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Foreign Entry Requirements and Country Information


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Entry Requirements

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Immunization Required?

 

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Invitation Required?

 

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Additional Requirements?

 

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Entry/Exit Requirements
A valid passport is required. Italian authorities may deny entry to travelers who attempt to enter without a valid passport. A visa is not required for tourist stays up to three months. However, for all other purposes, such as work, study, etc., a visa is required and must be obtained from the Italian Embassy or Consulates before entering Italy. For further information concerning visas and entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of Italy at 1601 Fuller St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, tel: 202-328-5500 or via the internet: http://www.italyemb.org, or Italian Consulates General in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, or San Francisco, accessible through the above Internet site.

Under Italian law, tourists are required to register with a local police station and obtain a "permesso di soggiorno" (permit to stay) within eight working days of their arrival, regardless of the intended length of stay. Visitors may be required to show police that they have sufficient means of financial support. Credit cards, ATM cards, travelers' checks, prepaid hotel/vacation vouchers, etc. may be evidence of sufficient means.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated special procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship to the person traveling with the child and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure. Please refer to Traveling with Children for detailed information.
Population
58,057,477 (July 2004 est.)
Nationality
noun: Italian(s)
adjective: Italian
Country Name
conventional long form: Italian Republic
conventional short form: Italy
local long form: Repubblica Italiana
local short form: Italia
former: Kingdom of Italy
Capital
Rome
Climate
predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Currency
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Government Type
republic
U.S. Embassy Location
chief of mission: Ambassador Melvin F. SEMBLER
embassy: Via Vittorio Veneto 119/A, 00187-Rome
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
telephone: [39] (06) 46741
FAX: [39] (06) 488-2672, 4674-2356
consulate(s) general: Florence, Milan, Naples
Legal System
based on civil law system; appeals treated as new trials; judicial review under certain conditions in Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Religions
predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Country Background
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the European Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.
Safety and Security
There have been occasional episodes of politically motivated violence in Italy, most often connected to Italian internal developments or social issues. At various times, Italian authorities have found bombs outside public buildings, have received bomb threats and were subjects of letter bombs. Firebombs or Molotov cocktails have been thrown at buildings or offices in the middle of the night. These incidents have all been attributed to organized crime or anarchist movements. Americans were not targeted or injured in these instances.

Demonstrations may have an anti-American character. Even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn into confrontational situations and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Italy should take common sense precautions and follow news reports carefully in order to avoid demonstrations and to be aware of heightened security and potential delays when they occur.

Italy remains largely free of terrorist incidents. However, like other countries in the Schengen area, Italy's open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country with anonymity.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Crime
Italy has a moderate rate of violent crime, some of which is directed towards tourists, principally for motives of theft. Some travelers have been victims of rape and beatings. There have been increasing incidents of drinks laced with drugs being used by criminals to rob, and in some cases, assault tourists. This occurs repeatedly in the vicinity of Rome's Termini train station. Instances have also occurred elsewhere in Rome, as well as in Florence and Naples. Criminals using this tactic "befriend" a traveler, at a bus stop, restaurant, cafe or bar in tourist areas, then eventually offer a drink laced with a sleeping drug. When the tourist falls asleep, criminals steal the traveler's valuables. There have also been instances where the victim was assaulted, either physically or sexually. Other embassies in Rome report this happening to their citizens as well.

Americans are advised to exercise caution when frequenting nightclubs, bars and outdoor cafes, particularly at night, because criminals may make initial contact with potential victims in such settings. Individuals under the effect of alcohol may become victims of crime, including robbery, physical and sexual assault, due to their impaired ability to judge situations and make decisions. This is particularly a problem for younger Americans visiting Italy, where age limits on the sale of alcoholic beverages is lower than in most U.S. states. If you are a victim of such a crime, please file a police report and contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulates. There are also in-country organizations, which provide counseling, medical, and legal assistance to certain crime victims.

Petty crimes such as pick pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities. Pickpockets sometimes dress like businessmen, so tourists should not be lulled into a false sense of security by believing that well-dressed individuals are not potential pickpockets or thieves. Most reported thefts occur at crowded tourist sites, on public buses or trains, or at the major railway stations, Rome's Termini, Milan's Centrale, Florence's Santa Maria Novella, and Naples' Centrale and Piazza Garibaldi. Travelers should also be alert to theft in Milan's Malpensa airport, particularly at car rental agencies. Clients of Internet cafes in major cities have been targeted. Tourists who have tried to resist petty thieves on motor scooters have suffered broken arms and collarbones.

Thieves in Italy often work in groups or pairs. Pairs of accomplices or groups of street urchins are known to divert tourists' attention so that another can pickpocket them. In one particular routine, one thief throws trash, waste or ketchup at 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, then remove the contents. Theft of small items such as radios, luggage, cameras, briefcases, and even cigarettes from parked cars are a major problem.

Robbers take items from cars at gas stations often by smashing car windows. Thefts have also been reported from occupied vehicles waiting in traffic or stopped at traffic lights. Vehicles parked near beaches during the summer have been broken into and items stolen.

In a scam practiced on the highways, one thief signals a flat tire to the driver of another car and encourages the driver to pull over. Often, the tire has been punctured by an accomplice, while in other instances, there may, in fact, be nothing wrong with the vehicle. When the driver stops, one thief helps change the tire, while the other takes the driver's belongings. Use particular caution driving at night on highways, when there may be a greater incidence of robbery attempts. There have been occasional reports of break-ins of rental cars driven by Americans when the precautions mentioned above were not followed during stops at highway service areas.

On trains, a commonly reported trick involves one or more persons who pretend to befriend a traveler and offer drugged food or drink. Also, thieves have been known to impersonate police officers to gain the confidence of tourists. The thief shows the prospective victim a circular plastic sign with the words "police" or "international police." If this happens, the tourist should insist on seeing the officer's identification card (documento), as impersonators tend not to carry forged documents. Tourists should immediately report thefts or other crimes to the local police.

Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south. They have occasionally resorted 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 by-standers could be injured.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you understand the local criminal justice process and help you locate an attorney if needed.
Medical Facilities
Medical facilities are available, but may be limited outside urban areas. Public hospitals sometimes do not maintain the same standards as hospitals in the United States, so travelers are encouraged to obtain insurance that would cover a stay in a private Italian hospital or clinic. It is almost impossible 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 (care services, bed and board). The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. U.S. Medicare and

Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans to cover overseas health care expenses including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers requiring medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties unlike travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance. Prior to your trip, ask your insurance company if payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for incurred expenses. Some insurance companies include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Travelers should always carry a prescription for any drugs they are taking and should know the generic name of the drug. Most prescription drugs available in the U.S. can also be found in Italy. If you are taking an unusual medicine that is difficult to find even in the United States, we suggest that you bring an ample supply with you when you travel. Mailing prescription drugs to Italy is time-consuming and complicated. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

 


Pricing
11-14 Day*
$95.00
8-10 Day*
$145.00
4-7 Day*
$195.00
1-3 Day*
$275.00
* Business Days
Non-Rush
$80.00
Rush
$145.00
Emergency
$185.00

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