- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
Latest Travel Alert
Severe flooding is currently affecting the region of Emilia-Romagna, including Bologna, Forli-Cesena and Ravenna. It is advised to stay away from riverbanks and green areas affected by flooding. Traffic, including between Bologna and Rimini, is likely to be affected. Check with your tour operator or accommodation provider before you travel and follow the instructions of local authorities. The website of the Civil Protection Department has further information.
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens need a valid passport or passport card to enter Italy.
Irish passports do not have a minimum validity requirement while travelling to the UK or within the EU. When travelling within Europe with an Irish passport, it should be valid for the duration of your stay.
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Italy However, if you are staying for longer than three months, you are advised to register your presence with the local municipality as a resident.
Visitors to Italy are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
Citizens can also follow the Embassy on social media (Twitter: @IrlEmbRome and Facebook) to ensure access to any relevant updates and alerts.
Individuals in Italy are required by law to have government ID in their possession at all times. This may be required including when checking into hotels or private accommodation, as well as for entry to sports and other entertainment events. The Embassy recommends that you keep your passport in a safe place, and carry another form of ID, or a photocopy of your passport, with you while moving around Italy.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Italy by dialling 112 Specific emergency numbers are:
- Police: 113
- Fire brigade: 115
- Ambulance: 118
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
The political situation in Italy is stable but public demonstrations can occur frequently, especially in the centres of major cities where tourists are likely to find themselves. They are usually well organised and rarely, if ever, turn violent. However, you should avoid them and exercise common sense if in the vicinity of large public gatherings.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
Although the threat from terrorism in Italy is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners. Currently the Italian Government has assessed the level of the threat of a terrorist attack in Italy as “medium/high” (level 2). Visitors to Italy, especially in the larger cities such as Rome and Milan, may see an increased police presence and security checks. This should not impact tourists particularly but you should exercise ordinary caution and follow the security advice of the local authorities.
Crime remains relatively low in Italy but you should take sensible precautions:
- Incidents of tourists’ vehicles being broken into and the vehicle’s contents being stolen have increased in recent months. Irish citizens are advised not to leave any valuables, including their passports, in vehicles that are unattended.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Be aware that petty crime (pick pocketing, bag snatching etc.) is common, particularly on public transport and in tourist areas. Vigilance should be paid to personal belongings in train stations (particularly Termini Station in Rome), in the public areas of the airports, at all tourist sites and when using bus, metro or tram services, including when unloading baggage from coaches travelling to and from the airports. Personal safety
- We have been made aware of an increasing number of incidents recently where travellers have been drugged through substances being placed in drinks, and subsequently robbed of money, credit cards and mobile telephones. We recommend you exercise vigilance in bars, and be wary of drinks offered by strangers in night spots and areas where tourists congregate in the evenings.
Many parts of Italy lie on a major seismic fault line. Minor tremors and earthquakes are a frequent occurrence, particularly in the central regions of Italy.
Earthquakes measuring between 5 and 6 on the Richter scale hit the Marche, Umbria and Lazio regions of Italy in August 2016, with over 2,500 aftershocks in the subsequent weeks. 297 deaths and over 300 serious injuries were treated in the areas around the epicentre, with significant damage to a number of towns including Norcia, Amatrice and Accumoli, and damage to tourist sites and historic monuments as far away as Rome. Areas of the provinces affected are still considered unsafe, given the extensive damage to property and infrastructure.
Further information (in Italian) can be found on the following websites:
www.provincia.fe.it ; www.provincia.modena.it ; www.provincia.re.it .
Visitors to Venice should note that parts of Venice are liable to flooding at certain times of year, especially in late autumn and early spring.
If you are visiting a ski resort you should take advice on weather and avalanche conditions before you travel and familiarise yourself with local skiing laws and regulations.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Visitors to Italy should be aware that alcoholic spirits are usually sold in significantly larger measures in bars and restaurants than in Ireland.
Whilst Italians will normally drink wine with their meals, there’s a cultural taboo and intolerance regarding public intoxication and in particular anti-social behaviour as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.
In cities such as Florence and Venice, you should observe notices regarding public conduct. In certain areas, near churches and in some piazzas, eating and sitting on steps or monuments is forbidden. Churches and other places of worship, including St Peters’ Basilica, require visitors to dress modestly.
Tourists should be aware that bathing in fountains is prohibited at all times.
Getting married in Italy
All Irish citizens wishing to marry in Italy must obtain a nulla osta (a certificate of freedom to marry). More information on how to apply is available on our website in the Travel section.
If you’re planning to drive in Italy, you should exercise caution as traffic can be faster-paced than in Ireland and driving customs are different. In cities and towns, the widespread use of motorbikes and mopeds require drivers to be extra alert and cautious.
If you want to drive:
•Bring your full Irish or international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
•If you are driving and Irish registered car ensure that it is fully insured and carry your logbook, proof of insurance and NCT certificate (if appropriate)
•Be aware when turning right at junctions, even if there is a green signal, pedestrians crossing the road into which one is turning have precedence
•All drivers are required to wear a reflective vest and to use a reflective triangle warning sign if they need to stop at the roadside
•Dipped headlights must be used at all times when driving on the motorways (Autostrada) and major roads
Restricted Access to Italian city centres
Many Italian city centres operate restricted driving zones to which only cars with permits have access. Fines will be issued to all cars entering this zone without a permit. The boundaries of such restricted areas will be marked by signs stating “ZTL” (Zona Traffico Limitato / Limited Traffic Zone).
As signage can be limited, it may not always be clear if a restricted zone is in operation. In addition, car license plates are read electronically so you may not be aware that you have incurred a fine until you receive notification via post some months later.
Tourists are advised to seek local advice on whether restricted traffic zones are in operation, and to respect all regulations. If your hotel is in the centre of the city concerned, you may be able to obtain a temporary pass for that city; please contact your hotel for further details.
Fines for road traffic offences
Fines may be issued up to one year after the offence was committed and can be increased if they are not then paid within 60 days. The Italian Highway Code also makes provision for a number of “on the spot” fines. If you’re unable to pay, the fine will be sent to your home address and may be increased.
The authority responsible for the Italian motorway system provides useful information on its website in English.
Pedestrians should remember that traffic will be coming from the opposite direction to traffic in Ireland. They should pay particular heed to the additional danger at night when walking along roads without a proper pavement and when crossing roads even at a designated crossing place.
Most pedestrian crossings are not controlled by signals, but rather are similar to zebra-crossings in Ireland. However drivers, especially on motorbikes and mopeds, sometimes do not respect these, so particular care should be taken.
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged). You should also carry your rental contract at all times.
Taxis in Italy are licensed, with clearly marked signage. They run on a meter, and a list of supplementary charges (late hours, luggage etc) will be listed inside. Airports and seaports often attract unlicensed drivers posing as taxis, which should be avoided as they will generally overcharge tourists. We recommend that only official taxis be hired.
Please be aware that when you call for a taxi, the meter starts running the minute the taxi is dispatched to your location. So, for example, if the taxi dispatcher or recording tells you that “Taxi X” is arriving in 5 minutes, you should know that there will be 5 minutes’ worth of fare on the meter when it arrives.
For your safety, never get into a taxi when the driver is already accompanied or agree to the driver picking up another person.
Major cities also have a number of chauffeur companies, which often offer transfer from the airport to the centre and vice versa at competitive prices. Ask at your hotel for further details.
The local Roman authorities have set a flat fare of €30 for journeys to and from Ciampino airport and the centre of Rome (within the Aurelian Walls) and €48 for journeys to and from Fumincino airport and the centre of Rome (within the Aurelian Walls). Before travelling to Rome, check whether your hotel is located in area covered by this agreement. No further charges should be made for luggage, extra passengers etc.
Buses, trains, trams and the metro all require valid tickets. These must be purchased in advance and validated in a validating machine either in the station or on the bus/tram. Failure to have a valid (and validated) ticket will result in an on-the-spot fine of around €50 to €60 per person. Inspectors will make no exceptions for tourists.
Tickets can often be purchased in small cafés, especially those, which also sell cigarettes (look out for the blue T sign which signifies Tabaccheria (Tobacco shop).
Public Transport strikes occur relatively frequently in Italy, with reduced services or complete suspension. They are generally advertised in advance, and tourists should keep informed of possible strikes and how these may impact on their plans.
Public Health Requirements in Italy
Restrictions are largely lifted throughout Italy, but travellers are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities. Irish citizens are strongly advised to consult information on regional COVID zones, on the Ministry of Health website (in English).
Public spaces and services
The following COVID-19 restrictions are in place in Italy:
- FFP2 masks are compulsory when visiting healthcare facilities such as hospitals and care homes.
- A Green Pass/EU Digital COVID Certificate is currently required for access to hospitals and other healthcare settings in Italy. Within Italy an EU DCC/Green pass based on primary vaccination is considered expired if more than 6 months have passed since the last dose of the primary vaccine cycle.
You must comply with the local travel regulations of the region you are visiting - regional and local authorities in Italy are empowered to adjust these measures where required, which may occur at short notice.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
Apply for your EHIC and find out more information.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Irish citizens will not need any vaccinations for Italy. If you fall ill whilst in Italy and require further advice on how to access healthcare, please contact the Embassy.
The Embassy operates a weekend out-of-hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance.
If you are in need of emergency assistance, please ring the Embassy at (+39) 06 5852 381 and leave a message on the answering machine.
Embassy of Ireland
Via Giacomo Medici
Tel: +39 06 585 2381
Fax: +39 06 581 3336
Monday – Friday 9:15am to 1:00pm & 2:15pm to 5:30pm
Attendance at the Embassy’s public office is currently by appointment only. If you need to attend the Embassy’s public office, please click “Email us” below in order to make an appointment.
Honorary Consulate Contact
Ms. Antonietta Marsaglia
Honorary Consul General of Ireland
Piazza S. Pietro in Gessate 2
Tel: +39 02 551 87569
Fax: +39 02 551 87570
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.