Staying in Rome

General information about Rome

  • Population: 2.8 million inhabitants
  • Area: 1,285 km2 (580 sqm)
  • Time: GMT/UTC + 1 hour (+ 2 hours in summer)
  • Currency: Euro (€ )
  • Telephone area code: +39(06)
  • Emergency numbers: Dial 112 for Police, 118 for Ambulance, and 115 for Fire.
  • Airports: Ciampino (CIA) 13.5 km and Fiumicino (FCO) 26 km.

Banks and ATM

In general, banks are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and in the afternoon from 2:45 to 3:45 pm or 3to 4 pm. There are many money exchange offices throughout the city, which are open all day, 7 days a week. Banks and exchanges charge a commission and/or a fee.
ATMs (known in Italy as bancomat) are widely available in Rome and most will accept Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro cards. As a precaution, though, check that the appropriate logo is displayed on the ATM before inserting your card.

Credit cards

Major cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard, Cirrus, Amex and Eurocheques are widely accepted.

Electricity

Electrical appliances in Italy work on 220 volts, CA. 50 Hz and plugs conform to the European system of round pins. To use 120 volt appliances you need both a transformer and an adapter plug. Both of these can be purchased in electrical stores or travelers’ shops before arriving in Italy (which is best) or in Italy after you arrive.

Money exchange

You can change your money in banks, at post offices or at a “cambio” (exchange office). There are exchange booths at Stazione Termini and at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports. Always make sure you have your passport, or some form of photo ID, at hand when exchanging money.

Smoking

On January 10, 2005, a nationwide smoking ban went into effect in bars and restaurants.

Taxes & refunds

A value-added tax of around 22%, known as IVA (Imposta di Valore Aggiunto), is included in the price of just about everything in Italy.
Non-EU residents who spend more than €155 at shops with a ‘Tax Free for Tourists’ sticker are entitled to a tax rebate. You’ll need to fill in a form in the shop and get it stamped by customs as you leave Italy.

Tipping

In Italy the service usually ranges from 1 to 3 Euros depending on the restaurant. It is automatically added to the check and must be displayed on the menu. Therefore, there is no need to tip. Normally, however, Italians just round up the bill, a few Euros. Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers, happily accepts a small tip. Generally, no other public service workers expect tips. Also remember to take your receipt, even if paying cash. It is required by the law as you must be able to prove that you paid and the owner registered for tax purposes.

Water

Tap water is safe everywhere. In addition, Rome’s ubiquitous public fountains provide water that is not only clean and drinkable, but also free. Unsafe sources will be marked ACQUA NON POTABILE.

Weather

Rome weather in June is very warm and sunny with up to 13 hours of sunlight per day. The average temperature rarely falls below 20°C and often rises to highs of 30°C during the warmest time of the day.