Fire and rescue services
Call 112 or 115.
Call 112 or 118.
Call 112 or 113.
European Emergency number
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Italy.
Petty crime is common. Be aware of pickpockets and bag-snatchers at tourist spots and on transport. Thieves often work in groups on trains. Take care of your belongings.
Serious assaults occur after food and drink spiking. Never accept drinks from strangers. Don't leave food and drinks unattended.
Protests and strikes cause building closures and transport delays and cancellations. Check the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Italian) for details on upcoming strikes.
Bombings against political targets happen. Avoid protests and crowds. Monitor local news.
Always be alert to terrorism. Terrorists have targeted European cities, including transport hubs and places visited by travellers. Take official warnings seriously.
Italy experiences earthquakes and volcanic activity. Large earthquakes cause landslides and avalanches. Forest fires are common from June to September. Monitor the media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Full travel advice: Safety
Measles is on the rise. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
West Nile virus (WNV) can occur. There's no vaccine to prevent it. Use insect repellent. Make sure your accommodation is insect-proof.
Medical facilities are good in major cities and limited in rural areas.
We have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Italy. You can get treated in public medical facilities if you show your Medicare card and passport. You still need travel insurance.
Full travel advice: Health
Don't use or carry drugs. Penalties are severe and include long jail sentences.
You may be fined for littering, sitting, eating or drinking near churches and public buildings or in public spaces. Obey signs about conduct.
Organised pub crawls are banned in some cities, including Rome.
It's illegal to take photos of official buildings and military areas. Check with local authorities first.
Don't buy fake brands and products from illegal street vendors. It's against the law.
Full travel advice: Local laws
Italy is part of the Schengen area. You can enter Italy without a visa in some cases. In other situations, you'll need to get a visa before you travel.
Apply for a 'Permit to Stay' (dichiarazione di presenza) if you're not staying in commercial accommodation. Do this at the local police station within 8 days of arriving.
Italy has a Working Holiday Visa program. Get the appropriate visa before you arrive. If you're staying more than 90 days, you might have to register with police.
Driving can be dangerous and chaotic. Always have your headlights on when you're on highways or main roads outside cities. Use snow chains in some mountainous regions.
Some cities have traffic restricted zones. Check with your hotel about traffic restrictions.
Full travel advice: Travel
Petty crime is common, particularly in the summer and autumn tourist seasons. It includes bag snatching, pick-pocketing, passport theft and theft from cars.
Thieves are most active:
in larger cities
in and around major tourist spots
on public transport
at major airports
at railway stations and bus terminals
To reduce the risk of theft:
take care of your belongings
remain alert in tourist spots
avoid walking in quiet and poorly lit streets, especially at night
Monitor local sources for advice about new safety or security risks.
Theft is very common on trains. This includes to and from Fiumicino airport near Rome and on overnight journeys.
Thieves often work in groups to distract victims and rob them while they are looking away.
On trains, they do this by:
asking for directions while a train is stopped at a station
dropping attractive items on the floor of the train
blocking the view of overhead luggage racks
throwing rubbish or sauce at the victim
Often a member of the group will pretend to come to help the victim while others steal their valuables.
Check the Italian Public Security System site Polizia Di Stato for advice on how to avoid theft on trains.
Credit card and ATM fraud happens, often involving 'skimming' machines. Monitor your bank statements.
To protect yourself from fraud:
use ATMs in secure places, such as banks, shops and shopping centres
keep your ATM and credit cards in sight
Police have warned that counterfeit European currency is in circulation. Check any notes you receive.
Some victims have been sexually assaulted or needed hospitalisation.
In Rome, many attacks have taken place:
around Termini station
in tourist areas, such as the Colosseum
in bars and cafes near Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona
In Milan, attacks happen in bars, nightclubs and other late night venues.
In Florence and Naples, attacks happen mainly in the vicinity of train stations and in bars and cafes in the city centres.
To protect yourself from drink spiking:
never accept drinks from strangers
don't leave food or drinks unattended
stick with people you trust in bars and nightclubs
Vehicle break-in and theft is common. Many Australians have lost belongings, including passports and other valuables, to thieves.
Thieves steal from cars at traffic lights, rest stops, service stations and on the roadside.
Lock your car doors and keep luggage and valuables out of sight
There are reports of thieves slashing tyres or staging roadside emergencies. Their aim is to persuade drivers to pull over and get out of their cars. While the driver is distracted, the thieves steal personal belongings.
Popular targets for thieves are unattended campervans or mobile homes, either:
parked at camping sites
in the streets near historic sites
To reduce your risk of theft from your vehicle:
don't leave valuables in your vehicle
when you leave your vehicle, lock all doors
try to use a secure parking facility, especially overnight
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Protests can spark violent unrest, demonstrations and riots.
To protect yourself from violence and unrest:
avoid crowds and protests if you can
monitor local media for possible unrest
follow the advice of local authorities
Strikes are common.
They can cause building closures, particularly in tourist areas. They can also disrupt public transport. This includes air, shipping, train, bus, tram and taxi services.
Strikes may involve roadblocks and petrol station closures. This can cause transport delays and cancellations.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (Italian) gives details on upcoming strikes.
Trenitalia (Italian) gives details on train disruptions. Call 89 20 21 in Italy, or +39 0668745475 from outside Italy.
To avoid transport delays or missing flights:
confirm flights or travel with your travel provider
allow plenty of time for travel to airports and train stations
Some violence occurs due to domestic social or political issues.
Bombings have occurred. Bombers have targeted:
the offices of well-known politicians
public and commercial buildings
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Italy, they can still happen.
In recent years, terrorists have staged attacks in a number of European cities.
Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners.
European security services have also disrupted some planned attacks in recent years.
The Italian Government has reported that Italy is a potential target for international terrorist attacks.
Security measures are in place in and around major tourist attractions, including:
on public transport
on cruise ships
at airports, seaports and railway stations
To protect yourself from terrorism:
be alert to possible threats, especially in public places
take care around places terrorists tend to target
monitor the media for new threats
take official warnings seriously
follow the advice of local authorities
Report suspicious activity or items to police.
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
In the event of a natural disaster:
take official warnings seriously
follow the advice of local authorities
monitor the media
keep in touch with friends and family
check the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System for updates
Italy is in an active seismic region and has a number of earthquakes each year.
Large earthquakes happen now and then. They can cause landslides and avalanches. This can result in injuries and death and damage to infrastructure, homes and property.
When travelling in Italy, find out your hotel's earthquake procedure.
If there's been seismic activity in the area you're in or going to, check with your airline or travel provider about disruptions.
Civil Protection authority (Protezione Civile)
Italy has active volcanoes. These include:
Mount Etna in Sicily
Mount Stromboli and Mount Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands chain north of Sicily
In July 2019, there was a volcanic eruption on Mount Stromboli. One person died.
Forest fires often occur during the summer months, usually June to September. They tend to happen in heavily forested regions.
Forest fires can be unpredictable and dangerous. They can affect air quality in a way that may be harmful to your health.
Heavy winter rains often cause widespread flooding and mudslides.
The areas most often affected are:
the Veneto region in the north
the Calabria and Sicily regions in the south
Flooding and mudslides can result in loss of life, destruction of property and evacuation of inhabitants.
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
what activities and care your policy covers
that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
have a basic health check-up
ask if your travel plans may affect your health
plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least eight weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Italy. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
what the medication is
how much you'll take
that it's for personal use
Health risks are similar to those in Australia.
Italy is experiencing an increase in measles (World Health Organization) cases. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before you travel.
Some cases of West Nile virus (WNV) (World Health Organization) have been reported. There's no vaccine for it.
To reduce your risk of insect-borne disease:
make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
use insect repellent
wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
Medical facilities in major cities are of a good standard. In regional areas, facilities may be limited.
There's a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between Australia and Italy.
Under this agreement, you can get care in Italian public medical facilities if:
you have a sudden acute illness or accident
your illness or accident happens in your first six months in Italy
To access care under this agreement, you'll need to provide your Medicare card and Australian passport.
The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement doesn't replace the need for private travel health insurance.
It also doesn't cover treatment for ongoing health conditions that you already had when you arrived.
Private doctors, specialist and diagnostic services will ask you to pay up-front.
Private hospitals generally require a large deposit before they will start treatment.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and can include long jail sentences.
Pay attention to signs about conduct around tourist areas in major cities, including Rome and Florence.
Officials may fine you for littering, sitting, eating or drinking on steps and courtyards around churches and public buildings or in public spaces in these cities.
Some cities, including Rome, have banned:
organised pub crawls
drinking on the street
drinking in public places
Police have arrested Australians for disturbing the peace under these laws.
It's illegal to:
block the pedestrian flow in public spaces
drive without headlights on main roads outside urban areas or on highways - see Local travel
take photos of official buildings and military areas
buy fake brands and products from illegal street vendors
If you want to take a photo of an official building, check with local authorities first.
If you use an internet cafe, the owner will ask you for photo ID. The law requires them to sight and keep an electronic record of their clients' photo ID.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Dual nationality is recognised in Italy.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
Italy is part of the Schengen area with many other European countries. This means you can enter Italy without a visa in some cases.
In other situations, get a visa before you travel.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Make sure you get a legible entry stamp in your passport. Get this when you enter the Schengen area, including Italy, for the first time.
By law, hotels and motels must give the Italian authorities the personal details of their guests. In most cases, this will involve taking a photocopy of your passport.
You might need to apply for a 'Permit to Stay' (dichiarazione di presenza) if:
you're not staying in commercial accommodation or Airbnb
you intend to stay for more than a few days
Apply for the permit at the local police office (questura) within eight days of arrival.
You'll need a Permit to Stay even if you have a visa. If you don't get a permit, authorities may remove you from Italy.
To work under the Working Holiday Visa program, get the appropriate visa before you arrive.
It can take several months if you try to get residence and work permits after you arrive.
Contact the Italian embassy or consulate in Australia to find out the process for getting a holiday work permit.
If you plan to stay beyond 90 days, you might also have to register with police. Check Italian Police for details.
Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than six months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The official currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR).
You need to declare amounts over 10,000 euros or equivalent if you're travelling between Italy and any non-European Union (EU) country. This includes all forms of currency, not just cash.
You don't need to declare cash if you're travelling to or from another EU country.
If you don't declare currency or give incorrect information on entry or exit, you'll be fined.
ATMs are widely available across the country. Hotels, restaurants and shops accept international credit cards.
There is pressure on border controls in Europe due to the movement of asylum seekers.
Carry your passport when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area.
To keep up to date on border conditions:
check local media sources
ask transport providers
If you're not a resident, you'll need both:
an Australian driver's licence
an International Drivers Permit (IDP) or an official translation of the Australian licence
You must get your IDP before leaving Australia.
You must get an official translator (traduttore giurato) to translate your licence in Italy. Find a list of official translators in the Italian Yellow Pages.
If you take up legal residence (residenza) and stay more than 1 year, you must apply for an Italian licence. Italy doesn't allow you to convert your Australian licence.
This means you'll have to take a written test and a driving exam in Italian. You can do the exam in German or French in some cases.
Contact an Italian embassy or consulate to find out about an Italian driver's licence.
Driving can be dangerous. Driving conditions are disorganised, compared to Australia.
By law, you must use headlights on main roads outside urban areas and on highways, including during the day.
On-the-spot fines apply for some minor traffic offences.
Many municipalities have outsourced traffic fine collection to European Municipal Outsourcing (EMO).
Limits on car access to the city centres exist to help reduce traffic. They are traffic restricted zones (ZTL). Be aware that:
ZTLs and their hours of operation vary from city to city
fines apply if cars don't carry a ZTL pass in a ZTL zone
hire cars usually don't have a ZTL pass
If you're staying in the centre of an Italian city, ask your hotel or host about traffic restrictions. You can also check the website of the relevant municipality (comune) before you arrive.
You must use snow tyres or chains in some mountainous regions or areas where snow is common.
Road signs will indicate if they are mandatory.
Authorities may fine you if you don't have the right snow gear for your car.
In summer, only residents can take their cars to the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida.
Italy has regular pedestrian fatalities. Drivers often fail to give way to pedestrians, even though they have to under Italian law.
Take care when crossing roads, even at pedestrian crossings.
Check your insurance covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Only travel in licensed taxis, which have signage, roof lights and meters.
Unauthorised taxis don't carry meters and overcharge.
There are frequent strikes that cause delays and cancellations to public transport services. See Safety
In most cities, you need to buy bus and train tickets before you travel. You can't buy tickets on board a bus or train.
You'll find ticket machines at every metro and major train station.
Pre-paid tickets are available from tobacconists or coffee shops that display the public transport company's logo/name.
When catching public transport, validate your ticket:
before boarding a train or a metro
on board a bus or tram as soon as you get on
If you don't, you could get an on-the-spot fine.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Italy's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
family and friends
Call 112 or 115.
Call 112 or 118.
Call 112 or 113.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact:
Via Antonio Bosio 5
00161 Rome, Italy
Phone: (+39 06) 85 2721
Fax: (+39 06) 85 272 300
Facebook: Australian Embassy, Italy
Via Borgogna 2
20122 Milan, Italy
Phone: (+39 02) 7767 4200
Fax: (39 02) 7767 4242
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 in Australia
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.