Name of country:
Italian. English is spoken widely
Italy is a Christian country, some 88 per cent of the population belonging to the Roman Catholic church, although only around a third of these regard themselves as ‘active’ in religious terms.
Worldwide L & C
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International phone code:
UTC +2 hours / 9 hours behind Eastern Standard Summertime in Australia.
Italy has a largely temperate climate with regional variations. In summer the northern parts of Italy are warm with occasional rainfall, the central region is somewhat stifled by humidity, and the south scorches under the dry heat. In winter, conditions in Milan, Turin and Venice are dominated by cold, damp and fog and Tuscany’s winter temperatures approach freezing, while temperatures in the south of the country are more favourable, averaging 50 to 60ºF (10 to 20ºC). Most people visit Italy in the summer months between June and August; however, we think the best time to visit is in spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is good and there are fewer tourists. Travel is also cheaper off-season. The sea is warm enough for swimming between June and September. Visitors should note that most Italians take their vacation in August and many shops and restaurants are closed during this period; it also means that during August the coastal resorts are crowded with locals. The ski season runs between December and April and the best time to walk in the Alps is between June and September. The best time to visit Italy will vary depending on region and desired activities.
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Australian citizens need to obtain a visa prior to arriving in Egypt which you can have processed through your travel agent or online with the embassy. Allow 14 days for the visa to come through. You may need to provide an itinerary and your flight details to the embassy.
Flight times from Australia:
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane around 22 hours 45 minutes via Doha.
Tipping is customary in Italy and 10 to 15 percent of the bill is acceptable in restaurants (unless, as is increasingly the case, a 15 percent service charge has already been added to the bill). Hotels add a service charge of 15 to 18 percent, but it is customary to tip the service staff extra. Italians rarely tip taxi drivers, but a 5 to 10 percent tip is always appreciated.
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Internet and communication:
Most hotels have internet access. Ensure you have adequate USB ports or chargers. Using a phone in a hotel is expensive. The mobile network is patchy but you can access it via roaming. Sending a letter or postcard is cheap and takes around two weeks for an item to arrive at its destination.
There are no specific health risks associated with travel to Italy and you should be able to travel without special vaccinations and medications. Medical facilities in Italy are good but travel insurance is still recommended for non-EU citizens as medical attention can be expensive. EU citizens can make use of Italy’s health services provided they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Although it should be possible to get most medication in Italy, travel authorities always suggest that you take any prescribed medication that you require with you, in its original packaging, and with a signed and dated letter from your doctor explaining what it is and why you need it.
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