Italy Map Tourist Attractions

Italy Map Tourist Attractions

COMMUNICATION

Country code: 39. International dialing prefix: 00.

The city code must always be dialed, even when calling from within the city. From outside Italy, dial int’l dialing prefix (see inside back cover) + 39 + city code + local number (drop the leading zero).

TELEPHONES. Pre-paid phone cards, available from tabacchi, vending machines, and phone card vendors, carry a certain amount of time depending on the card’s denomination (‚5, ‚10, or ‚20). International calls start at ‚1.05 and vary depending on where you are calling. A collect call is a contassa a carico del destinatario or chiamata collect. For info on purchasing and using a cell phone in Italy, see 36. International direct dial numbers include: AT&T, 172 10 11; British Telecom, 172 00 44; Canada Direct, 172 10 01; Ireland Direct, 172 03 53; MCI, 172 10 22; Sprint, 172 18 77; Telecom New Zealand, 172 10 64; Telkom South Africa, 172 10 27; Telstra Australia, 172 10 61.

MAIL. Airmail letters sent from Australia, North America, or the UK to Italy take anywhere from three to seven days. Since Italian mail is notoriously unreliable, it is usually safer and quicker to send mail express (espresso) or registered (racco- mandata). Fermo Posta is Italian for Poste Restante.

INTERNET ACCESS. Though Italy had initially lagged behind in constructing the information superhighway, it’s now playing the catch-up game like a pro. While Internet cafes sire still rare in rural and industrial cities, Internet points such as bars and even laundromats are becoming common in well-touristed areas. Rates range from ‚5-8 per hour. For free Internet access, try the local universities and libraries. For a list of Italian cyberspots, check www.cybercaptive.com.

LANGUAGE. Any knowledge of Spanish, French, Portuguese, or Latin will help you understand Italian. The tourist office staff usually speaks some English. For a traveler’s survival kit of basic Italian, see 1035.

ACCOMMODATIONS under ‚15 ‚16-25 ‚26-40 ‚41-60 over ‚60

Associazione Italiana Alberghl per la Giovent(AIG), the Italian hostel federation, is a Hosteling International (HI) affiliate, though not all Italian hostels (ostelli per la gioventii) are part of AIG. A full list is available from most EPT and CTS offices and from many hostels. Prices start at about ‚13 per night for dorms. Hostels are the best option for solo travelers (single rooms are relatively scarce in hotels), but curfews, lockouts, distant locations, and less-than-perfect security detract from their appeal. Italian hotel rates are set by the state. Hotel owners will need your passport to register you; don’t be afraid to hand it over for a while (usually overnight), but ask for it as soon as you think you will need it. Hotel singles (camera singola) usually start at around ‚26-31 per night, and doubles {camera doppia) start at ‚36-42. A room with a private bath (con bagno) usually costs 30-50% more. Smaller pensioni are often cheaper than hotels. Be sure to confirm the charges before checking in; Italian hotels are notorious for tacking on additional costs at check-out time. The Azienda di Promozione Turismo (APT), provides lists of hotels that have paid to be listed; some of the hotels we recommend may not be on the list. Affittacamere (rooms for rent in private houses) are another inexpensive option. For more info, inquire at local tourist offices. There are over 1700 campsites in Italy; the Touring Club Italiano, C. Italia 10-20122, Milan (02 852 61; fax 53 59 95 40) publishes numerous books and pamphlets on the outdoors. Rates average ‚4.20 per person or tent, and ‚3.70 per car.

FOOD AND DRINK

FOOD under ‚5 ‚6-10 ‚11-15 ‚16-25 over ‚25

Breakfast in Italy often goes unnoticed; lunch is the main feast of the day. A pranzo (full meal) is a true event, consisting of an antipasto (appetizer), a primo (first course of pasta or soup), a secondo (meat or fish), a contomo (vegetable side dish), and then finally dolce (dessert or fruit), a caffe, and often an after-dinner liqueur. If you don’t have a big appetite, you can buy authentic snacks for a picnic at salumeria or alimentari (meat and grocery shops). A bar is an excellent place to grab a quick bite. They usually offer panini (hot and cold sandwiches), drinks with or without alcohol, and gelato. Grab a lighter lunch at an inexpensive tavola calda (hot table), Rosticceria (grill), or gastronomia (serving hot prepared dishes). Osterie, trattorie, and ristoranti are, in ascending order, fancier and more expensive. Many restau-rants offer a fixed-price tourist menu (menu turistico) that includes primo, secondo, bread, water, and wine. Italian dinner is typically a lighter meal. In the north, butter and cream sauces dominate, while Rome and central Italy are notoriously spicy regions. Farther south, tomatoes play a significant role. Coffee is another rich and varied focus of Italian life; for a standard cup of espresso, request a caffe; cappuccino is the breakfast beverage. Caffe mac- chiato (spotted coffee) has a touch of milk, while latte macchiato is heavier on the milk and lighter on the coffee. Wines from the north of Italy, such as the Piedmont’s Asti Spumante or Verona’s Soave, tend to be heavy and full-bod- ied; stronger, fruitier wines come from southern Italy. Almost every shop sells Italy’s greatest contribution to civilization: Gelato (ice cream).

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

Holidays: New Year’s Day (Jan. 1); Epiphany (Jan. 6); Easter Sunday and Monday (Apr. 11 and 12); Liberation Day (Apr. 25); Labor Day (May 1); Assumption of the Virgin (Aug. 15); All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1); Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8); Christmas Day (Dec. 25); and Santo Stefano (Dec. 26).

Festivals: The most common excuse for a local festival is the celebration of a religious event-a patron saint’s day or the commemoration of a miracle. Most include parades, music, wine, obscene amounts of food, and boisterousness. Carnevale, held in February during the 10 days before Lent, energizes Italian towns; in Venice, costumed Carnevale revelers fill the streets and canals. During Scoppio del Carro, held in Florence’s P. del Duomo on Easter Sunday, Florentines set off a cart of explosives, following a tradition dating back to medieval times. On July 2 and August 16, II Palio hits Siena (725) with a bareback horse race around the central piazza.

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