Italy is an hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead of GMT 2 in summer so there is generally just a one-hour time difference with the UK
Banks open at 08:30 and close at 13:30 for lunch. They open again at 15:00 and close at 16:00, from Monday to Friday. Some banks open on Saturdays. Credit and debit cards are accepted in most restaurants and hotels, and in many stations. However, many traders still refuse so it’s best to keep some cash to hand. ATMs are widely available.
220 volts; European plug so make sure you take an adapter for any UK appliances.
In big cities and touristy areas, shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday, from 09:30 or 10:00 to 19:30 and 20:00. Many shops will also shut during the early afternoon. Most of the shops are closed on Sunday and Monday morning. In summer, some of them close on Saturday afternoon as well. Restaurants generally open from 12:00 to 15:00 and 19:00 to 23:00.
Italy’s media landscape is largely focused around television; newspaper circulation is fairly low. The newspapers that are in circulation tend to be locally or regionally focused rather than nationally. The reason for this is perhaps that print journalism tends to appeal to a more highbrow audience and there isn’t really a tabloid culture. Journalism in Italy is also closely tied to politics with many journos becoming politicians and vice versa.
The Italian postal system is among the slowest in Europe. Sending a letter abroad will typically take ten days to arrive. Stamps are sold in post offices and tobacco shops. The post offices open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 13:30 and on Saturdays from 8:30 to 13:00. In big cities, some central offices remain open in the afternoon until 18:00 (Monday to Friday).
To phone Italy from the UK, append 00 39 to the front of the number you’re dialling (removing the first zero from the number you’re dialling). To call the UK from Italy, use 00 44 before dialling the number (again, without the first zero).
Internet and Mobile coverage
Internet and mobile coverage is generally good across Italy