Time zone: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 in summer)
Telephone services: Country Code:39 Note the leading zero IS required for city codes eg. 06 for Rome; 02 for Milan; 011 for Turin; 081 for Naples; 041 for Venice and 055 for Florence including when dialling locally. Mobile phones DO drop the zero. IDD: International Direct Dialling is avilable-NOTE telephone codes changed in December 1998. From then, the leading zero is required when calling both within Italy and from abroad; even within the same telephone district. For example, to call the British Embassy in Rome, previously 482 5441 from within Rome; 06 482 5441 from the rest of Italy; and +39 6 482 5441, has now become 06 482 5441 from anywhere in Italy (including Rome) and +39 06 482 5441 from outside Italy. This does not apply to mobile phones (for which there are many “area” codes), which still drop the leading zero. Outgoing Code:00
Emergency telephone numbers: Dial 112 anywhere in the EU to reach the emergency services. Additional local numbers:-Police – 112, Ambulance – 113, Fire – 115
Tourist information: Italian State Tourist Office (ENIT), 1 Princes Street, London W1R 8AY Tel: (020) 7408 1254. Press 1 to bypass recorded message. Fax: (020) 7493 6695.
Passport information: Valid passport required by all except nationals of Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden with a valid national ID card. Nationals of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and Switzerland if carrying national ID cards. Requirements may be subject to change at short notice. Contact the relevant authority before travelling.
Visa information: Visa required by all except: Nationals of the EU, Australia, Canada, USA, Japan. Nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (British Nationals), Hungary, Iceland, Jamaica, Kenya, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vatican City, Serbia and Montenegro, for stays not exceeding 3 months. Nationals of Venezuela for visits not exceeding 60 days. Nationals of Israel for stays not exceeding 30 days.
Health information: Other Health Risks: Rabies.
Food & drink: Water is considered drinkable, normal precautions should be observed with food.
Currency: In common with 12 Member States of the European Union (EU), here the Euro is the currency. There are seven different banknotes and eight coins of the Euro. Each participating EU country has coins with one common side and a reverse side specific to each country, while the banknotes look the same throughout the euro area. Mastercard, Visa and Diners Club are all widely accepted. ATM availability: Over 20 000 locations.
Cost of living: Cities and tourist centres can be very expensive, especially at centres of historical or religious importance.
Languages: Italian with dialects in different regions. French (in border areas from the Riviera to the area North of Milan. Slovenian spoken in provinces. German, French and English may be spoken in cities and resorts.
Weather: Summer is hot, especially in the South. Spring and Autumn are mild. Winter is much drier in the South. Mountain regions are colder with heavy snowfalls.
Electricity: 220 volts Ac, 50 Hz.
Post: 7 – 10 days but may be subject to delays. Letters for Poste Restante should be addressed to Fermo Post and the Town. When sending mail underline the destined country and write the person’s surname in capitals.
Transport: RAIL: Simple, but cheap and efficient. ROADS: BUS: Services connect main towns and local services also operate. CAR HIRE: Available in all the main towns. DOCUMENTATION: A ‘Green Card’ must be carried or other insurance. A UK licence is valid but ‘Green’ licences will need to be translated.
Special information: Considerable seismic activity is continuing on Mt. Etna (Eastern Sicily.) Climbing Mt. Etna is prohibited without a guide. The Roman Catholic church holds a high position in Italian society. Visitors must dress conservatively when visiting religious buildings and smaller traditional communities. Theft is quite common, especially in the cities. It is advisable to remain extremely alert at all times. The Mont Blanc Tunnel will be closed for the forseeable future due to an accident early in 1999.