Holidaymakers of Rome must keep in mind Italy has been part of the European Union since its formation (it is, in fact, one of the founding states). Hence, all commercial transactions involve making payments in euro. Travelers who cone to Rome from outside the European Union, who are not familiar with this currency, must remember subunits of the euro refer to coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents (coins also come in 1 and 2 euro), whereas, bills go from 5 euro to 500 euro banknotes.

Money exchange

There’s no shortage of banks in Rome, and it’s hard to imagine exchanging money can actually become an issue while in the very capital of Italy. The banks offer the best exchange rates, the only possible inconvenience referring to the rather short opening hours (as a rule, from around 8am or 8:30am to 4pm or 4:40), but the airport offices (as well as the offices in large transport infrastructure hubs) have prolonged opening hours, precisely due to the larger flow of tourists in search of exchange services.

The exchange desks located at the hotels or shopping venues, airports of train stations are also at hand, though the rates they offer are less convenient than the ones one can get at a bank.

Credit cards and travel checks

All of the upscale restaurants, hotels, shopping venues accept credit cards endorsed by major companies like American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard. But for commercial transactions carried out in smaller tourist-related venues, visitors are advised to bring cash. There’s also no shortage of ATMs in Rome (referred to as bancomat in Italian), and they are at hand for tourists in urgent need of amounts.

The travel checks are also a possible idea of keeping one’s vacation budget. Despite the fact they are increasingly ruled out in favor of credit cards, they still count as a useful tourist tool, since plenty of restaurants and hotels keep on accepting such means of payment. However, just to make sure, tourists should research weather the places they want to get to do accept travel checks before traveling to Rome.


Post offices

Resorting to the postal services provided by Poste Italiane while in Rome is not complicated at all. There are several post offices in the capital (called ufficio postale), and stamps (francobollo in Italian) are easy to purchase from sale points like the post offices themselves, tobacconists’ or newspaper stands. The services do not confine to the specific post services, the range being complemented by money exchange services, just to give an example (or other monetary transactions). In order to learn all there is to know about the whereabouts of each of the post offices in Rome, the services they provide, opening hours and the like, please visit Poste Italiane.


In order to make calls to Rome from abroad, the user must first dial the country code of Italy (0039). Then, they must enter the code of the capital, which is 06. The rest of the landline phone number consists of 5 to even 8 digits.

Connection to the Internet

Staying connected to the Internet is sometimes an obligation one can not be exempt from, not even during their vacation. Certain parts of Rome are excellently endowed from this point of view, the city being literally engulfed by a major wireless network (which is, so far, a work in progress, if truth be told) by means of which, if necessary, tourists (and locals, for that matter) can stay connected to the Internet virtually 24 hours a day. Some of the WiFi hitspots refer to places like Piazza di Trevi, Auditorium Parco della Musica, the Villa Ada Gardens, Piazza Navona, the Villa Borghese Gardens, just to list a few examples.

In order to learn more about the WiFi hotspots in Rome, as well as about the expanding project of endowing the city with an extensive wireless network, please visit Roma Wireless.

As an alternative, tourists can resort to the specific services provided by the Internet cafes in Rome, or by the hotels at which they choose to accommodate (all of the upscale hotels, eating venues and bars have wireless network coverage).

Useful emergency numbers

While a vacation in Rome should be nothing but a dreamlike experience, certain situations might require the intervention of authorities able to deal with such possible situations.

The following is a short list of important emergency numbers tourists might need to call to while in Rome (the emergency numbers are toll-free):

Police (Polizia): 112

Fire Department (Vigili del Fuoco): 115

Ambulance (Ambulanza): 118

Road Police (Polizia Stradale): 0039 06 67691

First Aid (Pronto Soccorso / MediCall): 0039 06 8840113


Spoken language

The English language is extensively spoken in the tourist oriented venues of Rome (not to mention the fact all of the tourist information offices provide informative material in English also). Thus, there should be no problem for English speaking visitors to get by just fine while in Rome. Knowing a bit of Italian, on the other hand, is, of course, recommendable, at least for tourists who want to spend a genuinely Italian vacation in Rome. Here and there, depending on the venue’s profile, the staff is also trained to speak French, German or Spanish.

Time zone

One hour ahead of GMT (wintertime)

Tourist information offices

In Rome there are 10 tourist information office managed by Comune di Roma. They are strategically located in places highly irrigated by the tourist flow, such as the airports and the train stations.


In order to enter Italy, the citizens of the European Union must hold a valid identification card, whereas nationals of countries outside the European Union must present a passport. For the latter, visas are also required in case they plan to stay in Italy for more than 90 days. Yet, in certain cases, depending on nationality, visas are required regardless of the duration of one’s stay in Italy.

Holding a travel health insurance is also advisable in all cases, in particular for people affected by chronic conditions likely to get worse during their stay in Italy.

Customs regulations

As it is the case with the countries members of the European Union, tourists can not export from Italy goods exceeding certain limits (for instance, 200 cigarettes, 1 liter of alcohol and 60 milliliters of perfume). In case such limits are exceeded, tourists must present documents which ascertain the respective goods will not be used to other purposes than the personal use.

A certain question is raised in respect to the VAT refund. First of all, tourists must keep the receipts which ascertain they spent 150 euros or so in a single store. Then, they must rely on the shop’s fairness and compliance with the rule of refunding the VAT after the purchase and shipping (as the case may be) of the product (some shops are famed for their strategy of protracting the process of refunding, counting on the client’s likelihood of yielding the right to get the tax back).

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