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When in Rome…

Who can resist all those world-famous cities drenched in culture, the seductive language of love, and fresh pizza?

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English,French,German -

Although English, German and French is spoken in the biggest cities, Italian dialects add colour to the different regions.


You are not expected to tip in Italy and leaving something for hotel staff is at your own discretion. Restaurants will automatically add the service charge to your bill.

Population and size

Almost 61 million people live in Italy, two million less than the UK.

Italy is one and a quarter times the size of the UK.


Euro -

Gone are the days of six million lira being worth 20p, Italy now uses the euro.


Italy is a predominantly Roman Catholic country where the family is paramount.

Appearances are very important and you will be judged on your clothes, shoes, accessories and how you carry yourself.

A handshake with eye contact is the correct greeting. Football is by far the most popular sport.

An architectural delight, Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and, according to one estimate, the country guards half of the world’s great art treasures.


Yes – Si

No – No

Good morning – Buon giorno

Good evening – Buona sera

Good night – Buona notte

Thank you – Grazie

Please – Per favore

How much? – Quanto costa?


Italy is one hour ahead of GMT.


Mains voltage is 220 volts AC. All sockets take small, round two-pin plugs.


Hot and dry in the summer, cool and wet in the winter.


Your health is only at risk in Italy if you seriously upset the Mafia!

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre – see, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad at

Passports and visas

By law, you’ll need to carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.


Smoking is banned in all public places.

Flight time

It obviously depends where you fly to, but as an example flight time from London to Rome is 2 hours 15 minutes.