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 the Police, 118 for an Ambulance, and 115 for the firefighters.
  • Airports: Ciampino (CIA) located 13.5 km from the city and Fiumicino (FCO) located 26 km out of Rome.

Banks and ATMs

In general, banks are open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and in the afternoon from 2:45 to 3:45 pm or 3 to 4 pm. There are many money exchange offices throughout the city which are open 24/7. Banks and exchanges offices charge a commission and/or a fee.
ATMs (known in Italy as “bancomat”) are widely available in Rome and most of them accept Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro cards. Check that the appropriate logo is displayed on the ATM before inserting your card as a precaution.

Credit cards

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

Electricity

Electrical appliances in Italy operate at 220 volts, CA. 50 Hz and plugs comply to the European system of round pins. You need both a transformer and an adapter plug in order to use 120V devices. Both of these can be purchased in electrical stores or travellers’ 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 other form of photo ID, on hand when exchanging money.

Smoking

A nationwide smoking ban went into effect in bars and restaurants on January 10, 2005.

Taxes & refunds

A value-added tax of around 22%, known as IVA (VAT), 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 and it is automatically added to the check which must be displayed on the menu. Therefore, there is no need to tip. Normally, however, Italians just round up the bill of 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 with you as you leave, even if paying in cash. Italian law requires you to keep the receipts in order to be able to prove that you made the payment and that the supplier charged you for tax purposes.

Water

Tap water is safe everywhere. In addition, Rome’s many public fountains provide water that is not only clean and drinkable, but also free. Unsafe water sources are going to be marked “ACQUA NON POTABILE”.

Weather

Rome’s 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.