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Where can I find tourist brochures on Italy?

On-line request of Italian tourist material is available at the Italian Government Tourist Board web site: ENIT

Can I claim a refund of IVA (VAT) on the goods purchased in Italy?

EU non-resident travelers may be granted VAT refund for goods intended for personal or familiar use purchased in Italy, provided that the overall value of goods exceeds 155 Euro. There are no rebates of the IVA tax on hotels, restaurants or tourist services. Detailed information on how to get IVA refunds and customs formalities are available at the Italian Customs Agency: Please note that invoices or VAT refund forms have to be endorsed by the Customs officials before leaving the E.U., the Italian Consulate is not authorized to endorse any VAT refund forms or invoices of good purchased in Italy or in EU.

For Customs information of foreign tourists entering or departing Italy please consult the Travellers' Customs Charter.

I am traveling to Italy. Do I have customs duty exemption for products and consumer goods I am carrying in my luggage?

Customs duty exemption is granted for products and consumer goods carried by travelers coming from countries not belonging to the EU or carried inside their baggage provided that they are not intended for trade and their value is not superior to 175 EURO. Such limit is reduced to 90 EURO for travelers under 15 years of age. Provisions concerning currency: Importation and exportation of foreign currency and bearer stocks is allowed up to Euro 12,500.00 without any declaration. For amounts exceeding this limit, a form shall be filled in to be deposited at when leaving or entering the customs territory.

For detailed information please visit the "Travellers' Customs Charter" web site.

Can I travel to Italy with my pet?

For cats and dogs:

Importation of such pets is allowed if they are accompanied by a health certificate. The certificate shall contain detailed information about the animal and the owner, certifying the good state of health of the animal and rabies vaccination inoculated at least 20 days but no more than 11 months before the issue of the certificate (Contact the Consulate for more information).

For other animals:

Importation of animals such as bird, fishes, frogs, tortoises is allowed if they are accompanied by a document of origin issued by the authorities of the country of origin, certifying that sanitary controls have been carried out and that the animal has no infectious disease.

In detail:

Visitors to Italy may bring with them the following pets (no more than 5):

Birds (small birds, other than parrots*)
Fish (small)
Lizards (common)
Monkeys (max. 2)
Rodents (squirrel, hamster, guinea pigs, marmot, chinchilla)
Turtles (small)
The foregoing pets can enter Italy only if accompanied by the owner and a health certification issued by a certified veterinarian in the country of origin no more than 30 days before the departure date. The veterinary certificate DOES NOT need to be authenticated or certified by this Embassy.

* A maximum of two parrots may be entered into Italy when accompanied by a certificate of origin and health attesting that during the preceding 6 months the animals were kept in a State-authorized zoological or breeder facility and that no cases of psittacosis or ornithosis were identified within a 15 miles radius of the place of origin during the preceding 12 months.

Can I drive in Italy? 

China residents are required an International Driving Permit (IDP). Citizens of the European Union can drive in Italy with their national licenses.

Which are the 2006 Italian Public Holidays?

1st January : New Year Day
6th January: Epiphany
17th April: Easter Monday
25th April: Liberation Day
1st May: Labour Day
2nd June: National Day
15th August: Assumption of the Virgin Mary
1st November: All Saints
8th December: Immaculate Conception
25th December: Christmas Day
26th December: Boxing Day

How can I get married in Italy?

Information about procedures for civil marriages can be gathered directly from Italian municipalities.

To reach any municipality of Italy you can type:
www.comune.Name of the Italian

Visa Information

Detailed information can be found at the following website:

Are there health travel restrictions?

Travelers could be subject to health and temperature checks upon their arrival in Italy and to filling out a health form.

Can I have a calendar of trade fairs and exhibitions in Italy?

How can I purchase property in Italy?

Information on Italian conveyance and tax system can be gathered from following web site addresses:

The Consulate General of Italy will bear no responsibility for the contents of these web site addresses.

How can I get the “Codice fiscale” (fiscal code)?

You must attend in person at the Consulate (during business hours) to have a “codice fiscale”. Please remember to bring along valid ID or copy of your passport.

I am a foreign graduate. Is my degree recognised in Italy?

Academic qualifications obtained abroad have no legal value in Italy (Art. 170 of Royal Decree 1592/1933). Articles 170 and 332 of this Decree envisage, however, that persons holding foreign academic qualifications may apply for a declaration of value issued be equated to the corresponding Italian qualifications.

In view of the autonomous status of universities, the academic authorities are free to assess whether qualifications obtained abroad have equivalents in our higher education system.

Applications should be addressed to the Dean of a university whose statute includes a course that is comparable to the one followed abroad.

The following documents should be enclosed:

a) the original of your secondary school diploma (or equivalent), which should be valid for university entrance in the country where it was obtained;

b) an official Italian translation of the diploma referred to in letter a);

c) a declaration attesting to the value of the diploma referred to in letter a), issued by the Italian Diplomatic or consular mission in the country whose educational system issued the diploma;

d) the original of the academic diploma for which you are applying for recognition, accompanied by an official translation into Italian and a declaration issued by the Italian diplomatic or consular mission in the country whose educational system issued the diploma, attesting to the value of the diploma;

e) a certificate (original) containing details of the courses you have followed and the exams you have taken in countries other than Italy to obtain the foreign academic diploma as referred to in letter d);

f) official translation into Italian of the certificate as referred to in letter e);

g) course programmes (on the letterhead of the foreign university or stamped by the university), listing all the subjects included in the foreign curriculum, with translation into Italian. The authenticity of these programmes, like all of the above- mentioned documentation, must be confirmed by the Italian diplomatic or consular mission in the country in question;

h) in most cases, 2 passport-sized photos, one of which authenticated, are also required. The academic authorities can declare a foreign academic qualification to be the equivalent for all intents and purposes to the corresponding Italian qualification, or else they may grant partial recognition of individual exams. In the latter case, you will need to enrol in an intermediate year of the Italian academic programme to complete the exams and if applicable prepare to discuss your final thesis.

Foreign academic qualifications may also be recognised on the basis of specific conventions or bilateral cultural agreements drawn up with individual countries. The bodies that are able to provide detailed information on the documents that need to be included with the application and the relevant formalities are the Italian diplomatic authorities abroad and, in Italy, the Students' Secretariats or the Offices for Foreign Students in each university.

I want to film a movie in Italy. Do I need an authorization?

A. General aspects

a) Television crews who wish to film newsclips, even if not using material that occupies public space, generally need to obtain an authorization from the local City Hall. Because of their urgency, such requests are directed to the Office of the Mayor. Because of the right to report news, authorization is always given, except in some unusual cases.

To reach the websites of the Italian City Halls (Comuni) log on to this standardised URL:

http://www.comune.[name of the city].it

For example:

b) Television and movie productions intending to film in Italy (movies, TV movies, documentaries) using material that occupies public space, or at historical, artistic or architectural monuments or where antiques or art are stored, must obtain a series of authorizations which vary depending on the type of filming requested.

Requests must be made by the interested party, by their representative in Italy or by the Embassy representing the media outlet. The general procedure is as follows:

• an insurance policy must be stipulated covering the cost of potential damages to people or things while filming in Italy. A copy of the policy must be brought to Italy; it must contain the names of the crew members and be translated into Italian;

• immediately after entry into Italy, the presence in Italy of the crew and of their intention to film must be made known to the competent Prefecture and Police Headquarters;

• in the case of outdoor filming, an authorization from the appropriate City Hall must be obtained. The request, on revenue-stamped ("bollo") paper, must be addressed to the Mayor about a month before the filming date and must contain the following information: name of the crew members, date and place of filming, subject of the film or documentary, whether traffic needs to be diverted, and any other pertinent information;

• payment of taxes (COSAP, for the occupation of public space) and tariffs (in case of filming inside state cultural property).

The following office in RAI can give information and assistance on filming authorization procedures:

RAI - Direzione Rapporti con l'Estero Ufficio Assistenza Tecnica
Tel.: +39 06.33170053
Fax: +39 06.33171151

B. Photography or filming at state cultural property

In the case of photography or filming at state cultural property of historical, artistic or architectural interest, current law states that authorization must be requested to the competent "Soprintendenti delle Belle Arti" (Fine Arts Superintendents). If the Embassy or Consulate is not able to assist the foreign production companies in singling out the competent "Soprintendenza", please contact: Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali Ufficio Centrale per i Beni Archeologici, Architettonici, Artistici e Storici Via del Collegio Romano 27, 00186 ROMA tel.: +39 06.67231

The Ministerial Decrees of January 31, 1994 and of April 8, 1994 of the "Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali" establish the criteria and the procedures to which the "Soprintendenti" must adhere for the concession of the filming authorizations as well as the payment or exemption of tariffs.

The request to the Soprintendenze must contain any information necessary for evaluation. The following information is especially important: names of the components of the crew, filming date and place, manner of filming, technical means used, purpose of filming, and the forms of distribution.

There is a special list of administrative filming fees. Additional fees may be requested on a case by case basis. A security deposit must be paid; the amount varies depending on the space used

Temporary importation into Italy of technical and professional material

The following is the procedure necessary for foreign TV crews who wish to film in Italy in order to temporarily import their professional and technical material free of customs tax:

a) if they come from countries which adhere to the Customs Convention on ATA Carnets for the temporary importation of goods, they must obtain such a Carnet, which can be issued by the Chambers of Commerce of cities which adhere to the Convention. The purpose of this Convention is to facilitate the transfer of some types of goods, simplifying customs formalities and reducing the costs, by substituting national customs documents for temporary importation with an international customs document. The Convention includes journalists' professional material among the goods to which this law applies.

b) If, on the other hand, the television crews come from countries which did not adhere to the Convention (or haven't yet applied it), they must contact their Embassy in Italy in time with the following information: composition of the crew (including the name of the director, if there is one); list of the goods to follow; purpose of filming; date; customs office; and arrival and departure flight data (or road or rail information).

The Embassy writes a Verbal Note to the Press Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Press Office then requests the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri (Premier's Office) to authorize the importation of technical-professional material free of customs duty. If the Press Office receives all pertinent information from the beginning and it is not the day before holidays, the whole procedure can be taken care of in a short period of time.

If the above procedure (paragraph b) is not followed, the temporary importation of material can be authorized directly by the customs office at the point of entry; a deposit will be requested which will be returned upon departure from Italy, if the entry documentation is shown.

If the above procedure (paragraph b) is followed, it is important to remember to always be ready to show the customs documents obtained upon entry when re-exporting the material from Italy.

For additional information about the procedure for filming in Rome please click here.

Important. Production companies are advised to contact local town halls in advance particularly in peak seasons and at tourist destinations.