The official currency of Italy is Euro, which is symbolised as €. One Euro is divided into 100 cents. The European Central Bank issues paper currency with denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Euro. Metal coins issued by the bank are in the denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent. Coins of 1 and 2 Euros are also issued and used in Italy.
Foreign currencies like British Pound and US Dollar are some of the other currencies that can easily be used in Italy. There is no restriction on the amount of currency that can be imported to the country. However, taking local currency equivalent to or more than 13,882 USD out of Italy requires special permission.
Exchanging foreign currency in Italy is simple as banks, forex and ATMs are available throughout the country. Several authorised hotels and shops in major cities like Milan, Rome and Venice also exchange foreign currency.
Banks are considered as the best place to exchange foreign currency as the rate is good and commission is low. Post offices also exchange foreign currency and commission charged is lower than the banks.
Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo are the national bank chains found across Italy. International banks like Citibank, Bank of America and HSBC are also available. Most of the banks are open for business between 8:30 am and 4 pm, from Monday to Friday. Banks are closed for lunch from 1:30 pm to 3 pm. Some of the banks in the key tourist areas do not close for lunch. Banks are closed on Saturday, Sunday and national holidays.
ATMs, known as Bancomat in the local dialect, are another place for currency exchange in Italy. ATMs can be found in all the major cities as well as rural towns across Italy. Cirrus, BankMate, Plus and VPay are the banking systems that work in Italy. Maximum 350 USD can be withdrawn from the ATMs of Italy at one time. A foreign transaction fee between 1 USD and 5 USD is charged on every transaction.
Credit or debit cards can also be used in Italy. All the major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are accepted by hotels, shops and other establishments in Italy. On every use of credit card, a transaction fee of 1.5 % is charged.
Travellers’ cheque is another option for monetary transactions in Italy. American Express and Visa cheques are the most accepted travellers’ cheque. One can get these cheques exchanged at exchange offices of the respective companies. Exchange offices of Amex do not charge any commission for exchanging travellers’ cheques. Travellers’ cheques in Pounds Sterling, Euro and US Dollars are exchanged at lowest additional charges.
In Italy, forex changers are called Ufficio di Cambio and can easily be found at key tourist areas and airports throughout the country. Visa, Travelex and Amex are the most popular forex changers that can be found in Italy. Cities like Milan, Rome, Florence and Venice are dotted with forex changers.
Forex changers in Italy charge high commissions for currency exchange services. Most of the forex changers in the country have 5% margin between their buy and sell prices. Currently, 1 Euro is equivalent to 1.3788 USD.
Travellers should be aware of touts asking to get the currency exchanged.
Me and my wife, from Pune,are planning to London sometime in July/August to visit my daughter. On our way we want to see Italy: Rome 2N, Pisa, Florence 1N, Venice, Padova 1N, Vatican: Vatican City, Switzerland: Lucerne 3N, Engelberg, Lauterbrunnen, Jungfraujoch, Interlaken and France: Paris 3N tentatively. Would like to know the best tour operator who provide service with value for money. I would also like to have comments about;
1. Thomas Cook
3. Cox and Kings
Look forward for an response,
My husband and I will b going to Italy, Pavia, to be precise which is 35 km south of Milan.
I would like to travel on my own while my husband is preoccupied with teaching at the
University. Can u help me out with some website/tips onthe safest and
cheapest method of travelling in Italy? Are there any travel outfits in
Italy catering to the lone traveller? Also are there any cheap motels,B&B
joints,hostels willing to accomodate a single person or later a family of 3?
Look forward to your responses.
HolidayIQ.com is a premier holiday information portal powered by India's first & biggest travel community; enabling travellers to first discover numerous vacation choices, then plan holiday trips in full detail and finally, share holiday experiences with millions of other travellers.