Italy Country Information

Italy Country Information

Italy occupies the central part of Southern Europe. According to DIGOPAUL.COM, Italy occupies the Apennine Peninsula, a small part of the continental territory, the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and others. The Apennine Peninsula juts deep into the Mediterranean Sea, so Italy is located in the very center of the Mediterranean Basin, at the crossroads of trade routes between West and East. Italy is adjacent to France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, the state of San Marino is located in the center of the country, and the city-state of the Vatican is located in Rome.

Climate
Italy has favorable climatic conditions. Summer in Italy is mostly hot and dry. Most of the annual precipitation falls at this time of the year. In the north of the country, snowfalls and fogs are frequent. president, capital – Rome. The population for 2000 is 57,634,327. Ethnic composition: Italians, Germans (the German community lives in the Trentino-Alto Adige region), French (in the Valle d’Aosta region), Slovenes (in the Trieste-Gorizia region).

Currency
Euro

Banks
in Italy are usually open from 8.30 to 13.20. and another hour after lunch (usually from 15.00 to 16.00). You can change money at airports and railway stations in big cities. The number of exchange machines is increasing.

In cities, restaurants and large department stores, you can pay with credit cards: Visa and Master Card. In small towns and villages, this form of payment is not welcome.

Customs rules
In addition to things for personal use, you can import duty-free: 300 cigarettes, 1.5 liters of spirits, 5 liters of wine and 75 ml of perfume.

Foreign banknotes, as well as lira, can be imported in any quantity.

Communication
A call from an ordinary public pay phone will cost you the least. You can buy a phone card at a tobacco shop (TABACCI sign) or a newsstand (EDICOLA). A call on weekends or on weekdays after 20:00 will cost 20 percent less. An international call from your hotel room, like almost everywhere in the world, will cost you 2 times more.

Visa
Schengen

Transport
The railway network in Italy is excellently developed. There are several types of trains: R – Regionale (regional, with a common cabin, making all stops), IC – Intercity (intercity, with a compartment for 4-6 passengers), ES – Eurostar (between cities, better service on a trip, a common cabin, higher price), EC – Eurocity (between cities in Italy and Europe, compartments for 4-6 passengers), Espresso (express trains without stops). Ticket prices depend on the type of train and distance. There is a flexible system of discounts for groups of 3 people, for children, etc.
Approximate ticket prices: Rimini – Bologna (round trip) 12-15 US dollars, Venice – Rimini (round trip) 25-27 US dollars, Rimini – Rome (with transfer in Bologna or Ancona) 30 US dollars.
The bus system in Italy is highly developed, but not very popular, as train travel is much cheaper. The schedule does not always correspond to the real state of affairs. The main cities and resorts of Italy are connected by intercity bus routes operating all year round. So, from Rimini from the station square you can take the BONELLI bus to Rome, Florence, Turin, Loretto. A one-way ticket to Rome costs $25.

In small towns and resorts, taxis can only be ordered by phone. You can find out the phone number of the taxi service at the reception desk of your hotel. In large cities, taxis can be caught right on the street. It is paid separately for a trip at night, on weekends and holidays, and each piece of luggage is also paid separately. It is not advisable to use the services of private unlicensed taxis – drivers can request an astronomical amount. Licensed taxis always have a meter, a burning taxi sign on the roof, a plaque with the inscription “servizio publico”, an image of a shield with a number on the side. They are usually yellow or white.

The shops
Standard store hours are from 9.30 to 13.00 and from 15.30-16.00 to 19.00-19.30. Shops are closed on Sunday. Some tourist-oriented shops, department stores and supermarkets are also open on Sundays. In Italy, the tax-free system is widespread – the return of value added tax.

Kitchen
Italian cuisine is very diverse: grilled Venetian shrimps, Roman roast veal, Milanese risotto, mozzarella cheese, swordfish. But without “pasta” (all kinds of pasta) there is no Italian cuisine. There are a great many sauces for it, as well as varieties and colors of the pasta itself. The wine selection is huge. It is traditionally believed that the wines of the northern provinces are softer and thinner than the coarse and ripe wines of the south (with the exception of Sicily). The main wine-growing region of the country is Lazio. Try the young white wine Falerno Cecubo and the sweet Frascati. Among the Tuscan wines – the most popular – dry wine Chianti. The best Classico brand is for grilled meats. Red sparkling Brunello di Monalcino excites the blood. Among the southern wines are famous “Tears of Christ” (Lacrima Chrisu) and “Capri”, Red and White.

Tips
optional, but desirable if you liked the service (5-10%). It is customary to tip waiters, porters, taxi drivers, maids, etc.

Rent a car
Approximate prices in Italy – from $54 per day and $237 per week for an economy class car with unlimited mileage. The amount does not include 19% tax. Some large car rental companies are allowed by Italian law not to take VAT. These firms include Auto Europe (tel. 207/828-2525 or 800/223-5555), Europe by Car (tel. 800/223-1516 or 800/252-9401), Kemwel Group (tel. 914/835- 5555 or 800/678-0678).

To rent a car, you need an international driving license. Make sure the car is in good condition and that you have insurance in case of a traffic accident. As a rule, insurance issued by car rental companies does not cover car theft. Additional theft insurance costs $10-$15 per day.
Many Italian companies offer their services, for example Maggiore (tel. 06/229-1530) is one of the largest Italian companies.

Beaches on the Adriatic Riviera of Italy – municipal. The beaches are divided into sections and leased to private entrepreneurs. According to local rules, the first 5 meters of the beach from the water’s edge are free. You can sunbathe here for free on a towel. Being on municipal beaches from 1 am to 5 am in Italy is prohibited by law. The beaches are patrolled by the police, violators are subject to a sensitive fine of 140 Eur.

Italy Country Information