VENICE BEFORE YOU GO
*PASSPORT VALIDITY: Must have at least six months validity remaining beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area.
*BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:Two pages required for entry stamp
*TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:Not required for stays under 90 days
*CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:10,000 Euros or equivalent
*CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:10,000 Euros or equivalent
Embassies and Consulates
U.S. Consular Agent – Venice
Viale Galileo Galilei 30
30173 Tessera, Italy
Telephone: +(39) 041-541-5944
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Milan.
Fax: +(39) 041-541-6654
Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, by appointment only.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
- Passports should have at least six months remaining validity beyond your departure date.
- U.S. citizens may enter Italy for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. All non-residents are required to complete a declaration of presence (dichiarazione di presenza). Additional information may be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Polizia di Stato.
- Non-EU visitors must obtain a stamp in their passport upon initial entry into a Schengen country. Many borders are unstaffed, so you may need to request a stamp at an official point of entry. Travelers arriving from another Schengen country must request the declaration of presence form from a local police office (commissariato di zona), police headquarters (questura), or their place of stay (e.g., hotel, hostel, campgrounds), and submit the form to the police or to their place of stay within eight calendar days of arrival. Failure to complete a declaration of presence is punishable by expulsion from Italy.
- Prospective residents or anyone intending to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days must obtain a permit of stay (permesso di soggiorno).
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Italy.
Information about dual nationality and prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For general information about Italian customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page and our Italian Customs website.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible near-term attacks in Europe. All European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. In the past year, there have been multiple terrorist attacks in Europe. Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.
Several major earthquake fault lines cross Italy, and earthquakes are frequent. The Italian Civil Protection agency has a robust capability to assist Italians and foreigners in the area of a natural disaster. Information about crisis preparedness and on-going crisesaffecting parts of Italy can be found on the Civil Protection web site at: Civil Protection Italy. General information about disaster preparedness is also available online from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Detailed information on Italy’s fault lines is available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Italy also has several active volcanoes, including Mt. Etna in eastern Sicily. Travelers to Sicily should be aware of the possibility for travel disruptions, including airport closures, in the event of volcanic activity, and are advised to check the website of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia for daily updates. Italy has many other areas of potential volcanic activity especially in the vicinity of Naples. Detailed information on volcano activity in Italy is available from the website of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia.
Politically motivated violence in Italy is most often connected to Italian internal developments or social issues. Italian authorities and foreign diplomatic facilities have found bombs outside public buildings, have received bomb threats, and have been targets of letter bombs, fire bombs and Molotov cocktails in the past several years. These attacks generally occur at night, and although they have not targeted or injured U.S. citizens, you should remain aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to local authorities.
Demonstrations may have an anti-U.S. character, especially in areas hosting U.S. military bases. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. You should take common sense precautions and follow news reports carefully. Security Messages for U.S. citizens pertaining to demonstrations can be found on the Embassy’s website.
CRIME AND TRAVELERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES: Italy has a moderate rate of crime, especially for theft and economic crimes; violent crimes are rare. U.S. citizens should be aware of the following local circumstances:
- Tourists can be fined or detained for buying counterfeit goods (usually fashion accessories).
- Travelers must purchase train, bus or metro tickets and validate them by punching them in validating machines prior to boarding (usually near the entrance of the train or metro or on the bus). Tickets may be purchased at tobacco stores or kiosks. Failure to follow this procedure may result in an on-the-spot fine by an inspector on the train, bus or metro. If the violator does not pay the fine on the spot, it will automatically double and be forwarded to the violator’s home address.
- Thieves impersonate police officers. If you are stopped by a plainclothes policeman, ask for a uniformed officer or insist on seeing an officer’s identification card (documento). Do not hand over your wallet and immediately report the incident to the actual police at a police station or by dialing 112 from a local phone.
- Do not leave bags unattended. Most reported thefts occur at crowded tourist sites, at airports, car rental agencies, on public buses, metros and trains, and at the major railway stations. Never leave baggage alone in a car, including in a closed trunk. For more information on trains and security, please see the Italian railway police’s advice for travelers.
- Be alert to criminal schemes. Organized groups of thieves and pick-pockets operate at major tourist destinations, in train stations, bars, and cafes. Some travelers have reported incidents in which criminals used drugs to assault or rob them. Thieves on motor scooters regularly snatch purses or bags off pedestrians as they ride by. Resisting these thieves can be dangerous.
- Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times to avoid carjackings and thefts while you are waiting in traffic.
The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian law enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices. Here are some helpful hints to protect against and identify skimming devices:
- Use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or secured inside a bank/business.
- Cover the keypad with one hand as you enter your PIN.
- Look for gaps, tampered appearance, or other irregularities between the metal faceplate of the ATM and the card reader.
- Avoid card readers that are not flush with the face of the ATM.
- Closely monitor your account statements for unauthorized transactions.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should seek medical attention at the nearest public hospital as soon as possible.
Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+39) 06-4674-1 or after-hours (+39) 06-4674-1.
- Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- Provide a list of local English-speaking attorneys
- Provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport will not prevent you from being detained, arrested, or prosecuted.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Italy. Same sex civil unions are legally recognized in Italy. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State’s Human Rights report for further details.
PERSONS WITH MOBILITY ISSUES: The following conditions in Italy may prove challenging for travelers with mobility issues:
- Narrow, cobbled streets are pervasive in Italy;
- Many sidewalks lack ramps, and some streets lack sidewalks altogether or, as in Venice, feature stairs and narrow pedestrian bridges;
- Many hotels and attractions do not have ramps, elevators, or handicap-accessible bathrooms.
Advance planning can go a long way in making a difference in accommodation for travelers with disabilities. We recommend:
- Inform airlines and hotels of your disability when making reservations to allow them time to prepare accommodations;
- Call ahead to restaurants, museums, and other facilities to find out if they are wheelchair accessible;
Train stations in Italy have accommodations for those traveling in wheelchairs. With advance notice, a person with a disability can receive personal assistance when traveling through a particular station. More information is available at Trenitalia’s website addressing disabled travelers.
Hand-controlled rental cars are available in Italy from major car rental companies. Contact the car rental company well in advance of your trip in order to reserve the vehicle.
Italy functions on 220-volt current. To recharge an electric wheelchair motor, you may need a transformer to convert 220 to 110 volts and a plug adapter to fit Italian electrical sockets.
Guide dog owners must present the documentation required by European Union Member States in order to enter Italy with a dog.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Strikes and other work stoppages frequently occur in the transportation sector (national airlines, airports, trains, and bus lines); reconfirm any domestic and/or international flight reservations if you are traveling during one of these events.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical facilities are available, but may be limited outside urban areas. Public hospitals, though generally free of charge for emergency services, may not maintain the same standards as hospitals in the United States. It is not possible to obtain an itemized hospital bill from public hospitals, as required by many U.S. insurance companies, because the Italian National Health Service charges one inclusive rate for care services and room and board. Private hospitals require you to pay for all services up front, and get reimbursed later from your insurance company.
- The U.S. Embassy or its Consulates General do not pay medical bills.
- Medicare does not apply overseas.
- Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
- Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
- In Italy, end-of-life directives are not legal. Tourists should know that by law, hospitals will continue with lifesaving procedures indefinitely regardless of a person’ preferences stated in a will or advanced directive.
Prescription Medications: The Italian Ministry of Health sets rules defining who and how prescriptions and medications can be imported into Italy. However, the Ministry of Health website does not have information in English. According to the Ministry of Health, foreigners entering Italy are allowed to bring personal medications for the whole period of their stay but it is recommended that travelers also bring a copy of their prescription with them. Travelers should not bring excess supplies of prescription drugs into the country and cannot bring prescription drugs for other people.
The import of medications into Italy by courier services or by mail is strictly regulated by Italian Customs laws. Italian customs clears all incoming shipments of medications, even small amounts for personal use, and will allow them to clear customs only upon presentation from the receiving party of a statement signed by a physician licensed in Italy, certifying:
- That the medication is essential for the patient, that he/she would be put in a life-threatening situation without it.
- That there is no substitute or equivalent medication available on the Italian market.
Delays in the release of medications by Italian Customs received by mail or by courier services are common.
In parts of southern Italy, the lack of adequate trash disposal and incineration sites has led to periodic accumulations of garbage in urban and rural areas. In some cases, residents have burned garbage, resulting in toxic emissions that can aggravate respiratory problems.
For further health information, go to:
Travel and Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Italy, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States such as:
- Traffic lights are limited and often disobeyed.
- Motor scooters are very popular, and their riders may behave unexpectedly.
- Drivers frequently pass on superhighways (autostrada) at very high speeds.
- Rural roads are generally narrow, often have no guardrails, and inconsistent speed limits.
- Seat belt use is compulsory.
- You must use headlights year-round and at all times outside of urban areas.
- If you are stopped, under certain conditions you are expected to pay the police officer issuing the ticket immediately. Be prepared to pay in cash in local currency. Local police can confiscate your car if you cannot pay the fine.
- Be careful when crossing streets even when using a marked crosswalk with a green walk (avanti) light illuminated.
- Fines are imposed if driving without the proper permits in historic downtown areas of cities and towns throughout Italy. Cameras photograph the license plates of cars illegally driving in parts of the city that require a permit. The fines imposed for these violations are forwarded to the driver’s home in the United States to request payment. For definitive legal guidance or to contest a fine, you should consult a lawyer licensed to practice in Italy. See the U.S. Embassy of Rome’s transportation page for more information.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of the Automobile Club d’Italia(A.C.I.). For information on obtaining international drivers licenses, contact the American Automobile Association (AAA) via telephone at (407) 444-7000 or fax (407) 444-7380.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Italy’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Italy should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.