ItalyOfficial Name: Italian Republic
Must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area. (Six months recommended.)
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
Two pages required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
10,000 Euros or equivalent
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
10,000 Euros or equivalent
Embassies and Consulates
Via Vittorio Veneto, 121
00187 Rome, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 06-46741
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 06-46741
Fax: +(39) 06-4674-2217
The Rome consular district include the regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, and Sardegna.
U.S. Embassy to the Holy See
Via delle Terme Deciane 26
00162 Rome, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 06-4674-3428
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 06-46741
Fax: +(39) 06-575-8346
U.S. Consulate General Florence
Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci 38,
50123 Florence, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 055-266-951
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 055-266-951
Fax: +(39) 055-215-550
The Florence consular disctrict includes the regions of Tuscany, and Emilia-Romagna (all except the Provinces of Piacenza and Parma).
U.S. Consulate General Milan
Via Principe Amedeo 2/10
20121 Milano, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 02-290-351
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 02-290-351
Fax: +(39) 02-290-35-273
The Milan consular district includes the regions of Valle D'Aosta, Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, and Emilia-Romagna (Provinces of Piacenza and Parma only).
U.S. Consulate General Naples
Piazza della Repubblica
80122 Naples, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 081-583-8111
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 081-583-8111
Fax: +(39) 081-583-8275
The Naples consular district includes the regions of Campania, Molise, Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria, and Sicilia.
U.S. Consular Agent - Genoa
Via Dante 2
16121 Genoa, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 010-584-492
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(39) 02-290-351
Fax: +(39) 010-553-3033
Monday through Thursday 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
U.S. Consular Agent - Palermo
Via Vaccarini 1
Telephone: +(39) 091-305-857
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Naples
Fax: +(39) 091-625-6026
Monday through Friday 9:00 AM-12:30 PM by appointment only.
U.S. Consular Agent - Venice
Viale Galileo Galilei 30
30173 Tessera, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 041-541-5944
Fax: +(39) 041-541-6654
Italy is a developed democracy with the ninth-largest economy in the world. The Holy See is a sovereign entity that serves as the ecclesiastical, governmental, and administrative seat of the Roman Catholic Church, physically located within Vatican City State, with a unique, non-traditional economy. San Marino is a developed, constitutional democratic republic with a modern economy. Tourist facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheets on Italy, the Holy See, and San Marino for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Italy is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Italy without a visa for up to 90 days within each 180-day period for tourist or business purposes. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure from the Schengen area. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. If your passport does not meet the Schengen requirements, you may be refused boarding by the airline at your point of origin or while transferring planes. You could also be denied entry when you arrive in the Schengen area. For this reason, we recommend that your passport have at least six months ‘validity remaining whenever you travel abroad. Please note that individual airlines and cruise companies may have additional, different requirements; be sure to confirm when purchasing tickets. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.
For all other purposes, such as employment or long-term study, U.S. citizens need a visa, which must be obtained from an Italian embassy or consulate before entering Italy. For further information concerning visas and entry requirements for Italy, contact the Embassy of Italy at 3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, or via telephone at (202) 612-4400; or Italian Consulates General in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. Visit the Italian Embassy website for the most current visa information.
Are you a non-resident? U.S. citizens staying or traveling within Italy for fewer than three months are considered non-residents. This includes persons on vacation, those taking professional trips, students registered at an authorized school, or persons performing research or independent study.
Under Italian law, all non-residents are required to complete a declaration of presence (dichiarazione di presenza). Travelers arriving from a non-Schengen country (such as the United States) should obtain an immigration stamp in their passport at the airport on the day of arrival; this is considered the equivalent of the declaration of presence.
Travelers arriving from another Schengen country must request the declaration of presence form from a local police office (commissariato di zona), police headquarters (questura), or their place of stay (e.g., hotel, hostel, campgrounds), and submit the form to the police or to their place of stay within eight business days of arrival. You must keep a copy of the receipt issued by the Italian authorities. Failure to complete a declaration of presence is punishable by expulsion from Italy. Additional information may be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Polizia di Stato.
Are you a resident? U.S. citizens staying in Italy for more than three months are considered residents and must obtain a permit of stay (permesso di soggiorno). This includes U.S. citizens who will work or transact business and persons who want to live in Italy. An application "kit" for the permesso di soggiorno can be requested from one of 14,000 national post offices (Poste Italiane). The kit must then be returned to one of the 5,332 designated post office acceptance locations. You should keep a copy of the receipt issued by the post office. Additional information may be obtained from the Italian immigration website. Within 20 days of receiving the permit to stay in Italy, U.S. citizens must go to the local Vital Statistics Bureau (Anagrafe della Comune) to apply for residency. You should request a certificate of residence (Certificato de Residenza) after 45 days from the date of your intitial application.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Italy.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
Several major earthquake fault lines cross Italy. Principal Italian cities, with the exception of Naples, do not lie near these faults; however, smaller tourist towns, such as Assisi, do lie near faults and have experienced earthquakes. An earthquake severely damaged the town of L’Aquila in 2009. General information about disaster preparedness is available online from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Italy also has several active volcanoes generating geothermal events. Mt. Etna, on the eastern tip of the island of Sicily, has been intermittently erupting since 2000. Travelers to Sicily should be aware of the possibility for travel disruptions, including airport closures, and are advised to check the website of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia for daily updates. Mt. Vesuvius, located near Naples, is currently capped and not active. Activity at Mt. Vesuvius, along with the volcanic potential of Ischia, a resort island off the coast of Naples, is monitored by an active seismic network and sensor system, and no recent seismic activity has been recorded. The Phlegraean Fields (Campei Flagrei), near Naples, are also being closely monitored for volcanic activity. Two of Italy's smaller islands, Stromboli and Vulcano, in the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, also have active volcanoes with lava flows. Detailed information on volcano activity in Italy is available from the USGS.
Politically motivated violence in Italy is most often connected to Italian internal developments or social issues. Italian authorities and foreign diplomatic facilities have found bombs outside public buildings, have received bomb threats, and have been subjects of letter bombs in the past several years. Organized crime and anarchist movements sometimes use firebombs or Molotov cocktails against buildings or offices. These attacks generally occur at night, and although they have not targeted or injured U.S. citizens, you should remain aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to local authorities.
Demonstrations may have an anti-U.S. character, especially in areas hosting U.S. military bases. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. You should take common sense precautions and follow news reports carefully. Security Messages for U.S. citizens pertaining to demonstrations can be found on the Embassy’s website.
Italian authorities have made several high-profile arrests involving members or affiliates of transnational terror groups. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Italy’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow for the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country with anonymity.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Rome on Twitter and Facebook, and visit the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Italy has a moderate rate of crime. Nevertheless, you should exercise extra caution at night and at train stations, airports, nightclubs, bars, and outdoor cafes. If you are drinking heavily, your ability to judge situations and make decisions may be impaired, making you a target for crime.
Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities. Never leave your bag unattended (e.g., at your feet, hanging over a chair, in the overhead rack on a train, etc.), even for a moment. Pick-pockets sometimes dress like businessmen; you should not be lulled into a false sense of security by believing that well-dressed individuals are not potential pick-pockets or thieves. Most reported thefts occur at crowded tourist sites, on public buses and trains, and at the major railway stations: Rome's Termini; Milan's Centrale; Florence's Santa Maria Novella; and Naples's Centrale at Piazza Garibaldi. Thefts have also been reported on the Circumvesuviana train from Naples to Pompeii and Sorrento. For more information on trains and security, please see the Italian railway police’s advice for travelers. You should also be alert to theft in Milan’s Malpensa Airport, particularly at car rental agencies. Clients of Internet cafes in major cities are also targeted. Be careful with your bag or purse, as thieves on motor scooters are very quick and can snatch a purse off your arm from a moving scooter. Resisting these thieves can be hazardous, as some tourists have suffered broken arms and collarbones.
Thieves in Italy often work in groups or pairs. Pairs of accomplices or groups of children are known to divert tourists' attention so that another can pick-pocket them. In one particular routine, one thief drops or spills something on the victim; a second thief assists the victim in cleaning up the mess; and the third discreetly takes the victim's belongings. Criminals on crowded public transportation slit the bottoms of purses or bags with a razor blade or sharp knife, removing the contents.
Some travelers in Rome, Florence, and Naples have reported incidents in which criminals used drugs to assault or rob them. These incidents have occurred near Rome’s Termini train station; at bars and cafes near Rome’s Colosseum, Colle Oppio, Campo de Fiori, and Piazza Navona; and at bars and cafes in the center of Florence and Naples. Criminals using this tactic “befriend” you at a train station, restaurant, café, or bar, and then offer you a drink laced with a sleeping drug. When you fall asleep, criminals steal your valuables and may sexually assault you. Some victims of these assaults in Rome have required hospitalization and two cases resulted in death.
Thieves are also known to have impersonated police officers in order to steal. The thief shows you a circular plastic sign with the words "police" or “international police" and then in perfect English asks to see your identification and your money. U.S. citizens should be aware that local police will generally exit their own vehicle when speaking with members of the public. Also, plainclothes undercover units rarely attempt to pull over vehicles without a marked car accompanying them. If this happens to you, you should insist on seeing the officer's identification card (documento) before handing over your wallet as impersonators tend not to carry forged documents. You should immediately report thefts or other crimes to the actual police.
Be alert to the possibility of carjackings and thefts while you are waiting in traffic or stopped at traffic lights. This has been a particular problem in Catania, Sicily. Keep your car doors locked and the windows rolled up when you are in the vehicle. Use particular caution driving at night on highways, when thieves are more likely to strike. U.S. citizens have reported break-ins of their rental cars during stops at highway service areas; thieves smash car windows and steal everything inside. Theft of small items, such as radios, luggage, cameras, briefcases, and even cigarettes, from parked cars is prevalent. Vehicles parked near beaches during the summer can be broken into and robbed of valuables. Lock car doors whenever you park, and do not leave packages in your car in plain view.
The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian law enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices. These devices are attached to legitimate bank ATMs, usually located in tourist areas, and capture the account information stored electronically on the card’s magnetic strip. The devices consist of a card reader installed over the legitimate reader and a pin-hole video camera mounted above the keypad that records the customer’s PIN. ATMs with skimming devices installed may also allow normal transactions to occur. The victim’s information is sold, traded online, or encoded on another card, such as a hotel key card, to access the compromised account. Here are some helpful hints to protect against and identify skimming devices:
- Use ATMs located in well-lighted public areas or secured inside a bank/business.
- Cover the keypad with one hand as you enter your PIN.
- Look for gaps, tampered appearance, or other irregularities between the metal faceplate of the ATM and the card reader.
- Avoid card readers that are not flush with the face of the ATM.
- Closely monitor your account statements for unauthorized transactions.
Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south. They occasionally resort to violence to intimidate or to settle disputes. Though the activities of such groups are not generally targeted at tourists, visitors should be aware that innocent bystanders could be injured.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities and, if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Italy is 112.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Italy, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons violating Italian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If you break local laws in Italy, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
Arrest notifications in Italy: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
You must obey local transportation laws and regulations. You must purchase train tickets and validate them by inserting them into validating machines, which are usually located near the entrance of train tracks, prior to boarding. Failure to follow this procedure may result in an on-the-spot fine by an inspector on the train. You must purchase bus tickets prior to boarding and validate them immediately after boarding. Tickets may be purchased at tobacco stores or street kiosks. Failure to follow this procedure may result in an immediate fine imposed by an inspector on the bus. If the violator does not pay the fine on the spot, the fine will automatically double and will be forwarded to the violator’s home address.
You must obey local driving laws and regulations. Vehicle traffic in some historic downtown areas of cities and towns throughout Italy is limited by a system of permits (called “ZTL,” functioning the same way as an electronic toll system in the United States might on the freeway). Cameras record the license plates of cars driving in parts of the city that require a permit. Although most of the automated verification stations are clearly marked, if a driver passes one, it is impossible to know at the time that a violation occurred or has been recorded. Violators are not pulled over or stopped, and there is no personal contact with a police officer. Whenever possible, the fines imposed for these violations are forwarded to the driver’s home in the United States to request payment. To comply with the statute of limitations, notice from Italian authorities of a violation should arrive no later than a year from the day the rental car company discloses your home address to the local police. For definitive legal guidance or to contest a fine, you should consult a lawyer licensed to practice in Italy. The fines are cumulative for each time a driver passes a control point. A similar system of automated traffic control cameras is in place in many parts of the Italian highway system and is used to ticket speeding violations.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Strikes and other work stoppages frequently occur in the transportation sector (national airlines, airports, trains, and bus lines); most are announced in advance and are of short duration. You may wish to reconfirm any domestic and/or international flight reservations if you are traveling during one of these events.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Italy. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Italy you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Italy, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. Many find Italy’s narrow cobbled streets and storied monuments charming; they can, however, be a challenge for physically impaired travelers. Many Italian sidewalks lack ramps, and some Italian streets lack sidewalks altogether or, as in Venice, feature stairs and narrow pedestrian bridges. While some major sights and hotels have put time and planning into ensuring accessibility, there are others that lack ramps, elevators, or handicap-accessible bathrooms. Advance planning can go a long way in making a difference in accommodation for disabled travelers. Inform airlines and hotels of your disability when making reservations as some time may be needed to prepare accommodation. Call ahead to restaurants, museums, and other facilities to find out if they are wheelchair accessible. Most, but not all, train stations in Italy have accommodations for those traveling in wheelchairs. With advance notice, personal assistance can be provided to a disabled person traveling through a particular station. More information is available at Trenitalia's website addressing disabled travelers. For those who wish to rent cars, hand-controlled vehicles are available in Italy from major car rental companies. You should contact the car rental company well in advance of your trip in order to reserve the vehicle. Remember that Italy functions on 220-volt current. To recharge an electric wheelchair motor, you may need a transformer to change the 220 current to 110 volts as well as an adapter to adjust the plug to fit Italian electrical sockets.
Guide dog owners must present the documentation required by European Union Member States in order to enter Italy with a dog.
Medical facilities are available, but may be limited outside urban areas. Public hospitals, though generally free of charge for emergency services, may not maintain the same standards as hospitals in the United States; you are encouraged to obtain insurance that would cover a stay in a private Italian hospital or clinic. In general, you are required to pay for all services up front, and get reimbursed later from your insurance company. Please note that it is not possible to obtain an itemized hospital bill from public hospitals, as required by many U.S. insurance companies, because the Italian National Health Service charges one inclusive rate for care services and room and board.
In parts of southern Italy, the lack of adequate trash disposal and incineration sites has led to periodic accumulations of garbage in urban and rural areas. In some cases, residents have burned garbage, resulting in toxic emissions that can aggravate respiratory problems.
A routine water quality test in June 2013 revealed no serious concerns with city water supplies to the U.S. Consulate and official residences in Naples and its suburbs. As a matter of practice, many residents and visitors drink bottled and/or filtered water. For more information on safe food and water precautions, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) food and water safety website.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Italy, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Streets in historic city centers are often narrow, winding, and congested. Traffic lights are limited and often disobeyed, and a different convention of right-of-way is observed. Motor scooters are very popular, and scooter drivers often see themselves as exempt from conventions that apply to automobiles. While the number of deaths related to car accidents has decreased, there are still significant risks for pedestrians. Many vehicle-related deaths and injuries concern pedestrians or cyclists who are involved in collisions with scooters or other vehicles. Pedestrians and drivers should stay constantly alert to the possibility of a scooter’s sudden presence. Be particularly cautious if you rent a scooter. You should remain vigilant and alert when walking or cycling near traffic. Pedestrians should be careful, as sidewalks can be extremely congested and uneven, and riders of bicycles, motorcycles, and other vehicles routinely park and drive on sidewalks. For safety, pedestrians should look carefully in both directions before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk with a green walk (avanti) light illuminated.
Italy has over 3,480 miles of superhighways (autostrada). Commercial and individual vehicles travel and pass on these well-maintained roads at very high speeds. In rural areas, a wide range of speed on highways makes for hazardous driving. Roads are generally narrow and often have no guardrails. Travelers in northern Italy, especially in winter, should be aware of fog and poor visibility responsible for multiple-car accidents each year. Most Italian automobiles are equipped with special fog lights. Roadside assistance in Italy is excellent on the well-maintained toll roads, but limited on secondary roads. Use of safety belts and child restraining devices is mandatory, and headlights should be on at all times outside of urban areas.
U.S. citizens driving in Italy should also note that according to Italian regulation if a resident of a non-European Union country violates a traffic law, the violator must pay the fine at the time the violation occurs to the police officer issuing the ticket. If the citizen does not or cannot pay the fine at the time, Italian regulation allows the police officer to confiscate the offender’s vehicle even if the vehicle is a rental vehicle.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of the Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT) or the Automobile Club d’Italia (A.C.I.). For information on obtaining international drivers licenses, contact the American Automobile Association (AAA) via telephone at (407) 444-7000 or fax (407) 444-7380.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Italy’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Rome
Via Vittorio Veneto, 121
00187 Rome, Italy
- Telephone +(39) 06-46741
- Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(39) 06-46741
- Fax +(39) 06-4674-2217
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- U.S. Embassy Rome
The Rome consular district include the regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, and Sardegna.