What travel insurance do I need when visiting Italy ?
Italy travel insurance: the trouble-free way to prepare every step of your journey to one of the world’s top tourist destinations
With the historic ruins and renaissance splendor of Rome, the Alps, fashionable Milan, its stunning lakes, as well as thousands of miles of Mediterranean coastline, Italy is one of the world’s top tourist destinations - appealing to more than 60 million visitors each year. To travel freely in Italy and throughout the Schengen Area, you will need a Schengen Visa issued by the country you are spending most of your time in Europe in - whether that is Italy or another state.
Important formalities before leaving for Italy and the need for a Schengen Visa
Schengen Area citizens only require a valid ID card or a passport fewer than five years past its expiry date in order to visit Italy. Children must be registered on the passport of the parent(s) traveling with them or possess their own.
If you live in any other country and think you need a Schengen Visa, you can find more information on the website of the Italian foreign ministry: esteri.it/mae/en.
Travel insurance for Italy that allows you to obtain your Schengen Visa
For third-country nationals who require a visa to enter Italy, it is possible to do so with a Schengen Visa, without which you will have to request a visa specific to Italy. In order to obtain the Schengen Visa, you must provide documents including passport photographs and accommodation and travel information and take out travel insurance for the Schengen Area. This visa will enable you to move around many European countries with complete freedom during a stay of up to 90 days.
Travel insurance for Italy may also prove very useful in the event of illness or accident.
How to get to Italy
By car: Italy has an extensive road network, with some of the most beautiful roads in Europe providing an exhilarating driving experience for those who don’t just want to stick to motorways and get from A to B. The roads do, however, get worse in the south and you should be aware of congestion in major cities. Italians are famous for their aggressive driving style so it’s best to err on the side of caution when driving in Italy.
By plane: Many airlines serve Italy - with major airports in or outside major cities like Rome, Turin, Milan, Naples, Catania, Venice, and Florence.
By train: Italy’s train network has multiple connections to other European cities, meaning it’s a great way to travel if you are already in Europe and looking to visit Italy. High-speed rail lines connect the industrial center of Turin - also a useful staging point for trips to the Alps - with Naples via Rome, and to Venice.
By ferry: As a major Mediterranean nation, surrounded on three sides by sea, an amazing way to see Italy is by boat, and you will be able to travel to its major ports from other countries in the Mediterranean, with regular trips from Croatia and Greece. A ferry is also the best way to get from the mainland to historic Venice, and a way to access the islands of Sicily and Sardinia from the mainland.
Advice on health and vaccinations
It is recommended that you be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B and, especially for children, measles and pertussis (whooping cough).
Much of Italy has a hot, Mediterranean climate - which is one reason long lunch hours are popular among Italians. In summer, much of the country can be uncomfortably hot, with the temperatures sometimes rising to dangerous levels in the south. In the winter, however, the north of Italy and all the country's mountainous areas are cold and can be snowy, while parts of the north have a temperate European continental climate.
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Monday and lunchtime closures
Monday is the traditional day of closure for museums and heritage sites. There are some exceptions, but generally, you shouldn't rely on being able to visit any archaeological site, museum, or gallery on a Monday. Many shops are also closed on Monday mornings. Many Italian businesses and tourist attractions close at lunchtime, with churches usually closed from noon until at least 3 pm.
As it is on a tectonic fault, Italy is susceptible to various forms of natural disaster, including volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. These events are rare and extremely unlikely to affect you, but it pays to check if your hotel or attractions you are visiting, particularly in areas previously affected by volcanic activity, have evacuation instructions - just in case.
Although Italy is safer than many parts of the world, you should watch out for pickpockets in major cities, especially Rome. Despite parts of Italy’s reputation as a birthplace of organized crime, this should not worry the average traveler.
There is so much to do in Italy it is impossible to do the country justice in a few words, from the imposing beauty of the Alps in the North, the luxurious natural wonder of its lakes to the historical sites of Rome, Florence and Venice, there’s just so much to see. Among the sites you must visit are:
Ancient and historic Rome: Rome is synonymous with the peak of ancient civilization and anyone visiting Italy will want to see sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Those heading to the south who are obsessed with antiquity should also visit the ruins of Pompeii - perfectly preserved by an eruption from the nearby Mount Vesuvius volcano. Rome is also a center of religion today, and those looking for a spiritual experience can visit St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
Florence and Venice: The Renaissance blossomed in Italy, and two absolute must-visits are these cities in the country’s North East. Florence is a center of art and culture - home to Michelangelo - while Venice is one of the most unique cities in the world, sitting on a collection of islands in a lagoon, and is famous for its canals.
The Alps and the Dolomites: Italy is home to some of the top Alpine ski resorts, with winter sports fans able to choose between the traditional resorts of the Alps and the stunning and dramatic beauty of the Dolomites.
The Lakes: Lake Como and Lake Garda are just the two most famous of the lakes that have long been a favorite playground of the rich and famous in Italy’s north.
Sicily: In the south, the island of Sicily is perfect for those looking to get a spicier taste of Italian culture. You can visit the ruins of Syracuse, spots where The Godfather Part II was filmed, Mount Etna, or just relax on its beaches.
The Italian capital is Rome, where most countries will have their embassy. Check to see where the embassy of your home nation is before leaving in case you need to visit in an emergency - there may also be consulates in other major cities.
The official language of Italy is Italian.
The Italian currency is the Euro.
Cars drive on the right.
If you require a Schengen Visa, for most stays in Italy you will need to prove to the Italian embassy that you have around €50 per day of your trip to support yourself.
How can AXA help?
AXA can help by providing you with Low Cost Schengen Area travel insurance that meets your visa requirements when traveling to Italy from as little as €0.99 per day - a fee that will cover you for medical expenses up to €30,000 in all Schengen countries. A certificate proving you are insured will be available immediately, meaning you can get on with your application.
AXA is the number one brand and offers assistance 24/7, as well as other options and tailor-made products. Other coverage available includes our Europe Travel insurance, costing €1.50 per day, or Schengen Multi Trip insurance, which is perfect for regular travelers and available for €298 for a year’s coverage.
The other countries of the Schengen area
Italy travel insurance
Frequently asked questions about travel insurance to Italy
Will my travel insurance cover repatriation if I get injured ?
Yes. AXA’s insurance will cover your repatriation in case of injury or illness - if necessary and within the limits of expenses.
Will my travel insurance fees be refunded if my visa is refused ?
Yes. If your visa is refused AXA will refund your insurance fees - but you will need to provide documentation specifying the reason for refusal.
Will my insurance cover me for multiple trips to Italy ?
This will depend on the type of insurance you buy - our low cost or Europe Travel insurance will cover you for trips within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days. If you are planning multiple trips over the course of a year you may however be better off with our annual Multi Trip policy.