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Useful Information for People Planning a Trip to Italy

Useful Contacts

Emergency Needs

  • Police, Fire, and Ambulance: 112 (Europe-wide in English)
  • Italian State Police: 113
  • Ambulance: 118
  • Road Service: 116

Embassies and Consulates

  • US Embassy in Rome: 24-hour emergency line—tel. 06-46741, nonemergency—tel. 06-4674-2420 (by appointment only), Via Vittorio Veneto 121, http://it.usembassy.gov
  • US Consulates: Milan—tel. 02-290-351 (Via Principe Amedeo 2/10), Florence—tel. 055-266-951 (Lungarno Vespucci 38), Naples—tel. 081-583-8111 (Piazza della Repubblica); for all see http://it.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates Canadian Embassy in Rome: Tel. 06-854-442-911 (Via Zara 30, www.italy.gc.ca)
  • Canadian Consulate in Milan: Tel. 02-626-94238 (Piazza Cavour 3, www.italy.gc.ca)

Holidays and Festivals :

In Italy, holidays seem to strike without warning. Every town has a festival honoring its patron saint. And the Vatican Museums in Rome close for many lesser-known Catholic holidays—confirm their schedule at www.museivaticani.va.

This list includes selected festivals in major cities in 2019, plus national holidays observed throughout Italy. Many sights and banks close on national holidays—keep this in mind when planning your itinerary. Before planning a trip around a festival, verify its dates by checking the festival’s website or TI sites (www.italia.it).

In Italy, hotels get booked up on Easter weekend (from Good Friday through Easter Monday), April 25 (Liberation Day), May 1 (Labor Day), November 1 (All Saints’ Day), and on Fridays and Saturdays year-round. Some hotels require you to book the full three-day weekend around a holiday.

For festivals and events in the Cinque Terre.

Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 6 Epiphany
Jan Fashion convention, Florence
Feb 16-March 5 Carnevale, Venice (Mardi Gras, www.carnevale.venezia.it)
Early Feb Carnevale Celebrations/Mardi Gras, Florence (costumed parades, street water fights, jousting competitions)
April 7-10 Vinitaly, Verona (wine festival)
April 21 Easter Sunday (and Scoppio del Carro fireworks in Florence)
April 22 Easter Monday
April 25 Italian Liberation Day
April/May Italy’s Cultural Heritage Week (www.beniculturali.it)
May 1 Labor Day
MId-May Cricket Festival, Florence (music, food, pet crickets for sale)
May 30 Feast of the Ascension Day
Late May-early June Fashion convention, Florence
Late May-early June Vogalonga Regatta, Venice
June Annual Flower Display, Florence (carpet of flowers on the main square, Piazza della Signoria)
June 2 Anniversary of the Republic
June 16-17 Festival of St. Ranieri, Pisa
June 24 St. John the Baptist Day, Rome; Festival of St. John the Baptist, Florence (parades, dances, boat races); and Calcio Fiorentino, Florence (costumed soccer game on Piazza Santa Croce)
June 29 Sts. Peter and Paul’s Day, most fervently celebrated in Rome
June-Aug Verona Opera season
Late June-early Sept Florence’s annual outdoor cinema season (contemporary films)
July 2 Palio horse race, Siena
July 20-21 Feast and Regatta of the Redeemer, Venice (third weekend of month)
July-Aug Musical Weeks, Lake Maggiore
Aug 10 St. Lawrence Day, Rome
Aug 15 Feast of the Assumption (Ferragosto)
Aug 16 Palio horse race, Siena
Sept 1 Historical Regatta, Venice
Sept 7 Festa della Rificolona, Florence (children’s procession with lanterns, street performers, parade)
Sept 13-14 Volto Santo, Lucca (procession and fair)
Sept-Oct Chestnut Festivals, most towns, mainly north of Rome (festivals, chestnut roasts)
Late Sept or early Oct Musica dei Popoli Festival, Florence (ethnic and folk music and dances)
Oct 10-13 Castelrotto Music Festival (Kastelruther Spatzenfest), Dolomites
Nov 1 All Saints’ Day
Nov 21 Feast of Our Lady of Good Health, Venice
Dec Christmas Market, Rome, Piazza Navona; and crèches in churches throughout Italy
Dec 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 25 Christmas
Dec 26 St. Stephen’s Day

CLOTHING SIZES :

When shopping for clothing, use these US-to-European comparisons as general guidelines (but note that no conversion is perfect).

  • Women: For pants and dresses, add 36 in Italy (US 10 = Italian 46). For blouses and sweaters, add 8 for most of Europe (US 32 = European 40). For shoes, add 30-31 (US 7 = European 37/38).
  • Men: For shirts, multiply by 2 and add about 8 (US 15 = European 38). For jackets and suits, add 10. For shoes, add 32-34.
  • Children: Clothing is sized by height—in centimeters (2.5 cm = 1 inch), so a US size 8 roughly equates to 132-140. For shoes up to size 13, add 16-18, and for sizes 1 and up, add 30-32.

Written by Emily Olson

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