For urgent consular assistance call
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 from within Australia
For information about COVID-19, read our article.
Do you or someone you know need help?
12 January 2021
There's a ban on overseas travel from Australia. You can’t leave Australia unless you get an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.
All our 177 travel advisories on Smartraveller are set at 'Do not travel' due to the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant disruptions to global travel.
If you’re overseas and wish to return to Australia, be prepared for delays and read our advice on trying to get home.
When you arrive in Australia you must quarantine for 14 days at designated facilities in your port of arrival, unless you have an exemption. At this time, vaccination against COVID-19 does not change this quarantine requirement. You may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine. View State and Territory Government COVID-19 information for information about quarantine and domestic borders.
If you're staying overseas, make plans to stay for an extended period. Follow the advice of local authorities and minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Stay in touch with family and friends so they know you're safe.
Our network of embassies and consular posts around the world will provide you with up-to-date local advice and support throughout this difficult period. Be aware consular services may be limited due to local measures.
Do you or someone you know need help?
For urgent consular assistance call
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 from within Australia
For information about COVID-19, read our article.
Do you or someone you know need help?
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
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:
To reduce the risk of theft:
Monitor local sources for advice about new safety or security risks.
Theft on trains
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:
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.
Fraud and fake money
Credit card and ATM fraud happens, often involving 'skimming' machines. Monitor your bank statements.
To protect yourself from fraud:
Police have warned that counterfeit European currency is in circulation. Check any notes you receive.
Spiking, robbery and assault
Some victims have been sexually assaulted or needed hospitalisation.
In Rome, many attacks have taken place:
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:
Theft from cars
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:
To reduce your risk of theft from your vehicle:
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:
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:
Some violence occurs due to domestic social or political issues.
Bombings have occurred. Bombers have targeted:
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:
To protect yourself from terrorism:
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:
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.
Italy has active volcanoes. These include:
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.
Storms and flooding
Heavy winter rains often cause widespread flooding and mudslides.
The areas most often affected are:
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.
This advice pre-dates COVID-19 and the Australian Government's travel ban for all Australians.
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.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
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:
COVID-19 remains a risk in Italy and there is a risk of sustained local transmission. The Italian Government advises people to limit unnecessary outings.
If you are in Italy and believe you have symptoms, Italian authorities advise you to stay at home. Do not go to the emergency room or the doctor's surgery, but call your family doctor, paediatrician or the ‘guardia medica’ (out-of-hours primary care service).
You can also call the following information services:
If you need urgent medical assistance call 112, Italy’s emergency number. English speaking operators are available.
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:
Medical facilities in major cities are of a good standard. In regional areas, facilities may be limited.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreement
There's a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between Australia and Italy.
Under this agreement, you can get care in Italian public medical facilities if:
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 medical care
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.
Conduct at tourist spots
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:
Police have arrested Australians for disturbing the peace under these laws.
It's illegal to:
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.
Visa rules may have changed since COVID-19. Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. Check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. If you don't meet the conditions, 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.
Before you travel to Italy, you should form declaring:
You must provide this to your airline/transport provider or to the border police if you are stopped for checks
If you are arriving in Italy after (link in Italian only) you are required to produce a negative COVID-19 test result taken 48 to 72 hours before arriving, depending on where you are travelling from. This must be a molecular (PCR) test or an antigen test. Visit the English-language interactive tool on the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s website to determine entry rules and any COVID-19 test requirements applying to your travel.
Check with your airline or the arrival airport in Italy if the airport you're arriving in has COVID-19 testing facilities. If you're flying to an airport where there is no testing facility available (or if the facility is closed when you arrive) then you'll be required to self-isolate and take a test at an alternative facility within 48 hours of your arrival. Call the COVID-19 helpline (Italian only) for the region you're in to arrange this. You can be fined if you don't comply with this requirement.
Your temperature may be taken on arrival, along with other testing or screening. A nasal swab may be conducted if deemed necessary.
You'll have to self-isolate if, in the 14 days prior to your arrival in Italy, you have stayed in or transited through specific countries. You can't enter if you have stayed or transited through a small number of listed countries in the 14 days prior to arriving. See the list of specific countries on the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and use the interactive tool (both in English).
There are certain regulations that allow for foreign buyers and exhibitors to enter Italy for the purpose of international trade fair participation with reduced quarantine requirements after testing. Italian authorities work with fair organisations on the required process. If this may apply to you, further information can be obtained from the organisers of the fair or the Italian Embassy in Australia.
There are no restrictions on departing Italy. But some countries may have entry restrictions for travellers from Italy. Entry and transit rules may change at short notice. Read the travel advice for each of your destinations (including transit) and check with the embassy or consulate of that country. Contact your airline or travel provider for the latest update on entry or transit rules before travelling.
If you're tested for COVID-19 in Italy and receive a positive result, you may be held in a quarantine facility until two consecutive negative tests have been recorded. This can be a lengthy process.
Follow the advice of local authorities and take care to protect yourself from exposure to COVID-19. Ensure you have arrangements in place for an extended stay and keep in contact with family and friends, so they know you're safe and well.
The Italian Government recommends all travellers in Italy download the Immuni App, a non-mandatory contact tracing application, which assists health officials to quickly identify and contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. See the Ministry of Health website for more information on the measures (in English).
National COVID-19 measures in Italy
The Italian Government has implemented measures covering the whole of Italy due to the risk of local transmission of COVID-19:
There's a national curfew between 10pm and 5am. You can only go out during the curfew, if you have a valid reason; this could be a proven work need, health reasons, to return home, or any situation of necessity or urgency. If you are out during the curfew you must complete a self-declaration form. Ensure you follow the advice of local authorities.
Regional COVID-19 measures in Italy
In addition to the national restrictions listed above, regions may adjust measures in keeping with local requirements, including localised curfews and lockdowns.
Italy has a colour-coded classification system in place to indicate the different levels of risk, and different measures in place across regions.
Each of the nation's 20 regions are categorised as either red (high-risk), orange (medium risk), yellow (low risk) or white (lowest risk) zones. The Italian Government is continuously monitoring the situation and may adjust regional classifications at any time. Information on the regional risk colour classifications is published on the Ministry of Health website (English). The Ministry of Health website also contains information on restrictions and requirements that apply for each colour zone.
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.
Permit to stay
You might need to apply for a 'Permit to Stay' (dichiarazione di presenza) if:
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.
Lost or stolen 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:
If you're not a resident, you'll need both:
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).
Traffic restricted zones
Limits on car access to the city centres exist to help reduce traffic. They are traffic restricted zones (ZTL). Be aware that:
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.
Driving in summer and winter
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.
Travel by foot
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:
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:
Fire and rescue services
Call 112 or 115.
Call 112 or 118.
Call 112 or 113.
European Emergency number
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:
Australian Embassy Rome
Via Antonio Bosio 5
00161 Rome, Italy
Phone: (+39 06) 85 2721
Fax: (+39 06) 85 272 300
Facebook: Australian Embassy, Italy
Australian Consulate-General Milan
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.
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.