyond your return date is required to enter Italy and at least one page for stamps. We recommend you check whether you require a visa for the countries you are visiting AND flying through (in-transit).

Italy forms part of the border-free travel zone known as the Schengen Area. US, Canadian, Hong Kongese, Singaporean Australian and New Zealand are among those who may enter Italy as tourists without a visa and stay up to 90 days. EU passport holders can come and go as they please. Those travelling with passports from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia will require a visa and should contact their closest Italian Embassy or Consulate.

A useful website for checking whether you require a visa is visahq.com however we strongly advise you consult the details with the relevant embassies which will be able to give you the exact detail, and that you do this at least 2 months prior to your trip.

Will I need travel insurance?

All travellers should check to be certain they are covered by their own medical insurance including a travel policy. We highly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance and medical evacuation. This will cover you if you must cancel for medical or family emergency reasons, and provides additional coverage should you need medical attention while on the trip.

Clients have previously booked through Allianz, CSA Travel Insurance or Travel Guard, however we do not recommend a specific insurance broker and we do not sell travel insurance.

Remember to first check with your credit card provider who often offer travel insurance as part of their package.

What currency should I bring?

The official currency in Italy is the Euro (€). If you haven’t exchanged money back home or you aren’t pulling funds out of an ATM machine in Italy, exchanging money is more streamlined at the big banks in city centres. The exchange rates also tend to be better, however most banks close early in the afternoon. Private exchange bureaus are located in the city centres, and most stay open until midnight or later. This service is also available in most deluxe hotels.

The use of major credit cards is widespread among Italian shops. You may be asked to show an ID with picture in order to pay with a credit card. ATMs are located in all cities and most small towns, usually in or outside banks.

We strongly recommend you also have cash with you, in order to purchase small drinks and bites to eat in local places where credit card payments aren’t possible.Please ensure you let your bank know that you will be travelling to avoid any block on your card while you’re abroad.

What electrical plugs are used?

Electricity supply in Italy is AC 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system. However, most hotels have adaptors for different plugs.

What is transport like in Italy?

Walking around the colourful streets of Italian cities and towns is the best way to get to know Italy and its inhabitants. Public transport is safe, reliable and available from 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM. Taxis also are readily available in all major cities of Italy. You should know that most taxis do not accept credit cards yet, they only accept cash in the form of the Euro.

What is the weather like in Italy?

From snow-capped mountains in the north to year-round warmth in the south, Italy has a truly varied climate. Winter temperatures vary greatly across the country from the Alpine climate in the north to the southern Mediterranean climate of the south. It can be below zero celsius in Milan while it’s 20°C (68°F) in Palermo, Sicily. In summer the differences are much less marked. There are big differences between the coastal regions and the interior of the country, especially as you gain elevation.

In general the climate in Rome, and especially Florence and the Tuscan region is very mild. Most of Italy has a Mediterranean type of climate, which has cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Winter temperatures along and near the coasts of southern Italy seldom drop to freezing in winter, and summer temperatures often reach 32°C (90°F) or higher.

Typically most people visit Italy in the summer but the shoulder months of May and October are also very pleasant. Most Italians go on holiday in August and consequently some shops and restaurants in the large cities are closed for part of the month.

We strongly recommend a constant review of the weather forecast, even though in general temperatures are nice all year around.

Local restaurants

We highly recommend that you make restaurant reservations in advance of your trip. Once you receive your Jacada travel pack, you should begin thinking about restaurants that you would like to visit. Jacada offers a concierge service which can assist you with these reservations. If you are looking to reserve Michelin star restaurants, we advise you do this as soon as possible as some may even take reservations more than one year in advance.

Tipping

Gratuities are not included in your trip. We advise the following although tipping is at your discretion and depends on the level of service you have received.

Taxis: Round up to the next figure

Restaurants: 10% of the total bill

Luggage: €1 per piece

Room servive waiter: €1

Chambermaid: €1 a day

Hotel bar: 5-10%

Private transfers: €10 to the driver total

Private car & driver: €20 to the driver half day / €30 full day total

Guided tour: €25 to the guide half day / €40 Euros full day total

Full time driver: €50 per day to the driver total

Hands on experience: €20 total