Useful info to staying in Italy
The Italian currency is Euro, “EUR = €.” Exchange rates of participating countries are locked into a common currency.
Notes come in denominations of €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and €1, and 50, 20, 10, five, two and one cents.
You can change your money in banks, at post offices or in a “cambio” (exchange office). There are exchange booths at the Railway Station, Airports and Downtown.
Always make sure you have your passport with you, or some form of photo ID when exchanging money.
ATMs (known in Italy as “bancomat”) are widely available in Milan and most will accept cards tied into the Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro systems. As a precaution, though, check that the appropriate logo it is displayed on the ATM before inserting your card. Banks opening hours are 08:30am to 01:30pm and 02:4 pm to 03:45pm, Monday to Friday.
Major cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard, Cirrus, Amex and Eurocheques are widely accepted.
Travellers cheques are accepted almost everywhere. Those in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars are the easiest to cash.
Shopping hours are generally Monday from 4:00pm to 7:30pm, and Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am to 7:30pm.
Shops, which are located in the city center and in big shopping malls around the City may be open on Sundays.
Local markets: Full of character and real life, Milan’s busy markets are an integral part of local life. Their goods include fresh vegetables, flowers, antics and handicraft. They are hold in many districts of the city and are open only in the morning from 7:00am to 2:00pm.
Taxes & refunds
A value-added tax of around 22% is included in the price of just about everything in Italy. Non-EU residents who spend more than €155 at shops adhering to ‘Tax Free for Tourists’ sticker are entitled to a tax rebate. You will need to fill in a form in the shop and get it stamped by customs as you leave Italy.
In Italy, service, which usually ranges from 5% to 10% depending on the restaurant, is automatically added to the check and must be visible on the menu. Therefore, there is no need to tip. Normally, however, Italians just round up the bill by few Euros.
Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers, happily accepts a small tip. Generally, no other public service workers expect tips.
Also, remember to take your receipt, even if paying cash. It is required in accordance with the Italian law, as you must be able to prove that you paid and the owner rang it in for tax purposes.
Electric appliances in Italy work at 220 volts, CA. 50 Hz and plugs conform to the European system of round pins with two holes.
Climate & Clothing
The low and high temperature at the end of October, beginning of November is 10-18°C, respectively. The weather can be fairly unpredictable and changeable, though, so if you visit Milan at this time of the year it would be wise to pack some warm clothes as well as something waterproof.
Population: 1.331.807 habitants
Time: GMT/UTC + 1 hour (+ 2 hours in summer)
Telephone area code: +39(02)
Emergency numbers: Dial 112 for Police, 118 for Ambulance, and 115 for Fire.
Airports: Malpensa (MPX) 45 km, Linate (LNT) 7.5 km and Orio al Serio (BGY) 45 km.
Smoking: Nationwide smoking ban in bars and restaurants.
Water: Tap water is safe everywhere
Language: Italian official; in Milan, visited year round by tourists from all over the world, is English spoken.