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Advice on health and vaccinations
There are no compulsory vaccinations for visiting Italy; nevertheless, it is advised that you be vaccinated against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus and polio. The vaccination against measles is also strongly recommended for children.
Italy features two different types of climate: an inland continental climate and a Mediterranean climate on the coast. In the very south of the country, you may even experience something approaching an African climate during the summer.
It is best to visit Italy in spring or autumn, as in summer the temperature can quickly climb as high as 40°C. If you are there during the hotter period, you are advised to remain inside between 2 and 5pm.
You would need months, even years, to witness all of Italy’s riches. You can, however, begin with some particularly unmissable attractions.
-Rome: the country’s capital a veritable open-air museum. There you can visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the richly-endowed Vatican Museums, as well as the world-famous Coliseum, the Pantheon and the Roman Forum, not to forget a brief stop to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain. Don’t miss out on sampling the local cuisine.
-Florence: lovers of architecture absolutely must visit this beautiful Tuscan city. There they will be able to admire the Basilica di Santa Croce, the Battistero (Baptistery) and the remarkable Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The Uffizi Gallery invites you to visit one of the most beautiful art museums in the world.
-Venice: this legendary city is particularly popular among romantics, but not exclusively. As well as St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, you will also be able to set off in search of Murano, Burano and the many other islands in the area.
-Nature-lovers should leave the cities behind in favour of travelling through the Dolomites, as well as the picturesque regions of Calabria and Apulia, before heading to Sicily and Sardinia to experience truly magnificent landscapes.
-Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast are yet more Italian regions which shouldn’t be missed. Feast your eyes on Vesuvius, before heading into Pompeii for an unforgettable visit to its perfectly preserved archaeological site.
-For a relaxing break by the waterside, head to Lake Como or Lake Maggiore.
Italy is a safe country. It is recommended that you remain vigilant with regards to pickpockets in the big cities and tourist areas, and that you don’t leave anything unattended in your parked vehicle.
There is a risk of volcanic eruption or seismic activity in various regions of the country. Italy has three active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli.
The Italian currency is the Euro.
Standard opening hours of shops and restaurants are not always observed. However, it should be noted that shops are often closed between 1 and 4pm. Restaurants are generally open from 12 to 3pm and from 7 to 10.30pm. The further south you go, the later the evening meal is eaten.
Most museums are closed on Mondays; on other days their opening hours are generally from 9am to 7pm.
You may often find it difficult to make yourself understood in English, especially outside the bigger towns and cities, but you will easily be able to exchange a few words with the help of a phrasebook.