Travel Essentials

Before you go:

  • Visas & Passports – Passports must be valid for at least 6 months. Visas are not necessary for EU passport holders. Other nationalities should check with their local Italian embassy.
  • Insurance – We strongly recommend that you take out a policy to cover theft, loss, and medical issues. Please visit our page on travel insurance for further information. It is a good idea to photocopy and scan all relevant documents – passport, travel insurance policy, etc. – and leave one copy at home. Carry another copy with you, separate from the originals and digital versions on your smartphone.
  • Electricity – 220v. You will need UK-European Plug adaptors.
  • Health – Whilst insects aren’t a big problem it’s worth taking mosquito repellents as they can occasionally make an appearance in the evening. Italy is currently Zika-Free.
  • Currency – Euros are easy to get in the UK and it’s worth shopping around to avoid airport rates. If you are very organised you can get a pre-paid currency card, which you can use in a similar way to a debit card. We recommend Revolut and Monzo.
  • Clothing – The temperature varies enormously depending on the time of year. The evenings during spring and autumn tend to be a little cooler, but the weather has the potential to be a little unpredictable even in mid-summer, so it is worth taking an extra layer. Sun-cream is also a must!
  • WiFi – The majority of hotels and restaurants have free unlimited WiFi.
  • Language – Whilst english is widely spoken throughout Italy, you may find in more remote areas and small villages, that people don’t speak english, and therefore we recommend taking a pocket book of key phrases to help you get by! We always recommend learning some of the basics to help you get into the swing of local life and meet new people. Most importantly, remember that ‘please’ is per favore, ‘thank you’ is grazie, and ‘you’re welcome’ is prego.
  • Customs & Etiquette – Italians who are friends greet each other with a kiss, usually first on the left cheek, then on the right. When you meet a new person, shake hands. If you are visiting places of worship, please dress respectfully. Smoking is not permitted in any public premises. Blatant public drunkenness is frowned upon, this is not a culture of binge drinking, instead wine is enjoyed as part of a meal. Cappuccino or caffè lattes are for the morning, after midday most Italians drink espresso or macchiato.
  • Festivals & Public Holidays – Consult your destination specialist when you have the dates for your trip and they can advise. Please note as Italy is a Catholic country, may things will be closed on Sundays and religious holidays.
  • Parking –  Some hotels, especially in historic town centres, charge extra for parking. Please check this with us in advance.
  • Driving Licence – Taxis and private transfers in Italy can be very expensive and in more rural areas, taxis can be difficult to book. In view of this we strongly recommend hiring a car, as this is the most efficient and cost effective way of travelling around Italy during your holiday. Depending on your country of residence, you may require an International Driving Permit in order to hire a car in Italy, and we advise that you check your country’s travel guidelines in advance of your trip to allow time to apply for this if necessary. The UK photo driving licence is accepted by all car rental companies. Although not all companies require a Driving License Code, we would recommend obtaining one before you collect your car. This can be done through the DVLA website (https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence) and you will need:
  • US Customers – If you are coming from the United States, you should obtain an International Driving Permit before leaving the US

While you are there:

  • Time difference – 1 hour ahead of UK time.
  • Telephone – Dial 0044 or +44 for a UK number. The Italian international code is +39
  • Dining out – There are fantastic restaurants for all budgets and generally enormous portions (except at some of the very swish Michelin restaurants). Make sure you have checked out all the places listed on your personal Vamoos App!
  • Vegetarian food – Well catered for!
  • Buying wine – If you want to bring back some delicious wine, then we can advise you on good places to buy and have bottles shipped home.
  • Tipping – It is standard procedure to tip around 10% for meals at restaurants (just check that service isn’t already included). It is not necessary to tip taxis in Italy. We recommend the following amounts for local guides based on your experience:
    • €10 per person for a half day tour
    • €15-€20 per person for a full day tour.