ROME & AMALFI COAST
Tour at a Glance
|Rome||1 - 4||Hotel Dei Mellini|
|Sorrento||4 - 8||Antiche Mura Hotel|
|Rome||8 - 10||Hotel Dei Mellini|
|All transfers included.|
BANKING AND CURRENCY
Italy uses the European monetary unit, the euro (€).
Euro bills come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500; coins are worth 1 cent of a euro, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 euro, and 2 euros. Local merchants may refuse to accept €200 and €500 bills due to the prevalence of counterfeit bills.
Traveller’s cheques, cheques and foreign money can be changed at banks, railway stations and airports and very often at major hotels (albeit usually at a less advantageous exchange rate). It is expensive to change foreign currency in Italy, exchange bureau fees are high. Banks will only exchange currency for their own customers.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding €10,000 or equivalent must be declared if travelling from or to a country outside the European Union.
FOOD, DRINK AND CUISINE ADVICE
Standards of hygiene, in relation to food health and safety in Italy,are generally high in hotels, restaurants, pubs and nightspots. Restaurants are subject to food safety control legislation, which is implemented by local government. Regulations include certification and regular inspections by health inspectors to ensure hygienic standards are maintained.
It is safe to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and to put ice in your drinks. Italy’s fish, meat and chicken are of excellent quality, so there is no need to limit yourself when enjoying the local cuisine.
There are two cardinal rules of Italian cuisine – eat locally and eat seasonally. Imported foods are changing this picture, but faithful Italian cooks would never eat asparagus, tomatoes or artichokes out of season. Food is part of the rhythm of life, and so Italians eagerly await the arrival of seasonal ingredients from mushrooms in the fall to wild strawberries in the spring.
Tap water throughout Italy is safe to drink and to cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. Not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so take precautions if necessary.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
The climate varies considerably from the north to the south of Italy. In the north of the country – the area between the Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines – the climate is harsh, with very cold winters and very hot, particularly humid summers. In central Italy the climate is milder, with a smaller difference in temperature between summer and winter and a shorter and less intense cold season than in the north; summers are longer, but the sultriness of the northern cities is mitigated by the sea. In southern Italy and the islands winters are never particularly harsh, and spring and autumn temperatures are similar to those reached in the summer in other areas of Italy.
ELECTRICITY AND PLUG STANDARDS
For the most part, electrical sockets (outlets) in Italy (Repubblica Italiana) are their own standard, the “Type L” Italian CEI 23-16/VII. Also reported to be in use is the “Type C” European CEE 7/16 Europlug. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance’s plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it’s crucial to be able to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for both types.
Electrical sockets (outlets) in Italy (Repubblica Italiana) usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance is not compatible with 220-240 electrical output, a voltage converter will be necessary.