General Information

Rome

Weather
Rome enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate with March to June being one of the best times to visit this city, with lovely blue skies and temperatures that range between 7°C to 15°C.

Language
Rome is visited all year round by tourists from everywhere in the world soRomans are used to speaking different languages when talking with visitors.

Shopping 
Shopping hours are generally Monday from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm, and Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm.
Shops in the city centre and big shopping centres around the city may be open on Sunday.
The local markets are full of character and they are an integral part of Roman life. Their goods include fresh vegetables, flowers, antics and handcrafts. They are held in many districts of the city and are open from 7:00am to 2:00pm.

Money
The Italian currency is the Euro. Euro bankc notes come in denominations of €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5, and the euro coins are in denominations of €2 and €1, and 50, 20, 10, five, two and one cents.

ATMs
ATMs (known in Italy as bancomat) are widely available in Rome and most will accept Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro cards. As a precaution, though, check that the appropriate logo is displayed on the ATM before inserting your card.
Banks opening hours are 08:30 to 13:30 and 14:45 to 15:45, Monday to Friday.

Changing money
You can change your money in banks, at post offices or at a “cambio” (exchange office). There are exchange booths at Stazione Termini and at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports.
Always make sure you have your passport, or some form of photo ID, at hand when exchanging money.

Credit cards
Major cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard, Cirrus, Amex and Eurocheques are widely accepted.

Travellers cheques
Travellers cheques are accepted almost everywhere. Those in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars are the easiest to cash.

Taxes & refunds
A value-added tax of around 22%, known as IVA (Imposta di Valore Aggiunto), is included in the price of just about everything in Italy.
Non-EU residents who spend more than €155 at shops with a ‘Tax Free for Tourists’ sticker are entitled to a tax rebate. You’ll need to fill in a form in the shop and get it stamped by customs as you leave Italy.

Tipping
In Italy the service usually ranges from 1 to 3 Euros depending on the restaurant. It is automatically added to the check and must be displayedon the menu. Therefore, there is no need to tip. Normally, however, Italians just round up the bill, a few Euros.
Hotel staff, such as luggage handlers, happily accepts a small tip. Generally, no other public service workers expect tips.
Also remember to take your receipt, even if paying cash. It is required by the law as you must be able to prove that you paid and the owner registered for tax purposes.

Electricity
Electrical appliances in Italy work on 220 volts, CA. 50 Hz and plugs conform to the European system of round pins.

Visa information
Participants coming from EU nations and citizens of USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, do not need visas to enter Italy. Most NON-EU citizens from other countries will need a visa and, sometimes, either a declaration or a permit of stay to formalise their visit in Italy.
As visa regulations are continuously changing, we strongly recommend you to consult the official website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.esteri.it/visti/home_eng.asp) for updated and detailed information for foreigners regarding entrance visas for Italy and permits of stay. Information is offered in English and other languages.
The application for a visa must be done at the Italian Consulate or Embassy in your country of origin or where you have permanent residence, at least 3 months prior to the congress.

Useful facts
Population: 2.8 million inhabitants
Area: 1,285 km2 (580 sqm)
Time: GMT/UTC + 1 hour (+ 2 hours in summer)
Telephone area code: +39(06)
Emergency numbers: Dial 112 for Police, 118 for Ambulance, and 115 for Fire.
Airports: Ciampino (CIA) 13.5 km and Fiumicino (FCO) 26 km.
Smoking: On January 10, 2005, a nationwide smoking ban went into effect in bars and restaurants.
Water: Tap water is safe everywhere. In addition, Rome’s ubiquitous public fountains provide water that is not only clean and drinkable, but also free. Unsafe sources will be marked ACQUA NON POTABILE.

For more information please visit the official website of the city’s tourist portal turismoroma: http://www.turismoroma.it/?lang=en